'Honking, jumping lights, gridlock' – Hampstead roadworks ignite 'chaos'
- Credit: André Langlois
A broadband provider has apologised and changed traffic controls in Hampstead High Street following gridlock.
G.Network said the traffic lights on Hampstead High Street were switched to manual control yesterday (September 2), which it claims is "already greatly helping the flow of traffic".
The company confirmed that works to install full fibre are due to finish on September 13. A spokesperson said: “We’re sorry to hear of the traffic issues on Hampstead High Street, and appreciate that the temporary disruption can be frustrating."
Road users and pedestrians had complained about the queues of traffic piled up along the high street, as well as the noise from the roadworks.
Michelle Harris, who works for Hampstead Florist, called the situation an "absolute nightmare" – with cars driving through red lights, leaving traffic coming the other way stuck.
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She told the Ham&High: "People aren't following the lights, so people can't get through. All the cars are just beeping continuously. It's a real nuisance."
With works set to continue, Michelle said she feared the traffic would remain "terrible".
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Another local business owner and resident, Mairead Bergin, described the scene as "chaos." She said: "Everyone is honking, and we're all a little bit frazzled. The amount of traffic is insane."
Mairead said the reduced size of the pavement made social distancing "impossible". "Thank God we're all wearing masks, with all the pollution", she added.
Striking a more upbeat tone, Hampstead Snappy Snaps franchisee, Jun Mustafa, said the works were for the "greater good" of the community.
He added: "The guys are working really efficiently, they're not hanging around. We lost trade for a few days because cars couldn't get through, but the inconvenience will be worth it for everyone."
G.Network is undertaking a £100m upgrade to broadband connections in Camden, digging streets to install "state-of-the-art full-fibre connectivity".
It said the upgrades will mean local residents can work, communicate and connect online at much higher speeds and with greater reliability.
The company said the work is part of a £1bn investment to upgrade broadband across 13 London boroughs in the coming years.