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Campaigners calling for 'rat run' closure accuse Haringey Borough Council of pitting neighbours against each other
Neighbours calling for the closure of a “rat run” in Wood Green have accused Haringey Borough Council of trying to pit them against each other.
Householders in Ringslade Road, Cumberland Road and Watson Road have previously complained that more than 2,600 cars and lorries drive through their narrow residential streets every day.
Campaigners who wish to see these roads closed claim the council is “stirring up tensions” after it sent a letters to people in neighbouring streets informing them of the possible traffic consequences.
The letter was sent to homes and businesses in Watson Road, Ringslade Road, Warberry Road, Cumberland Road, Barratt Avenue, Park Avenue, St Albans Crescent, Berners Road, Cranbrook Road, Wolseley Road, Selborne Road and Ranelagh Road.
It said: “A number of residents from the Watsons and Ringslade roads area are campaigning for a road closure to be introduced on Watsons Road to address ‘rat running’ in the area.
“Any closure would be likely to displace traffic onto neighbouring roads including those listed above.
“We are therefore convening a public meeting, chaired by your ward councillor, in order to hear your views in the request for a road closure in Watsons Road”
Campaigner Parminder Sandhu, who lives in Ringslade Road, claims the tone of letter is "aggressive".
He said: “We feel that rather than working with residents and getting people together to find a solution the council is stirring up tensions between neighbouring streets.
“We all feel the letter is quite aggressive and it makes it seem like the residents of the campaigners are the bad guys.
“Naturally there will be concerns about increased traffic in other streets if Watsons Road is closed but we want to work with the community to find a solution that works for everyone.
“However, we are clear that this road has to close.”
People who live in Ringslade Road, Cumberland Road and Watson Road claim motorists use their streets as an “escape route” to get from High Road to Station Road as there is no right turn.
Last week, Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, called for a trial closure of the road and promised to push for all non-residential traffic to be banned from Watsons Road for six months.
A council spokesman denied the accusations and said the authority wrote to neighbours to invite them to a public meeting on March 26 at the Civic Centre, in Wood Green, to discuss the problem.
He added: “We’ve been working with residents to discuss their concerns for the past year, and this meeting will be a chance for everyone to have their say.
“We’ve already carried out pavement, road and lighting improvements to Watsons Road, and we’ll continue to listen to the community, TfL and other partners on the best way forward.”
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