Go-ahead for ‘active travel’ scheme at North Mid

New cycle lane, bus gate and modal filters planned in area surrounding Edmonton hospital, reports James Cracknell

North Middlesex University Hospital, as seen from the junction of Bull Lane, Wilbury Way and Bridport Road (credit Google)
North Middlesex University Hospital, as seen from the junction of Bull Lane, Wilbury Way and Bridport Road (credit Google)

Enfield Council has confirmed that a £1.25million scheme designed to encourage more people to ditch their cars will be installed on roads surrounding North Middlesex Hospital.

A bus gate, two modal filters and a segregated cycle lane connecting the hospital to the C1 cycleway will now be installed, following a public consultation on the ‘active travel’ scheme conducted last year. New zebra crossings are also planned.

Funding for the scheme is coming from the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund. Confirming it will now go ahead, the council’s deputy leader Ian Barnes said on social media that he was “absolutely delighted” and added: “It will mean so much to the amazing 4,000 doctors, nurses and staff at the hospital when they walk and cycle to and from work.

“Improving walking and cycling access to the hospital from both Enfield and Haringey supports the hospital’s strategic aims.”

Anyone driving to the hospital from Haringey will be forced to avoid using Bull Lane south of its junction with Wilbury Way and Bridport Road, but emergency services will be exempt from the traffic restriction of the proposed bus gate, which the council claims will enable “improved access to North Middlesex Hospital for critical cases” arriving by ambulance from the south.

The scheme has been criticised, however, for restricting access to the hospital for those who may not be able to choose alternative transport modes, such as disabled and older people. In the public consultation, 88% of people responding objected to the measures, with nearly half of respondents citing concern over accessibility issues.

In his report on the scheme the council’s healthy streets director Richard Eason wrote that there will still be “multiple alternative routes” that drivers can take to the hospital instead. In its own official response, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust did not raise any objection to the scheme and stated that it welcomed the growth of Enfield’s active travel network.

A council spokesperson said: “Following the recent introduction of the new 456 bus service to the hospital, we are pleased to again work closely with the hospital, who are supportive of our plans, to improve the walking and cycling conditions for those who work at and visit the hospital.”

Work is due to start in March and be completed before the autumn.