'Living Wightman'

Further to an earlier thread on this site, the residents of Wightman and ladder roads have launched a campaign to get the benefits they are currently experiencing from less through traffic using their area made permanent. You can read about their campaign here:

A lot of what they say chimes with me, living on a road that, while carrying less traffic than Wightman Road, is still dominated by speeding through traffic for several hours every day. I wonder if other people in this area feel the same? It would be great to start our own campaign to make this area better for people, not just those passing through.

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  • I'm sorry, but why should the residents of and visitors to Green Lanes and Oakfield Road, etc. suffer constant traffic jams and a disproportionate increase in diesel pollution, so that residents of Wightman Road and the Ladder can have a quieter life? Now that we have 20mph speed limits in almost the entire borough, why should any roads be cut off, so that other roads can be far more polluted, and the overall net pollution be increased, both for the borough as a whole and the Planet (if you believe in the latter)?

    Also we need to have people able to park in their own roads within a reasonable time, so that fuel waste and pollution can be kept to a minimum, even if it means creating angle parking combined with one way systems - Then it is WORTH having CPZs; otherwise, things are just as bad with a CPZ as without.

    • Oakfield Road was also supposed to be closed to through traffic during the Wightman Road bridge replacements works. If residents there feel strongly about it they should ask the council why they didn't follow through with what they committed to do pre-closure.

      While there has certainly been an increase in traffic on some adjoining roads there seems to have been an overall reduction in traffic, it is highly unlikely that all of the 120,000 vehicles that used to drive down Wightman every week have been displaced to other routes. Hopefully the council led traffic study currently underway will explore this well-observed phenomenon of traffic expanding or retracting to fit available roadspace (i.e. 'traffic evaporation') and the consequent impacts on air quality. It would be unfortunate if no traffic reduction scheme could go ahead if there were some negative impacts elsewhere - impacts which could and should be managed too.

      Unfortunately 20mph alone isn't enough to make streets truly people-friendly, apart from it being almost totally unenforced (pre-bridge works, many vehicles per day were measured driving along Wightman in excess of 60mph, similar to speeds measured in our '20mph' area) a road full of 20mph vehicles is still not a pleasant place to be. Without reductions in traffic volume, 20mph does little to generate the benefits to health, community cohesion and childhood freedom currently being experienced by residents of the Ladder.

    • I don't live in Oakfield Road - I just drove through it a couple of times; but mostly I found that driving through a road to the east of Green Lanes suited my purpose better. But whichever it was, somewhere else got polluted, and more fuel was burned than going through Wightman Road.

    • If, as would appear to be the case, there has been an overall reduction in traffic surely pollution would reduce too? If there are localised impacts these should be managed too, rather than used as a reason to not protect the 10,000 or so people who live on the Ladder from poisonous traffic fumes.

  • See the Living Wightman crowdfunding campaign!

  • Hi Grant, the campaign group can be contacted via

    Show them your support. If they pull this off (making The Ladder permeable and not a huge rat run) it may help us with our efforts to do the same in Palace Gates. There have been two collisions recently on Albert Road - one on the junction of Clyde Rd / Albert Rd and the other on Harcourt Rd / Albert Rd. There may have been more it's just that I saw both of these as I was walking down the road. Both involved speeding rat runners, one a commercial vehicle. The Police attended. I think some neighbours contacted Haringey Council but they received the same bland, indifference from Haringey.

    Incidentally I cycled back from Hackney yesterday via Wightman Road and I was amazed (again) by the amount of people just walking, cycling, playing, and chatting. There were vehicles but because it was local traffic it was considerate and not hurtling along. And of course there wasn’t much of it.

    I, as you know, am always interested in campaigning to make our streets free of through traffic.

    Let's start another campagn. Will Haringey listen though?

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