Parkland Walk

Yes – stuff is happening outside of the elections across the nations but not London – and tonight it was off to the Crouch End, Hornsey & Stroud Green Neighbourhood Assembly. The big issue of the night is the proposals for improving Parkland Walk. Now – you have to realise that this linear park / nature reserve is loved and there is an army of people who fight to protect it against all harm (even when well-meaning). There are clearly areas which could do with a bit of improvement – as David Warren, Chair of the Friends of Parkland walk made clear: the drainage, signing and repairing broken steps and improving access for people with disabilities and mothers with babies.

The deep suspicion that was voiced by many in the packed meeting was that the funding for the improvements comes from Transport for London’s cycling improvement budget. And what was crystal clear from the meeting, was that whilst recreational / occasional cyclists are just about welcomed (who don’t speed, are polite and aren’t commuters), a significant increase in cycling would be absolutely terrible. Spend the money on cycle lanes on roads – that’s where it’s needed to improve cycling shouted the crowd.

Whilst officers tried to reassure the public that the improvements would not ‘widen’ the path, the meanders would be left in and that there would be no attempt to create a ‘smooth cycle way’ but only patching the path where necessary – the public did not seem reassured.

And I wasn’t convinced either. So I will be writing to Transport for London to ask what they believe from Haringey’s bid will be provided for improvements for cycling on Parkland Walk – and to Haringey for sight of the bid itself.

To turn it into a cycle path or encourage more or faster cyclists would be completely wrong. Yes – we want more cycling in London – but we want proper cycle lanes on roads for commuters – not bunging them off road to spoil the idyll of this woodland nature reserve and the rights of pedestrians to enjoy it without fear of being hit!

UPDATE: You can take part in my online survey now at

0 thoughts on “Parkland Walk

  1. I really do think that the Parkland Walk (or muggers paradise) should revert to its intended original usage – as a commuter route to Finsbury Park. A light Railway or tram would be ideal to relieve the clogged congestion and the attendant pollution. The hours saved in commuting (w7 and W3 users in particular) would be worth giving up this green space, particularly as North London and Haringey in particular has more than its fair share of such greenage.

  2. People who use the Parkland Walk for relaxing afternoon walks and quiet relaxation, by definition, do not do so at morning rush hour when people are dashing to Finsbury Park. There is no contradiction in wanting to make Parkland Walk a better cycle route for commuters and a rustic and relaxing place for recreation. The two activities happen at different times.

  3. well, it depends on what the community wants, that’s democracy. the problem here is that the council and the GLA seem to be stitching up the locals. i suspect that most people around here would be against this plan, but who knows? we should have a referendum!

  4. There is absolutely no need for a cycle path on the Parkland Walk. The Parkland Walk already is a cycle path! i.e. cyclists (and walkers) already use it as a short cut and a haven from other traffic. Let’s get some better drainage in it, but otherwise leave it as it is – it’s one of the reasons I moved to this area in the first place.

  5. I too have always wanted to see a monorail or very light railway (its original use) back on PW but I’d have to agree that it’s lovely as a cycling and walking route, and could be better for both. Perhaps if there were 2 one-way, narrow, kerbed cycle-lanes this would restrict cyclists speed? Or some kind of enforced speed-limit anyway. Those who want to travel at speeds dangerous to pedestrians would have to use the road as at present.

  6. perhaps there is a halfway house say a speed limit or having a pedestrian priority at all timeshowever i look forward to a smoother parkland walk my teenage daughter is wheelchair bound and we use the walk to highgate woods regularly to ‘walk’ our dog but it is unpleasant both for the wheelchairee and the pusher as it is bumpy so a thin strip of tarmac would be most welcome and hopefully would not detract from the lovely surrondings js muswell hill

  7. What happens when all the cyclists get to the end of the PW on their morning commute ? Most will want to cross over a narrow bridge with parents and children on it heading in the opposite direction to Stroud Green school. Some will turn right into where all the rest of the children are moving. There are no safe crossing zones around the school. Its not a good idea

  8. Couldn’t the Parkland Walk be succesfully divided so that it could be used by cyclists and pedestrians? I hope so.A.W.

  9. I couldn’t disagree more with “JG Crouch End”. There are few wild natural spaces in this area and this is a habitat that needs protection. If Haringey are funding these improvement with moeny from an organisation that has the objective of promoting cycling, then they will want more cyclists on that route. If that’s the trade off, then I would prefer that they turned the cash down.

  10. I was attacked by stone-throwing youths the other week beside the youth centre at Crouch Hill bridge. I think this meanace should be addressed if the walk is to remain safe and enticing.

  11. Really sorry to hear that – if you want to get in touch with more details, I’d be happy to take this up with police etc.