Lynne Featherstone MP calls for urgent meeting on local travel chaos

Lynne Featherstone MP has called for an urgent meeting with Transport for London (TfL) chiefs, as major roadworks continue to cause traffic chaos across parts of the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency.

Major works are currently occurring on Wood Green High Road and Muswell Hill Broadway. Both are causing buses to be diverted and cancelled, heavy traffic jams, and inconvenience for motorists and commuters.

Residents have expressed their concerns about the lack of notice given by TfL and Haringey Council before the works started. Traders are also not happy about the disruptions happening in the run up to Christmas.

A number of residents have contacted the Lib Dem MP to complain about the works and suggest alternatives. The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green will represent the complaints and ideas to TfL chiefs at the meeting.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“The lack of notice from TfL and Haringey Council is appalling. As soon as I found out, I sent an email to residents to give them advance warning. It was the first many of them had heard about the roadworks.

“The works are now causing such a disruption, that I have called an urgent meeting with TfL chiefs. I will do all I can to get them to minimise the disruption over the coming weeks and months. I have a number of ideas from residents, which I am more than happy to pass on to them.

“I will also be raising the timing of the works at Muswell Hill Broadway with them. Surely, it should have been done over summer to minimise the impact on commuters and traders.”

Joining the CrossSafe campaign for road safety

Lynne Featherstone MP discusses the safety issues at the Junction with local CrossSafeN10 campaignersLynne Featherstone MP last week met with CrossSafe N10 campaigners to discuss the problems with the junction on Alexandra Park Road, Colney Hatch Lane, and Pages Lane.

The residents have long been campaigning for better safety on and around the junction.

On the site visit, the residents described the problems faced on a daily basis – including drivers not realising that there is a second red light and driving through, pedestrians not being able to see oncoming traffic, poor phasing of traffic lights, and no ‘green man’ signalling to guide pedestrians.

Campaigners say that these problems pose a safety risk – and that they have seen many near misses.

The Liberal Democrat MP – who has previously made representations on this issue – has now written again to both Transport for London and Haringey Council (who share management of the junction) and requested a site visit with them and the local residents.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“These residents have done a fantastic job of raising awareness of this issue and campaigning for better road safety at this dangerous junction.

“I am happy to get involved to support their cause. I have now written again to both TfL and Haringey Council, demanding a meeting with them on site so they can see the problems for themselves.

“I hope this will lead to action – vast improvements on this junction may well be necessary to prevent a serious accident here in the future.”

Controversial bus stop set to move on trial basis

The location of the first stop on the W7 and 144 bus routes from Muswell Hill is set to change on a trial basis. The change, which was officially announced last night at a local area forum, follows a four year campaign by local Liberal Democrats.

The stop is located on the steep Muswell Hill. This has caused numerous problems for residents, who have complained about the inaccessibility and safety risks of the current location. The problems prompted Lynne Featherstone, local MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, and local Liberal Democrat Councillors to campaign for the bus stop to be moved.

In 2011, after three years of campaigning, the Liberal Democrat MP received confirmation that the bus stop would be moved to outside Boots on Muswell Hill Broadway. In July of this year, Lynne Featherstone expressed her anger that, despite the confirmation, the bus stop still had not been relocated.

Tfl have now launched an official consultation on the provision of a new, accessible stop. They propose that routes 144 and W7 would serve a new southbound bus stop on the roundabout between Muswell Hill Broadway and Duke’s Avenue. This would be the new first stop and would allow for a wheelchair ramp to be deployed. The consultation also forms part of the Council’s trial.

Sophie Erskine, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Fortis Green, said:

“After years of petitions, meetings and campaigning, I am delighted that an official consultation has been launched. This gives residents a chance to really get their views heard – so I encourage everyone to take part.

“I hope that finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that the stop will be moved permanently.”

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“The location of this bus stop has been a long standing problem for many residents. Despite assurances that the stop would be moved, Labour-run Haringey Council never managed to coordinate this, leaving elderly and disabled users without proper access to the services.

“You can be sure that I will be responding to the consultation, and pushing TFL and the Council to ensure that the move is a permanent one.”

Bus accessibility for the W7 in jeopardy

Concerns have been raised with the Council after it was revealed that a bus stop in Muswell Hill used by residents to get to local health facilities may not be moved, jeopardising efforts to make it more accessible for elderly and disabled users.

Local Liberal Democrats, who have been campaigning for the W7 and 144 bus stops to both be moved from Muswell Hill to Muswell Hill roundabout for many years, have said that the Council’s reluctance to trial a move for both routes is bad news for local residents.

The Council and Tranport for London (TfL) gave the green light to moving the stop on a trial basis last year.

Cllr Martin Newton (Fortis Green) comments:

“The Council recognises that the current stop on the steep slope of Muswell Hill is unacceptable and inaccessible for older residents and disabled bus users wanting to get to Hornsey Central Health centre.

“It looks like the Council will now only look at moving one route after the Olympics and this is likely to be the 144. There would be a solution to the problem of moving both buses if there was the will to do it.

“Unfortunately for older residents and disabled users wanting to go the health centre the Council seems reluctant to act.

“Liberal Democrats will keep fighting to have both these stops moved.”

Lynne Featherstone MP adds:

“Last year the Council and TfL agreed that this bus stop should be moved – I am furious that they have now gone back on their word.

“The slope on Muswell Hill hasn’t got less dangerous for older and disabled residents to walk up. The W7 stop must be moved and I will continue to fight for it to happen.”

MP gets assurances that worst bus in London will get better

Lynne Featherstone MP has recently been provided with assurances from TfL that the W3 bus, which this winter has been the most complained about bus in London, will see significant improvements.

In a recent response from TfL, the Liberal Democrat MP has been given assurances that the issues that led to the vast number of complaints, to do to with an unreliable, overcrowded service, are now being resolved. The Hornsey and Wood Green MP is now planning to hold TfL to their word, by surveying bus users in a few weeks time, to see if commuters are seeing the improvements.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“With many people locally being completely reliant on the W3 bus to get to work, school or out and about, an unreliable service and overcrowded buses can mean a very bad start or end to a day, and worst case scenario leave people stranded.

“It’s essential that TfL works with the bus operators to address any reliability and overcrowding problems, and I am glad to hear that recent steps have been taken by replace old buses and resolve engineering problems.

“In a few weeks time I will launch a W3 survey to see if the service has indeed improved, so watch this space. And in the meantime, if any residents have any issues with buses, tubes or trains, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, I am here to help.”

Northern Line closures: 20 months of misery ahead for local residents

Lynne Featherstone with local councillors Bob Hare and Neil Williams at Highgate tube stationLocal residents will not be able to use the Northern Line from local stations in Highgate, Archway and Finchley at weekends until December 2011 after tube operator, Tubelines, announced 82 weeks of weekend closures, starting on 27 March 2010.

The Liberal Democrats have launched a petition against the closures, saying that they will affect residents travelling into central London and will also have a detrimental effect on local traders in Highgate High Street and Archway, who rely on shoppers travelling in on the tube.

Liberal Democrats on the Greater London Authority (GLA), concerned that the issue has turned into a fight between a Tory Mayor and a Labour Government, rather than focusing on the needs of Londoners, have launched a five-point plan to ensure a better upgrade of the Northern Line, without the mass suspensions currently planned.

Cllr Martin Newton, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson, comments:

“Local residents rely on the Northern line to get around at weekends. Twenty months of suspensions just increases the misery faced by travellers on the ‘Misery Line’.”

Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, adds:

“We all want a better Northern Line, but not when local residents have to put up with 82 weeks of weekend closures.

“Many local traders in Highgate and Archway rely on trade coming from tube users. It is unfair for these businesses, already feeling the pinch due to the economic situation, to bear the brunt of these closures.

“I hope that local residents and traders alike will support our fight against the closures and the Liberal Democrats’ five point plan to a smoother upgrade of the Northern Line.”

Local Liberal Democrats step up the campaign against Northern Line closures

Lynne Featherstone collecting Northern Line petition signaturesTo help raise awareness of the proposed 82 weeks of evening and weekend closures on the Northern Line and to gain further support for their campaign Liberal Democrats have been out collecting petition signatures around Highgate Station.

Lynne Featherstone MP, Highgate councillor Rachel Allison and local Transport spokesperson Councillor Martin Newton spent Wednesday afternoon chatting with tube users at Highgate station and received strong support for their petition to get a better deal for commuters.

Local Liberal Democrats are concerned that local traders and residents will bare the brunt of the disruption caused by the 82 week plan, which is due to start on the 27th March.

The Hornsey and Wood Green MP has written to Transport for London (TfL) and Tubelines, urging them to consider an alternative five-point plan put forward by Liberal Democrats on the Greater London Authority which seeks to reduce the effect on local residents and traders.

Any Northern line user who wants to sign the petition should either go to http://campaigns.libdems.org.uk/northernline or call Lynne Featherstone’s office for a hard copy of the petition.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“We all want to see an upgraded Northern Line but the current plans will make residents suffer for almost a year and a half as the upgrade work is carried out on the Northern line – this is frankly absurd.

“It’s good to see that local residents share our concerns about how disruptive these works will be, and are keen to seen a less painful solution. By putting a strong case for a fairer upgrade deal to the people in charge I am hopeful we can get a better solution.”

Highgate Councillor Rachel Allison adds:

“I’m really worried that local traders in Highgate and Archway will suffer if their weekend trade is continually disrupted like this.

“From chatting to local Northern line users, it’s clear that a deal that doesn’t prolong the pain is preferable. Please take a minute to sign the petition and back our campaign.”