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E-petition following traffic incident in Alston Road and possible re-routing of 384 bus

Late last year, a child was hit by the wing mirror of a car travelling along Alston Road and the child was badly shocked, although fortunately suffered no significant injuries. Following this incident, a resident from Puller Road has raised an e-petition that was presented to the Council to get some action.  SPACES has long campaigned for a 20 mile/hour limit in this road and one of the reasons given by the Council in the past for no action has been the lack of any reported accident.  The on-line petition gained 95 signatures and, after a couple of false starts at the January and March Residents Forums, it finally came before the June Forum at which it received a sympathetic response. The proposal was passed to the July Area Committee, but at this meeting a highways officer from the Council stated that their official assessment was that extending the limit would mean it would be less effective at the crossing itself. The validity of this statement was challenged, but to no avail. It must be close to the 20th anniversary of the time at which campaigning started for a 20 mile/hour limit along Alston Road! Success within the next 20 years? We are planning raise another petition, this time with the aim of obtaining over 300 signatures.


Transport for London (TfL) has issued a report on the results of last year’s consultation process concerning the re-routing of the 384 bus and, as far as High Barnet is concerned, they noted the opposition to the re-routing of one direction of travel along Salisbury Road. A petition with 81 signatures was submitted by the residents of the road. TfL have indicated the possibility of further consultation, but there is currently no sign of it.

 

High Barnet Station car park turned into 300 flats?

Residents in SPACES roads should have received flyers through their letterboxes from SPACES informing them about the consultation processes on proposals to build flats on the car park and the land surrounding High Barnet Tube Station. High Barnet Station is not alone as the Mayor of London has instructed Transport for London (TfL) to use their land for 10,000 new homes. The initial plans for High Barnet appeared in June 2019 and proposed 450 dwellings in the form of blocks of flats (seven, possibly more) and their height (squiggles on the drawings suggesting six/eight floors). There was public consultation about these plans which the developers (Taylor Wimpey) claim to have influenced their more detailed plans which emerged in November 2019 for a reduced number of flats (300). There was further public consultation on these revised plans and a planning application is expected early in 2020.  There would still be parking for tube train drivers, but much reduced other parking. There are proposals for making the area a small community hub with an open area, a shop or two and other facilities. It is pleasing that the original plans to build on the slope up to the Meadway have been dropped as that would have affected the skyline of Barnet.  However, living conditions for flats sandwiched between railway lines and an ‘A’ road, will be far from ideal. The most obvious question is what measures are being considered to provide for the transport needs (other than the tube) for the those who currently park at High Barnet and for the occupants of the new flats. Is the new development part of forward-looking plans by TfL for making cars redundant, thereby facilitating the move to low-carbon consuming transport? The short answer is “no”! The consultants (who were commissioned by the underground part of TfL) hadn’t been given the brief to work with the bus side of TfL, and therefore are currently working in isolation. The impression was given that the main provision would be charging points for electric bikes which are hardly the answer in the light of the current dangers of negotiating the traffic and its associated pollution on Barnet Hill. You can learn more about the proposals and submit your views on the website: http://highbarnetconsultation.com

 

Pavement parking

The Highways Department of Barnet Council have been anxious for some time to ‘formalize’ pavement parking in all the roads in the Borough. Our roads are too narrow to have parking only on the roads and the first scheme that was proposed for Puller, Calvert and Sebright Roads was to ban parking on one side and just have bays painted on the road on the other side. This would have caused chaos and was rejected by our local councillors. Following a visit last year, the Council agreed to put forward plans for another approach. The approach is to paint a dashed yellow line permitting vehicles to park with their wheels on the kerb stones, but not to intrude onto the main part of the pavement. There would be a second dashed yellow line in the road indicating the limit that a vehicle could protrude into the road. The lines would be continuous so that there would be no reduction in the number of parking places due to the implementation of bays. Plans were drawn up and the Council stated that consultation with residents would take place in Autumn 2017 (which, of course, it hasn’t) – a question put at January 2019’s Residents Forum returned the answer that consultation would take place before the end of 2019, which, of course, has not happened. The same question will be posed at the March Residents Forum. The Council have also undertaken to estimate the number of places that would be lost due to the implementation of bays if CPZ were to be extended to our roads so that this option can be considered again.

 

Barnet Classic Car Show

The 2019 Barnet Classic Car Show took place on Sunday, 22nd September.  Last year, the venue was the Army Reserve’s site in St. Albans Road, but this year saw a move to The Spires NCP car park. The weather forecast was not promising and so it was decided to change from the roof of the car park to the basement in order to keep everyone dry.  Over 50 cars and motorcycles turned out in spite of the weather, including many sports cars.  The Show started with a parade along the High Street before the vehicles were lined up in the basement.  There was a special display of classic Minis (6 were present) to mark the 60th anniversary of its launch. George and Yvonne, from Puller Road, rang a charity hot drinks and cake stall (the most delicious cakes!) and music was provided by Katie Oldham and Alliance.  Katie used to live in Puller Road and is a most talented singer. The 2020 Barnet Classic Car Show is scheduled to take place on Sunday, 17th May, again in The Spires NCP car park. This time, we hope that the weather will be kind to us such that we can be on the roof which has pleasant views over Barnet. The Show will start with cars parading along the High Street from about 11.00 am until 11.30 am and then they will be parked in the car park for visitors to view and talk to the owners up until 2.00 pm. We are aiming to have music and refreshments, as usual. It is important that anyone wishing to bring a classic car pre-registers with the organiser (chris: cdnightingale@aol.com) so that car parking charges can be avoided.

 

Premier Inn on the Barnet Market Site

The plans for a Premier Inn to be built on the St Albans Road Barnet Market site have now been approved.  The Market has moved to the area around the bandstand which is near Waitrose.  It is hoped that this improved visibility will bring more customers to the Market.  The developers had appointed contractors, but the arrangement fell through and it will take time for other contractors to be found.

 

Revitalizing the High Street

Last year, the Council proposed a scheme to widen the pavements on The Spires side of the High Street from the Post Office up to beyond the entrance to The Spires. The intention of the scheme was to create a more pleasant environment for shopping in the High Street. There was controversy over the design during the consultation period, one worry concerned the proposal to move loading bays into Union Street and Salisbury Road. Further plans have been drawn up and work is under way and should be finished by the spring.  Barnet Museum are arranging for there to be boards detailing the history of Barnet.

 

Parking in and around Barnet High Street

Be aware that there is an hour’s free parking in the Moxon Street car park. For longer stays it is credit/debit card payment or pay by phone. If you want an hour’s free ticket, you must obtain a ticket, otherwise you will be fined. This hour’s free parking is ideal for High Street shopping, going to the Post Office, having a coffee, etc. There is also a free parking area on Hadley Green although it is very poorly signed, but the period is two hours. NCP took over the management of The Spires car park from a company called Legion and the cost of parking was reduced to £1/hour (cash). There has been an immediate increase in the number of cars using the car park.

 

Library Garden

Library garden after residents' workIn a ‘pub’ chat, Ali Amos of Amos and Duarte came up with the idea that we, as residents, could do something about the rather sad looking library garden. Ali is a garden designer and has developed an arrangement of trees, shrubs and plants (see picture) which will make the garden attractive in each season of the year, while requiring minimum maintenance.  Chris Smith of SPACES helped to implement the idea after discussions with library staff (who were very enthusiastic about it).   The initial work was performed in March 2015 by volunteers from neighbouring roads and Barnet Council backed the scheme by providing money for all the materials from its ‘Micro-Fund’. Since then, Doreen Martin and others have worked on the maintenance with hot summer weather providing a particular challenge. We need volunteers to maintain the garden, so if you are prepared to help, please contact: cdnightingale@aol.com

 

SPACES AGM

The 24th SPACES AGM was held in the Sebright Arms on Monday, 11th November, 2019. One new committee member was elected, namely Sam Tibber (Alston Road). The chair’s and treasurer’s reports (available on request) were followed by an open discussion session where topics of current interest were raised from the floor. It was stated that there is the continuing problem of traffic coming into Barnet along the St Albans Road and avoiding the queue for the High Street by turning down Wrotham Road and then up Falkland Road to Alston Road. Quite apart from the volume of traffic, the speed was often quite alarming even in the short stretch of Falkland Road. It was agreed that SPACES should join Barnet Residents Association and push the Council for a review of traffic movements in High Barnet to identify where improvements could be made. Other topics raised were:   the spate of plans and applications for new flat and house building in the area, the progress (or lack of it) on the Council’s proposals for double yellow lines in three of our roads, changes in green bin collection and help for touching up the colourful banners that appear in the High Street linked to Barnet’s Medieval Festival.

 

 

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