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TfL introduces Routemaster to the 91 bus route - and changes the roundabout

Many households will have received a letter from Haringey recently setting out the intention to introduce new Routemaster buses (Borisbus) on route 91 and to re-align the Ferme Park Road roundabout to accommodate this. The changes to the roundabout are not very clear from the diagram.

Lisa Fuller on Facebook has raised the question of safety at the roundabout. For myself, I always feel awkward crossing from the convenience store to the estate agent or vice versa. It is far from easy to see vehicles coming from Hornsey, and often impossible to guess their intentions from the indicators, or more often lack of them. But I don't know if my unease has ever translated into someone else's accident. This map of fatalities between 1999 and 2010 suggests that Crouch End generally has not suffered fatalities from Road Traffic Accidents.

The map is a little difficult to read. I now know what LOHAC stands for, but be blowed if I'm going to learn their protocols. I think it would have been helpful if the map for distribution to lay people cold have been couched in English. The misnaming of Ferme Park Lane is a little irritating.

Repeated references to "new or existing" are confusing too. Will these items be replaced or the old ones left there. I'm guessing that the "north east corner" means the pavement outside the estate agents'. Does a roundabout have corners? Is the north east not on the other side of the road? Does the shaded area represent a brand new bit of pavement, in effect a road narrowing scheme? If so will this make my attempts to cross here more comfortable?

I will send this set of questions to the contact named in the letter Gary Smith - frontline@haringey.gov.uk telephone 0208 489 5609.

Tags: 91, routemaster

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The letter was even les helpful than I realised - according to thisexchange on Facebook the pavement, far from being widened, outside the estate agent, is to be reduced to increase the turning circle. The very opposite of what I though was needed and proposed.
Ricardo Fernandez I can't see any mention of traffic lights...?
Lesley Daly Just an imagined possible solution to the problem,Ricardo ....
Serena Sutherland It might be an idea to alert Rokesly school. That crossing is used by a lot of parents and kids from the school.
Lisa Fuller Thanks Serena I'll do that, I'm a Rokesly parent so trying to get the word out.
Paul Soper The letter says the traffic lights will be for the duration of the works not a permanent feature - looking forward to the new routemasters - could we have the old buses transferred as an addition on the W3 at rush hour?
David Rowe The crossing at Rokesly is not affected. They are moving the small islands at the roundabout back a bit and lowering the Kerbs so to make a better and safer turning circle for the busses. Permanent lights at the junction could cause more serious tale backs in my opinion. That said some short event lights to control traffic and allow safer pedestrian crossing at the junction would be a good idea.
Lynne Hunt It needs sorting asap does no one remember when the bus went through the shop on the corner of Ferme park road ?????
Hap Happel twice
Tim Emanuel Well, thank goodness we got rid of those bendy buses that weren't suitable for London's streets. Oh...
Fiona Orford-Williams The bus that went into Costas's shop wasn't a 91 going all the way round but a 41 whose driver misjudged the roundabout.
Lynne Hunt The roundabout still too dangerous for buses people were in bed above Costa'a shop when bus went into it
Sally J. Hall Actually it wasn't even a 41 or 91. It was another bus on its way to the garage. But that's not really important.
Like · Reply · 22 hrs
Adrian R Essex
Write a reply...
Joanne White
Joanne White i remember when the shop on that corner had to be demolished because the bus ran into it, so how can they now propose making that pavement narrower.
Mark Crouch End
Mark Crouch End Absolutely agree Lisa. The crossing from the Estate Agent at no.143 to the mini market at the other side is particularly awkward for pedestrians - they're completely unsighted for cars turning left from Tottenham Lane into Ferme Park Road - a situation which surely won't be improved by reducing the width of the pavement at that point to allow an "overrun" for the huge new buses.
Mark Crouch End's photo.
Like · Reply · 2 · 21 hrs
Gerry Newby
Gerry Newby Have they thought of turning them at an adapted triangle opp Hornsey Police station? There is more room there
Like · Reply · 18 hrs
Caroline Aldam
Caroline Aldam what i would like to know is when was the initial consultation? i also got this letter and its the first i've heard of it. i agree this would be really dangerous for pedestrians.
you can email the council about this at frontline@haringey.gov.uk
Like · Reply · 16 hrs
Tom Astley
Tom Astley I wonder if any provisions will be made for cyclists - it's one of the trickier junctions for cyclists.
Like · Reply · 1 · 15 hrs
Christine Dowson
Christine Dowson Change it how, remembering that a bus crashed into the shop a few years ago!!
Like · Reply · 11 hrs

I have mixed feelings about the New Bus for London / New Routemaster / Boris Bus. People are drawn to their distinctiveness and novelty, I am, though quality and originality costs an awful lot of money. The boasts about open platforms (largely abandoned) and hybrid engines (apparently faulty) are unfortunately empty ones, and do they really need to be that big?

Will they improve services? Well, the proof will be in the eating, and the 91 can get very full, and very slow, from Hornsey Road onwards.

The re-modelling of the roundabout is an issue though. As mentioned above, the crossing of Ferme Park Road (from the Estate Agent down to the mini market) is the bad one, where pedestrians are quite unsighted, and have to take risks in the face of vehicles turning left from Tottenham Lane into Ferme Park Road (picture attached), half of whom don't bother to use their indicators. I don't feel safe - what price older folk or schoolchildren? The shaving of the pavement to allow an "overrun" for the buses surely won't help - if anything the pavement should be built-out to afford better sightlines for pedestrians.

However, this is all too late - where was the consultation? With works imminent (the letter appears to be simply about the road disruption, as is the contact email), the views of locals apparently count for little.

Obvously I'm not happy with this - an after the event response to the proposal.

Dear Mr Essex,

Thank you for your enquiry.

We will consider your comments and let you have a response by 8 February under reference WK343859

Kind regards,



Mick Green

Service Officer


T. 020 8489 1335

E. frontline@haringey.gov.uk 





I have written to our councillors

Dear Councillors
Are you aware of the proposed road works to enable the introduction of the Routemaster on the 91 route. I cannot understand what is being proposed, as the note sent out is couched in LOHAC rather than English, and the diagrams make repeated reference to "new or existing" - I wonder which it is?
I am not the only one concerned that this may make the pedestrian use of roundabout more dangerous. You will see on this link that there is some chatter on Facebook.
I have attempted to follow up using the contact details on the letter. In response to my email I received a temporising note offering a reply, but not before the due date for the works to start. I have called the telephone number a couple of times. On the first occasion I was promised a return call which has yet to happen. On the second the phone was unattended.
This seems like a classic miscommunication. The first we have heard of this proposed work is when it is a fait accompli - I think some consultation would have been appropriate. And now we want to find out more, we get no answers.
What do you think?

I have now spoken to Gary Smith who picked up his phone quickly this morning. I hope I asked him the key questions:

1) the road works are funded by TfL - there is no additional funding to spend on pedestrian safety.

2) Gary is aware that the roundabout could be improved but has not put his thoughts in writing

3) The lipped upstand  shaded grey by no 143 the estate agent does not reflect a change to the pavement width. The bollards will remain in place. In effect it is a is a reduction in road width, by the introduction of a cobbled area with a small raised kerb. This should be high enough to prevent cars and pizza delivery boys from cutting the corner, but not so high as to prevent HGV/PSV making the turn across the cobbles. This has been seen to work elsewhere

4) the island on Ferme Park Road will be rebuilt to modern standards. It cannot move because the road narrows away from the junction, and anyway very many hurried pedestrian will cross at the very end of the road wherever the island is.

5) The roundabout kerb is dropped but not removed altogether, so should have a similar differential effect on cars versus bigger vehicles.

I hate crossing there, I hope this improves it. I know of one person who was hit crossing from the corner shop side to the petrol station side, c. 5 years ago.

Dear Adrian,

Long ago, shortly after a 91 had demolished a shop when turning at the Ferme Park roundabout, I suggested (without success) to TfL a change to its route. The 91 could carry on up Tottenham Lane, turn right and then right again into Church Lane, arriving at a new terminus outside Hornsey rail station. This would have many advantages:

1. The dangerous turn at the Ferme Park roundabout would cease.

2. Some pressure on the hard-pressed 41 would ease because there would be two buses covering more of its route than now.

3. There would be greater integration of local transport with two buses serving Hornsey station. At present there can be long intervals between 41s.

Some footway work would be require at Hornsey station of course.

Best wishes,

I like the idea of moving the bus stand to the railway station, thereby joining up the services. There are currently no buses turning right into Tottenham Lane from Hornsey High Street and some might argue that this would be just as dangerous as the roundabout loop the loop. 

There was a meeting of the Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum yesterday at which much interest was evinced in buses, so much so that after statistics were swapped on passenger per mile data a new special interest group was formed. The CENF will be consulting soon. The 91 revised route suggestion should be made to one of the consultations.

There is a suggestion from BetterArchway be extended at the Archway end of the route to exploit the revised gyratory system, and to bring the Whittington inside more than one bus route

I have now had an email from Gary. According to the sign by the roundabout the work has been put back until 15th.

Dear Adrian Essex,

 Further to our recent phone call regarding the proposed works at Tottenham Lane/Ferme Park Lane, please find the addition information below.

 Haringey are aware of the issues confronting pedestrians at this junction, therefore as part of these works we have secured additional funding from TfL to improve all of the traffic islands on the junction. In addition we will be installing an overrun area that will have the effect of tightening the corner for traffic turning left into Ferme Park Road, whilst allowing buses and HGV’s to bump across the area to make the turn.

 You and others have made a valid point about increasing the capacity of the existing island on Ferme Park Road. I will therefore review the design and look to extend it providing we have the necessary road widths.

 We will also be undertaking before and after speed surveys and road safety auditing to monitor the effect of these works.

 Your insight on this works is greatly appreciated. If you require any further clarification please feel free to contact me on the number below to discuss the works further.

 Kind regards

 Gary Smith

So the works are done, and at first glance you'd be hard pushed to notice what has changed.

Maybe it's all for the better, but I doubt the improvements for the pedestrian who dares cross Ferme Park Road amount to anything useful -

Mr Smith said -

Haringey are aware of the issues confronting pedestrians at this junction, therefore as part of these works we have secured additional funding from TfL to improve all of the traffic islands on the junction. In addition we will be installing an overrun area that will have the effect of tightening the corner for traffic turning left into Ferme Park Road, whilst allowing buses and HGV’s to bump across the area to make the turn.

Which refers to the "lipped upstand" of a cobbled area along the estate agent corner.

Unfortunately the planned effect of this is entirely sabotaged by the contractors who have painted double yellow lines over the top of the cobbles (along the line of the pre-existing kerb), giving the road users a clear visual prompt that they can drive over this area. Thus leaving the shape of the corner exactly the same as before.

From Gary Smith

Hello Adrian

It was intentional because we didn’t want pedestrians to confuse the area for footway. However this is definitely something we will look at when reviewing the effectiveness of the scheme.

Kind regards

Gary Smith

Senior Engineer MCIHT


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