Green Party Mayoral candidate and GLA Member Jenny Jones (left) has called for far better transport provision through Highgate ward and into Highgate Village. Speaking on the by-election campaign trail in Highgate ward she said: “There's no coordination of bus services through Highgate Village. None of them make any sense. TFL should listen to the community and work with them to find a solution that works for the residents of Camden, Islington and Haringey.”
As the Green Party candidate in the Highgate by-election, I would like to see Transport for London treating Highgate Village as a community and a partner in terms of its bus service provision. Historic Pond Square is not a good place for the 271 bus to terminate. I will be joining the Northern Heights Campaign which seeks to persuade TFL to negotiate openly and fairly with councillors, organisations, businesses and residents from the Camden, Haringey and Islington parts of Highgate Village.
The Greens also want to see tougher action on air quality. Highgate Green, Cllr Maya de Souza (below), said: “The Mayor is poisoning us by not being tougher on diesel-powered buses and taxis. He’s abolished half of the congestion zone and held up the extension of the Low Emissions Zone His main idea for addressing the problem seems to be spraying glue on the Euston Road in an attempt to pull diesel particulates out of the sky!”
I asked for help from London Assembly Member Jenny Jones to persuade TFL to listen to residents. As well as the issues in Highgate Village, residents in Dartmouth Park have been telling Green Party canvassers that the 214 service has deteriorated. TFL need to listen to residents not retreat to their ivory towers of "we know best" transport planners. Local people know what's best for their area not so-called traffic experts.
The Mayor has also done nothing to make cycling safer - he may even have made it more dangerous. The Mayor's free bike scheme, which still doesn't come anywhere near Dartmouth Park or Kentish Town, is no substitute for proper cycling infrastructure. Cllr Maya de Souza and I are supporting the London Cycling Campaign’s “Going Dutch” campaign which is calling for space on London’s roads to be given over to cyclists and safer streets generally so that children can cycle to school. Until we create proper cycling infrastructure we cannot expect parents to let their children cycle on London's streets. Just this morning I saw a cyclist knocked off his bike in Dartmouth Park Road and taken to hospital in an ambulance.
The Greens want to see 20mph speed limits on all residential roads and consultations about increased traffic calming on rat runs like Chetwynd Road and York Rise. Cllr Maya de Souza said: “We also want to see car owners given incentives to give up their private cars and get bikes or join car clubs. For most people it would already make financial sense to join a car club - the world's 800m cars are used only 8% of the time - but we need to give them a helping hand.”
Jenny Jones added: “Keeping London moving is crucial and Greens want to make it easier and more affordable. Plus, public transport has to be cleaner and more reliable. For that we need safer, quieter roads and part of that is encouraging people to walk and cycle more, so that there's less need for cars.”