‘Six months of chaos’ warning in Crouch End and Finsbury Park due to road closure

Traffic chaos in Crouch End

Traffic chaos in Crouch End - Credit: Archant

Thousands of commuters and drivers were caught in traffic chaos as the closure of a major road through Haringey caused hours of disruption – with no end in sight to the delays.

Traffic chaos in Crouch End

Traffic chaos in Crouch End - Credit: Archant

Outraged commuters and drivers have hit out over the closure of Wightman Road in Hornsey, which brought much of the west of the borough to a stand still within just hours of shutting on Tuesday.

Long queues of bus passengers could be seen stretching round the block in the pouring rain at Wells Terrance bus station in Finsbury Park on Tuesday evening.

They waited long periods for W3 and W7 buses to take them to Crouch End and Muswell Hill.

The reason was clear as commuters began the long walk home as stationary traffic stretched all the way from Stroud Green Road up Ferme Park Road to the Broadway in Crouch End.

Traffic chaos in Crouch End

Traffic chaos in Crouch End - Credit: Archant

One map of the disruption, created by a Facebook user, showed traffic tailbacks all the way to Friern Barnet and Islington.

Mechanic Paul Charalambous, 33, of Park Road, was caught in chaos and said: “I have lived in Haringey my whole life and I’ve sat in traffic but this was on another level. It was absolute chaos.

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“My normal 15 minute journey took me over two hours.”

Wightman Road was closed on Tuesday for the start of bridge strengthening works. The repairs are due to last for six months.

David Winskill, chair of Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum and former Crouch End councillor said: “Everyone understands that the replacement of old bridges has to happen but Haringey council should have foreseen what was going to happen.

“Haringey traffic engineers, Transport for London and the contractors need to get round the table as a matter of urgency and rethink this plan.”

He continued: “The closure has brought misery to thousands of commuters. It is unthinkable that this shambles should continue for six months.”

Mr Charalambous said: “Haringey Council just didn’t realise the impact that closing this road would have, but they should have.

“This can’t go on for six months.”

A spokesman for Haringey Council said: “We are working around the clock to reduce delays as a result of the work by Network Rail to replace a defective railway bridge on Wightman Road.”

Haringey Council said a temporary footbridge for pedestrians and cyclists has been installed and that more information to minimise delays is available at haringey.gov.uk/Wightman-road