8620562874?profile=RESIZE_400xWhen Satnavs became widely adopted 10 years ago, the traffic on Alexandra Park Road N10 doubled (DfT stats), and has stayed at the same level ever since (see chart). The newish Cabinet member for 'Strategic Transport', Cllr Matt White, remarked at a recent meeting that Satnavs were directing drivers off the north circular to avoid a chunk of the latter, to go along local roads instead - up Colney Hatch Lane, down the B106 (=Al Pk Rd N10/Albert/Durnsford), straight on up Brownlow (also the B106) and back onto the north circular.

That is an additional 10k motor vehicles per day displaced onto the B106, on average. Preventing this would not result in increasing traffic on the north circular by this amount, just stopping them coming off it, and then onto it again.

The cars race down the B106 at an incredible pace – such a lovely straight road ! - and the police understandably do not have the capacity to control it.  When my daughter was at Alexandra Park School, a fellow student was hit by a car when she was crossing Durnsford/Albert (right opposite the school), and never recovered. There are two schools on this road and a GP surgery (Library, shops ...). Some serious measures need to be introduced to deal with the speeding cars. A busgate on Brownlow may well be it. The school children need to be able to walk and cycle safely to school.

Traffic at the moment is of course also hugely increased in London (on 2019 levels) because of drivers' concerns about using public transport – in Haringey it has increased by 20% (quoting Cllr. White).

The Satnav effect is now widely recognised, whereby algorithms direct drivers onto smaller roads to save time. Haringey planning officers illustrated it at last week's meeting about the Bounds Green LTN with images of alternative routes through local streets recommended to drivers by Google. The Satnav advice is to come off Bounds Green Road and Green Lanes onto smaller roads – so the traffic on BGR reduced by a third ten years ago, and that on Green Lanes, just south of the junction with BGR, by over a third. Traffic on Wood Green High Road is now lower than on Alexandra Park Road N10 (not entirely as a result of the satnav effect, however).

8620561471?profile=RESIZE_400xThe Satnav effect in London as a whole is very evident from the chart on the left – traffic on main roads has not increased in the ten years prior to the pandemic, but overall traffic levels were increasing as a result of the increase in traffic on unclassified and C roads.

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Sources. London traffic: https://roadtraffic.dft.gov.uk/regions/6 (second chart).

Other stats: https://roadtrafficstats.uk/, which contains traffic data from every traffic census point in Great Britain, as compiled by the Department for Transport. You can enter a road number, and then choose a census point if there is more than one (there may be none).


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  • The longer term data shows there was a drop in 2008-9 (recession?) so 2010 is a false starting point for comparison.

    Looking at GMaps traffic option there is currently very little hold up going south on CHlane into APR so that route is probably not the problem.

    Everything going SW to NE in this area just funnels into Brownlow road.

    • Ah yes, thanks Ralph, I see there is DfT data for 2009 (nothing earlier, unfortunately) - this isn't included in the version of it that I was using, strangely (it's just meant to be easier to access than the main dataset). And the data for this date is very high - at 14k, equivalent to levels for the last few years. So I don't know what to make of that! You have seen data that is low at this date - where is that?

      Whatever the reason, traffic levels here are very high - much higher than Wood Green High Road at the Mall, for example, which had only 3/4 of the daily average of cars in Al Pk Rd N10 in 2019.

  • C Roads are not relevant here - all the roads with problems here are B roads.

    Did the traffic go down again on APR when the NCR was finished (about 2017?)

    • As far as I know, the Satnav algorithms don't take notice of road classifications - they are just looking for convenient cut-throughs. If a B road provides this, they clearly use it, but equally a B road could be marked as a road (or part of one) that motorists would do well to avoid, or it could be unaffected.

      Good point about the roadworks on the north circular. I've managed to find more recent data, which shows that although the amount of traffic on this road has decreased very slightly in 2018-19, it is still nearly double what it was in 2010:









      Source: https://roadtraffic.dft.gov.uk/local-authorities/165


      Road traffic statistics - Local authority: Haringey
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