Drivers filmed mounting pavements to dodge traffic jam, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter
Cars mounted kerbs and drove along pavements in a residential street while children were walking home from school.
The shocking scenes were filmed in Bincote Road, World’s End, which is close to Merryhills Primary, Grange Park Primary and Highlands Secondary School.
The footage, which was posted on Twitter, shows several vehicles driving along the pavement and grass verges to avoid traffic jams – while residents look on in disbelief.
It was taken by Bincote Road resident Glenn Wilson at 3.20pm on Friday 12th March, when children were making their way home from school. Glenn said: “I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. When you have children at a young age walking home with their parents, they can run ahead, and they could have been hit.
“My partner and I just bought the house here in January. I had heard you got traffic down here and people shouting, but I never thought I would witness this.”
Bincote Road is often narrowed to a single carriageway because cars are parked on both sides, meaning traffic can only flow in one direction, neighbours Ibrahim Djafer and Mary Jackson explained.
Nearly all the houses on the street have driveways, including many with room for multiple vehicles, but Ibrahim and Mary said drivers still park on the road to access a supermarket, a GP practice and schools.
They said the street already suffers from traffic chaos, leading to road rage and damaged cars – and they fear Transport for London’s (TfL’s) decision to direct the new 456 bus route along the street will “make matters worse”.
Ibrahim said: “It’s like the M25 during the day and a racetrack at night.
“We have had cars smashed into, there have been fights and arguments with people stuck in traffic. Going from two buses an hour to four buses an hour is a big deal.”
Ibrahim said they had asked Enfield Council to look at putting traffic-calming measures such as enforcement cameras in the road to reduce the problems – but the authority had yet to act.
The neighbours said they were not opposed to the 456 bus, which launched last week and runs from Crews Hill to North Middlesex Hospital, but they thought the route should have gone down a nearby road that did not suffer from congestion.
An Enfield Council spokesperson said: “The shocking behaviour in this footage is inexcusable, and we are grateful there was no accident involving a child or any other member of the public.
“Since the start of the pandemic we have seen more people staying at home, resulting in more vehicles parked along some residential streets and fewer people taking public transport. This may have contributed to additional congestion on roads such as Bincote Road.
“Enfield Council officers will visit Bincote Road to gauge the extent of the issue with traffic and identify whether additional parking restrictions are required. As well as offering support to local schools to promote active travel, a 20mph speed limit is in place on Bincote Road and World’s End Lane, along with a number of traffic-calming features.
“Enfield Council is clear that its planning and infrastructure policies should support active travel. It is our ambition that by 2040 the majority of journeys that originate in the borough should be either low-carbon or do not emit carbon at all.
“This is why we are looking to deliver more high-quality cycling and walking routes across Enfield and promoting active travel for pupils which will in turn mean fewer journeys by car at peak times.”
TfL was approached for comment.