Traffic chaos fear on Seven Sisters Road over homes plan in Finsbury Park

Woodberry Down estate, Seven Sisters Road.

Woodberry Down estate, Seven Sisters Road. - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans to tear up two lanes from one of Hackney’s busiest roads to make way for thousands of new flats will cause traffic chaos, it was claimed this week.

Woodberry Down estate, Seven Sisters Road.

Woodberry Down estate, Seven Sisters Road. - Credit: Archant

A portion of Seven Sisters Road is set to be reduced from three lanes to two in both directions next year as part of an updated masterplan for the regeneration scheme of the Woodberry Downs Estate in Finsbury Park, which straddles the major highway.

This is despite predictions that traffic could increase by up to 10 per cent due to more than 3,000 extra homes being built on the 1940s estate, which is being bulldozed to make way for 5,500 new properties in blocks of up to 31 storeys. Of these, 3,292 will be private and 2,265 will be affordable.

The idea behind narrowing Seven Sisters Road, also known as the A503, on the section through the estate is to bring both sides of the neighbourhood closer together and make the road more pedestrian-friendly.

But Conservative London Assembly member Andrew Boff, fears the move will cause major congestion.

He said: “I think some of the plans are impractical. Their aim to narrow the Seven Sisters Road to bring the two halves closer together will create gridlock and congestion in the area.

‘‘It is an impractical plan. Many residents have experienced what happens when there are road repairs and it causes a nightmare for them.”

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However, Green Party spokeswoman Caroline Russell disagreed that it would have a negative impact on traffic.

She said: “I think it sound like a good idea. Removing vehicle capacity does not cause huge tailbacks. By removing traffic capacity, you increase flow. When you have this big motorway-like road going through our cities, it splits up our communities. It’s absolutely right that the impact on people is reduced.”

Earlier this month, an outline masterplan for the narrowing of the major artery and more than 3,200 homes was approved in addition to full planning permission for 670 homes and 1,092 car parking spaces.

Work on the estate, which is bordered by Green Lanes, Woodberry Grove, Seven Sisters Road and the Stoke Newington reservoirs, started last year and saw 440 homes demolished and 860 new homes built.

A spokesman from Berkeley Homes said that the developers, Transport for London and Hackney Council “have a combined aspiration to provide safer crossing points for pedestrians, to maintain the bus services and improve facilities for cyclists.”

She added: “The new plans will help transform the Seven Sisters Road into an attractive tree-lined street for the residents and local community.”