Suburb residents fear chaos with Henly's Corner traffic plan
Susanna Wilkey RESIDENTS are outraged at the proposals to improve Henly s Corner in Hampstead Garden Suburb claiming they will create a disastrous spaghetti junction. Transport for London is ploughing ahead with a scheme to improve the problem junction wh
RESIDENTS are outraged at the proposals to improve Henly's Corner in Hampstead Garden Suburb claiming they will create a disastrous spaghetti junction.
Transport for London is ploughing ahead with a scheme to improve the problem junction which it says will provide better pedestrian crossings, improve traffic flow and the cycle network.
But residents claim the plans are really aimed at increasing the numbers of car and will raise noise and pollution and eat into the land around the junction.
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They are also furious the consultation about the plans, which closed on June 19, was not widely publicised and say most residents had not heard about it.
Resident Juliette Meek said: "There has been no publicity about this at all. There was no consultation which is completely ridiculous. It's being sold as a pedestrian safety scheme when it looks more like a scheme to get more traffic through and to widen the roads destroying more of the area, dividing the north and south of the suburb even further and creating a hellish spaghetti junction.
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"There's going to be more pollution, more noise and no detail in these proposals. What about our Ancient Woodland in Little Wood? That's not going to enjoy more pollution and its role as a peaceful sanctuary is obviously threatened.
"I don't see any notices around the area warning us of the proposal and now it's a fait-accompli."
Henly's Corner is the junction where the A406 intersects with the A1 and the Finchley Road. It has long been known as a problem junction which is difficult for pedestrians to cross.
Garden Suburb School governor and resident Chris Kellerman said: "This scheme is very much a compromise and it would be much better if the original plans to create a tunnel underneath the road for the A406 had gone ahead and sorted the problem out once and for all.
"This scheme is just tinkering really. It is very difficult to get across the junction if you are a pedestrian. I know one elderly lady who gets the bus just to avoid crossing the road. It is an enormous junction - absolutely mammoth - and if this were any other country the problem would have been resolved by now.
"This scheme will make the problem marginally better and it will be slightly easier for people to cross but it is not the whole solution. At school we have continual complaints from parents who live on the other side of the junction because they struggle to cross. It is taking your life into your own hands and there have been several fatalities at that junction."
The Henly's Corner Junction Improvement Scheme has been backed by Barnet Council. Gary Shaw, chairman of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents Association's roads and traffic committee, said: "The Henly's Corner junction is a problem junction and while we are not completely convinced this scheme will improve things we are broadly supportive of it.
A TfL spokeswoman said "Provided TfL gets full support from the local community and key stakeholders, junction improvement works at Henlys Corner will begin early 2011.
"Transport for London has worked closely Barnet to design a scheme that will benefit pedestrians as well as other road users. This includes installing signal controlled crossings on all arms of the junction, which will bring real improvements for pedestrians while having no detrimental impact on traffic flows."