How accessible is Hampstead? How easy it is to move around? What could be improved – paving, street furniture, lighting, signage, crossings?
How easy is it to shop in Hampstead? What could be improved – access in and out of shops?
How are the services in Hampstead – how could they be improved?
What else – any other comments about accessibility or community life here?
(posted by Janine Griffis on behalf of The Hampstead Village Voice) Despite being fined repeatedly, Tesco is still continuing with its depot-to-depot, motorway sized delivery lorries in Heath Street (and West End Lane) causing unwarranted congestion and is a serious safety hazard. It also effects local businesses by blocking them out of sight: Jereboams, Arctichoke, Spielburger and the erstwhile Hampstead Bazar being the worst affected. We have been campaigning for 7 years to get Tesco to use vans slim enough to fit in the purpose built delivery area at the back which served the Express Dairy, Wainwright & Daughter and Hampstead Food Hall perfectly well for over a hundred years. Such vans do exist and their implementation would not require 'rocket science' were Tesco to have the will, or be forced by law, to do so. Tesco is forcing traffic into the wrong side of the road and in so doing is breaking the law. Can the HNF find a way to properly enforce the law? Camden and TfL seem unable - or unwilling - to do so. I can confirm from first hand experience that Heath Street without that HGV and with a Zebra Crossing is an altogether more accessible, attractive, safe and practical prospect.
(Janine Griffis on behalf of resident) The Zebra Crossing on Heath Street was exchanged for a pelican crossing around 18 years ago. This was an unpopular move and for good reason. As well as being an inconvenience - forcing pedestrians to wait in the cold and rain for traffic lights - it added to an unwanted 'urbanised' feel to the village. Moreover, it is hazardous in that it allows too little time for the elderly to cross safely, whilst others 'take their chances' by dashing over if they've missed the 'green man'. A zebra makes no difference to traffic flow as there are traffic lights both at Arkwright Rd and at the end of Heath Street, so it's a no-brainer that a zebra crossing should be returned.
My elderly father lives just south of the notorious East Heath Road 'chicane'. He is wheelchair bound and uses a mobility scooter but the pavement on the corner outside 4 East Heath Road is too narrow for it. He is unable to get to the village any more, only to South End Green. The alternative route is down Heathside but it is impossible to get a wheelchair or mobility scooter into Gainsborough Gardens.
Is there any way that the pavement can be made just that bit wider so that he is not trapped any more. Camden Council say that is "too much work for too little gain" but surely there is a legal obligation under the Disability Discrimination Act to make pavements wheelchair accessible?
Camden won't listen to us but maybe they'll listen to the Forum? This StreetView picture shows the point in question https://goo.gl/maps/vnCFwamja2r
Around New End and the Christchurch Area (and no doubt elsewhere), school parents now turn up from 8am in the morning just to get a space. In one street this morning, I counted five cars sitting with their engines running, belting out pollution whilst waiting for the schools to open. Camden - when challenged - state that school parents must be given a window of opportunity to drop children off and that bringing in parking restrictions from 8.00am is not a solution but I simply do not see any other alternative (and nor could Camden think of one). It is miserable walking through this plume of exhaust every morning, both for adults and children that live here.
(Edit - Residents' Parking)
Make sure parked cars don't block the pavement. In pilgrims lane there is usually a car parked in front of yellow garages which encroaches on the pavement making prams, and I assume wheelchairs, move over the dropped pavement to go past
(posted by Janine Griffis on behalf of member) I do have a comment which may be useful and it would be appreciated if you would put this forward on my behalf. The subject is pedestrian crossing types. You may know that Living Streets (formerly the Pedestrian Association) has done quite a lot of work in this area. I have attached a Department of Transport report showing the numbers of accidents at the different crossing types and there are also some useful TfL studies. There is a risk that the desire to provide for greater accessibility may mistakenly lead people to favour controlled crossing points (pelicans, puffins etc.) above zebra crossings. I believe that this in fact runs contrary to the evidence, which is that zebra crossings in built-up areas are safer for residents as a whole. In addition to their many other benefits (greater aesthetic appeal, ease of use, lack of noise and reduced vehicle emissions) the zebra crossing has a unique safety advantage over its alternatives in built-up environments. This is because in the case of controlled crossings, the driver looks only at the traffic light and is in many cases oblivious of the pedestrian. In the case of zebra crossings, the driver looks for the pedestrian and modifies their behaviour accordingly. The figures in the attached table show that serious injuries to pedestrians at zebra crossings are half those of other crossing types. Whilst the exact numbers of crossings in the UK appears to be unknown a report "Levels of Accident Risk in Greater London" by the London Road Safety Unit, indicates the number of zebra and pelican/puffin crossings in the Greater London area as 2448 and 2267 respectively, so the percentage risk at a zebra crossing is lower still. I believe these benefiits more than outweigh other factors and far from looking to reduce the number of zebra crossings within the area, we should be seeking ways instead to increase their number and improve their accessibility, perhaps through the use of new technology and profiled pavement surfaces to assist partially sighted people in identifying them with ease. The introduction of a 20mph speed limit across the Borough has tilted the balance even further in the direction of zebra crossings, to the point where they should become the default design for all future crossing points in the neighbourhood, unless strong countervailing conditions exist. The 20mph zone also changes the dynamics on many of our streets and makes this the ideal time to review our existing controlled crossing points, particularly in Hampstead town, with a view to their gradual replacement with zebra crossings where appropriate. I hope this is helpful and would be happy arrange a brief presentation if that would assist.
(posted by Janine Griffis on behalf of resident) No-one can help but notice the chaos and disruption the route 46 bus has encountered during the last week arising out of the ongoing utilities works being undertaken at Swiss Cottage. The 46 is one of the longest bus routes that runs through central London from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in the east to Lancaster Gate in the west and also passes through several bottle-necked areas such as King’s Cross, Holborn, Camden Town, Swiss Cottage and Paddington. I can remember about ten years ago there was talk of splitting this route into two sections, Camden Town being the start and end of both, something like 46A and 46B to differentiate the two sections concerned. In the light of the recent extensive delays and unreliability of service, would it not be appropriate for TfL to implement this right now? The diversions due to these utilities works are due to continue up to March 2016 so anything that can be done to alleviate this problem would obviously be more than welcome. I understand that very few people travel the full length of this route so changing buses at Camden Town would not inconvenience too many of them. At most times of the day there are far more travelling public using this route that can safely and comfortably be accommodated. The school run also puts additional pressure on the service and, in the warmer months, tourists and visitors to London as well. The route also serves several hospitals and GPs surgeries so those people who are affected by mobility problems also find travelling on this over-crowded service arduous. As an alternative, have TfL I wonder, ever thought of replacing the single-deck buses on route 46 with double-deckers? This would certainly provide more capacity as an alternative to splitting the route as above. I note that, unlike the C11 route, there are no low bridges anywhere on the 46 route so this alternative solution would certainly be possible and practical. Time is of the essence and surely TfL must now address this situation without further delay.
(posted by Janine Griffis on behalf of resident) I've lived in Jack Straw's Castle for about 6yrs now and every year the morning freeze at the top of the hill makes the paving around Whitestone pond quite precarious. There was some considerable repaving done a couple of years ago as the area around the pond was improved however the paving slabs used now make the path more like a sheet of ice in the winter. I am in my 30s, fit and healthy and wear trainers to work and 2-3 mornings out of every week (in the cold months) I have to walk on the actual curb as I pass by the pond as I've nearly slipped and broken my neck on so many occasions - when the weather is really bad I have to cross the road completely and walk on the path on the other side. I appreciate the paving is very aesthetic for the summer (and even autumn and spring months) but I fear someone less light on their feet is going to have a serious accident one day. Thankfully the early mornings are usually for dog walkers who cross over to the Heath and so few people pass by this paved section other than myself and kids going to school.
I live in Kidderpore Ave. and if I couldn't drive would find it difficult to get to the village which I enjoy doing.it would be good if a C bus could be available from nearer to where I live even that part of Finchley Rd so that the 13,82 and 113 bus stop could be used.now that there are so many flats going up I'm sure the new residents would appreciate a bus as well .as the parking in the village is very restricted but it's nice to go there even if it's just to walk around.