Fury in Highgate as one-way reversal left out of consultation
- Credit: Nathalie Raffray
Residents in Highgate living near Hampstead Heath have slammed the council's consultation on road lay-outs saying it is "undemocratic".
Camden Council introduced an uphill one-way system on Millfield Lane in June 2020, and following complaints from neighbours made the adjoining Merton Lane one way as well.
However, in a recent consultation to make the scheme permanent, the local authority excluded an option to reverse the one-way traffic on Millfield Lane.
Karen Beare, chair of the Fitzroy Park Residents Association, said: "We feel profound disappointment at the nature of the consultation and the way the council has actively excluded the local preference.
"We need to have an explanation as to why the reversal of the one way system was actively excluded from the consultation."
She said the consequence of council's decision to make Millfield Lane up hill only, have made Merton Lane a dangerous dead end right at the pedestrian entrance to Hampstead Heath, where cars U-turn multiple times a day.
"They've unilaterally excluded the actual preference of locals for a one way system going downhill not uphill so it's not even being considered.
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"Because it's not an option therefore it can't be implemented even if everybody says we want this.
"It's shocking, absolutely shocking," she added.
Robert Powell, chair of Millfield Lane Residents' Association, said: "It was a ludicrous idea of people not listening to the very people they consulted about the dangerous one-way up system."
He said Merton Lane should be two way, as uphill only would make it "impassable" in winter if there is snow.
Camden Council said the consultation did not include an option to reverse the direction of traffic flow on Millfield Lane "as it would be unlikely to deliver any significant improvement compared to retaining the existing layout".
A spokesperson said reversing the flow from north to south would require a “no entry” either at the junction of Millfield Lane with Highgate West Hill, which would mean an extended journey for residents or on Millfield Lane itself, which would result in vehicles U turning on the southern section of Millfield Lane to exit.
A spokesperson added: "We are continuing to make changes to streets across the borough to make it easier and safer for people to walk and cycle locally. "
They said they will "continue to monitor and assess the scheme which could include further public consultation" if the scheme is made permanent.