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Spring 2010

posted 23 Jul 2011, 10:02 by Stephen Taylor   [ updated 25 Jul 2011, 15:49 ]
Fitzjohns Avenue area and the School Run 
On 16 February the Executive (Environment) Sub-Group of Camden Council approved proposals to implement a local safety and school travel plan. These proposals include the introduction of a 20mph speed limit on Fitzjohns Avenue which will be enforced by eight average speed cameras, the creation of bus bays in the area to allow school buses to drop off and collect children and the consequent changes to the affected residents’ parking bays without the net loss of the number of bays available. The Society had long been involved with the discussions leading up to these proposals, supported them and encouraged its members to do likewise.

It is hoped that as a result of the above proposals the pilot scheme introduced in March will develop into a sustainable scheme for the bussing of pupils from north, north-west and west London to and from the schools in the area. This would lead to a significant reduction in the volume of traffic in and around Fitzjohns Avenue at school opening and closing times. I trust that the parents will avail themselves of the scheme and that it will prove sufficiently successful that it can be fully implemented over the long term.

During the summer, you are likely to see the new sign-posts that are to be erected in and around Hampstead pointing the way to particular houses and points of interest. These have been developed in partnership with Camden and NW3 Hampstead with a view to those locations being more easily accessible to visitors to the area. It is hoped that visitor-friendly tourist maps of the area will follow shortly thereafter.Cleaning the pavements

Camden has agreed to undertake a “deep clean” of the pavements around Hampstead Underground station. This work has since been carried out on the east side of the road and its effect is noticeable. I would hope that Camden will also appreciate the difference the process has made and extend the cleaning to the other side of the High Street and more widely so that the whole area can be rid of what is largely discarded chewing gum.

Heath Street and through traffic 
Heavy traffic
"Smash the next lamp on the left, crack the paving stones by the pub, nudge the Victorian post box, scrape the drinking trough, then just follow the skid marks to Camden."

We have recently witnessed again the closure of Heath Street due to subsidence. The foundations for the road and surrounding buildings are built on Claygate beds and Bagshot sands; this has lead to instability and is no doubt at least largely to blame for the problems. However the increasing use of Heath Street by large coaches, buses and commercial vehicles must also be in part responsible. The Society has therefore proposed to Camden that coaches and heavy goods vehicles be denied access to the centre of Hampstead and thus to Heath Street except if they have business in the village.

If such a restriction is introduced, the law of unintended consequences must not be allowed to follow. Thus those vehicles banned from access to the village must not be allowed to worsen the existing travel bottle necks of East Heath Road and West Heath Road. This will entail putting restrictions on a number of roads for such heavy vehicles at, for example, Swiss Cottage on Fitzjohn’s Avenue, Chalk Farm on Haverstock Hill, South End Green on East Heath Road, Golders Green on North End Road, Highgate on Hampstead Lane, the West Heath on West Heath Road, Finchley Road at various junctions and no doubt a number of other intermediate places.

Whitestone Pond 
Juliette Sonabend continues to monitor developments on the refurbishment of the pond and its immediate surroundings. She meets regularly with the Camden and City of London project teams. At the time of writing (April), the work is on schedule for completion in the early summer. Much of the work to the foundations and base of the pond has been completed, the new lamp standards are in place and some of the planting has been done. Once the project is completed it will, I am sure, create a much enhanced environment for those visiting or just passing through the area.

The Northern Line 
I recently attended a public meeting in West Hampstead called by Councillor Chris Philp for a discussion with representatives of those working on and responsible for the current refurbishment works on the Jubilee Line. It was quite apparent that, as has been widely reported in the local press, residents and traders in the area have been hard hit by closures of the line and curtailments in its service. With similar work now starting on the Northern Line, we must try to ensure that the effects of that work do not lead to the same problems in and around the Hampstead area. The early signs are not good but various groups are monitoring what is happening and planned with a view to ensuring the minimum possible disruption to services.