We got a mention in the local newspaper, the Barnet and Whetstone Press.
“We were writing Barnet’s Transport Strategy”
On 8 March, SUMMIT: How to Solve Barnet’s Car Crisis? brought together more than 30 Barnet residents for a whole afternoon of intense envisioning of a better future for the borough’s roads. “We were writing Barnet’s Transport Strategy,” said Andrew, a transport engineer participant*.
The conference was called by AM Poppy, a local activist concerned that the borough faces a traffic crisis from the ever-increasing density of cars on the streets. And yet, she said, the official response is nothing.
“No Strategy seems to be the approach. The council just waits until residents come clamouring for remedial action. It’s an incoherent, fudged, entirely unimaginative way to address a problem.
“I’ve been shouting for over a year that we need to start a public debate about a thoughtful, imaginative, holistic way to tackle our traffic issues, and then it struck me that I should do it.”
In a collaborative conversation where everyone participates equally, the SUMMIT elicited ideas to help the borough avoid gridlock. “This was very stimulating, and very different from other transport conferences”, said Mark, a veteran of such events*.
The SUMMIT divided the experts, campaigners, residents, and councillors present* into four groups to brainstorm options, and in the second round, the ideas that found most favour were discussed again in more detail, in three categories: immediate, medium and long-term.
The report of the conference will reveal Barnet’s preferred options. “Even I don’t know yet what the recommendations will be,” said Poppy. “But I can tell you an idea from each category that I personally liked: Playstreets (where a street is closed to traffic at fixed times); making 20MPH the default speed on residential streets; and assigning a van, a car and a rack of bicycles to every street on the basis that no one on the street owns a car. I like that from the social cohesion point of view as well.”
The report will be published as soon as it’s ready. All help gratefully received
CONTACT Poppy: phone number available on request by email
* The civil engineers could not reveal their names for professional reasons
* The councillors present were from the Conservative and Labour parties
10 March 2015
Car Crisis debate kicks off in Barnet
A conference to consider how to tackle the congestion faced by the outer London borough of Barnet will be held on the afternoon of 8th March at Friern Barnet Community Library.
SUMMIT: How to Solve Barnet’s Car Crisis is designed to kick off an urgent debate that will apply far beyond the borough in which it is being broached.
Barnet’s population is increasing*, 30,000 new dwellings are coming on stream by 2025, and the population of some parts of the borough are projected to grow by 50% in the foreseeable future.
“Already our roads are in crisis,” says A M Poppy, the Barnet activist* who called this conference. “Parking has been the most poisonous issue in the borough, and traffic, cars, speeding and parking are the primary issue on Barnet’s mind. In the absence of official acknowledgement of the crisis I am kicking off this urgent debate.”
Transport experts, politicians, campaigners, and residents* will come together to discuss the options, and feed into a report that will be published after the event.
Everyone interested is welcome. Free registration is requested in advance.
Poppy’s mobile: (on request)
1) Barnet is to become most populous London borough (http://www.barnet.gov.uk/news/article/677/barnet_to_become_londons_most_populous_borough)
2) Organisations represented include:
- TfL Surface (TBC)
- Barnet Council
- Barnet Cycling Campaign
- Barnet residents associations including FORAB and Barnet Residents Assoc
- Transport professionals and campaigners including Ranty Highwayman and Brent Cross Coalition
- Mayor’s Office (TBC)
- Parking campaigners including Mr Mustard
- High street traders including Helen Michael
- Enfield Green Party
- Living Streets (TBC)
- Residents experiencing the crisis
3) A M Poppy is an almost-lifelong resident of Barnet, who has been campaigning locally since 2000. She is the Green Party candidate in Chipping Barnet, but is organising this event as a private initiative free of any party or organisational affiliation.
27 February 2015
The web site has been set up, and a number of people have accepted our invitation to speak (we’ll put up a page with a list in due course), so we are well on the way.
If you have any stories or views about traffic, parking etc which you would like published on this web site, please send them to the email address on the front page.
Update 1: These have already agreed to attend the SUMMIT:
- Parking campaigners
- High Street campaigners
- Cycling campaigners
- Traffic engineers
- Pedestrian campaigners
- Public transport campaigners
- Tube campaigners
- Housing campaigners
Update 2: I have enabled comments on this post for an experimental period. If you write anything too long for a comment, and deserving of a longer lifetime, feel free to put it on your own blog, and send a link to me, to go on our forthcoming links page(*), or if you don’t have your own blog, I can publish it as its own blog entry on this site. I can be contacted via the email address on the front page.
(*) Links are not allowed in comments to reduce spam.
Update 3: Comments now closed.