New bus lane for Arnos Grove

Locals have complained the proposal would make it “unsafe” for residents leaving their driveways, reports Grace Howarth, Local Democracy Reporter

Bowes Road (credit Google)
A bus on Bowes Road (credit Google)

A road in Arnos Grove could be set to get a new bus lane – despite some local criticism it would be “too short”.

Bowes Road has been selected for a potential new bus route heading east towards the North Circular.

According to a report from Enfield Council a local consultation on the proposals in February 2023 saw 20 objections being received in total, representing about 27% of those consulted, with zero expressions of support for the new bus lane. 

Further objections were received after leaflets opposing the plans were distributed by residents “beyond the direct consultation area”, although this also saw some people write in support of the bus lane.

Concerns include how local parking demand would be satisfied and how grocery deliveries would be affected in homes that fronted the road.

One objector asserted that Transport for London (TfL) would be “better regulating how traffic proceeds across the junction”.

The bus lane would make it “unsafe” for local residents leaving their driveways, claimed another objector, while they added the lane itself was too short. 

According to the report, the proposed lane is 200m long, not including the 25m entry taper. 

Bowes Road sits on the boundary line of two wards, New Southgate and Arnos Grove, with the two Conservative councillors for Arnos Grove writing to “reinforce” comments in opposition to the proposals. No responses were received from the Labour representatives of New Southgate. 

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In response to some of the concerns raised, the proposals have been revised with changes around parking provisions and shortened operational hours. 

The bus lane is now proposed to run Monday to Friday, from 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm, and on Saturday from 10am-2pm. 

The council report states roads with the “greatest number of buses” tended to be “wide and busy A-roads”, which Bowes Road is classed under, but these types of roads could sometimes be confused for “residential streets” due to the “presence of fronting homes”. 

The bus lane is set to be fully-funded by a £20,000 grant from TfL.

Update (24th April)

An Enfield Council spokesperson said: “The proposed introduction of a new bus lane on Bowes Road forms a part of our commitment to improve the way people travel around the borough and to reduce traffic congestion. This initiative follows a consultation process where we considered community input and detailed traffic analysis.

“The new bus lane, which is only operational during peak hours, aims to enhance bus service reliability and speed, particularly on the eastbound approach to the North Circular Road, benefiting thousands of daily bus passengers.

“Funding from the TfL Bus Priority Programme supports this environmentally friendly project, aligning with our goals to encourage public transport use and reduce emissions. 

“The scheme if implemented will be monitored, to ensure it effectively meets the needs of road users and residents. The proposals are subject to completing a final call-in process and will be discussed at a scrutiny panel meeting, scheduled for 30th April.”

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