People living in Victoria Road, New Barnet and the surrounding area, who are fed up with speeding traffic posing a safety threat to their communities, have won a victory as new 20 mph restrictions have finally been agreed after a two-year battle.
The Chipping Barnet Area Committee approved a £100,000 package of changes at its meeting on 21 October which will make it harder for motorists to use the road as a rat-run from the busy East Barnet Road, and improve visibility at hotspot junctions where there have been dangerous collisions and near misses.
Cate Fairbanks and Hanna Blond, representing Victoria Road residents, have been pushing for these changes, backed by East Barnet Labour councillors Philip Cohen and Laurie Williams, and the New Barnet Community Association. The residents started with a petition then organised a public meeting, attended by Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers who gave her support, and they persuaded the Council to revise previous proposals which were not liked by all local people.
The plans, which will now go out to formal consultation, involve:
- A 7.5T Weight Limit Order and ‘Unsuitable for large vehicles’ signs on East Barnet Road to stop heavy lorries;
- A 20 mph limit on Victoria Road and parts of Margaret Road and Park Road;
- New vehicle activated signs with slow down messages;
- Extra double yellow lines at one section and new bollards to prevent cars mounting the pavements and threatening pedestrians.
Cllr Philip Cohen said: "The long-suffering residents of Victoria Road have shown amazing persistence to shrug off setbacks during their campaign. The street has very narrow sloping pavements used by hundreds of vulnerable pedestrians on a daily basis. I hope these changes will give them some measure of relief from the threat posed by cars and lorries."
Cate Fairbanks and Hanna Blond said: "This is an important first step towards improving safety for all users of the road. With traffic only set to increase in the area we will continue campaigning for a safe place to cross and other physical measures."
They will be pushing for a pedestrian crossing at the north end of Victoria Road, which is vital to meet the needs of the many schoolchildren who gather there. Although this has Section 106 funding in place, it is being held back to coincide with the ASDA Gas Works housing development due to be built soon.
Below is the Chipping Barnet Area Committee agenda for 21 October with the paper approved for Victoria Road:
Cllr Phil Cohen can be contacted on 07867 538 486.