Hilltop Community is a group of residents from the Hilltop area of Walthamstow: The Drive, Seaford Road, Howard, Falmer, Hurst and Rectory Roads. We got together because we want our shared streets to be safe for all of us to use. We think calmer streets would make our area healthier and better for everyone, and we want to see plans developed by and for our community that we can all get behind.
It’s a scheme to remove traffic on residential streets, making it safer for walking and cycling. You still have full access to your road and can park close to your house. Access to essential services are still maintained.
Cul-de-sacs are created by installing bollards at one end of the road. People can still walk and cycle thrhough them, and you can still access your road by vehicle at any time from the other end - but non-residents cannot use them to cut through.
If you travel by car, you may need to drive one extra turn to enter or exit your road. If you walk or cycle there will be no change to how you get about.
"Less traffic would make our area safer and quieter for everyone, so we will all benefit from being able to walk more safely around our own streets. And the proposals for the area - such as the proposed park on The Drive - are very welcome."
“Right now we have the worst of both worlds – the downsides of mini-Holland on surrounding streets without the benefit of it on ours! Making one extra turn to drive to my house would be a small price to pay for a safer, quieter street to live in.”
“I’ve seen road improvements across Walthamstow and I’d love our neighbourhood to be included. There’s an increase in traffic using our roads as a rat run since other road closures have been in place."
“I am really concerned about the effect poor air quality is having on health, especially on children and older people. I also worry about the safety of our streets. Our street has a near constant flow of traffic throughout the day, with many drivers going too quickly or driving too aggressively."
“I want my children to have the independence I had at their age. Our 11-year old now walking short distances on her own, but crossing our own road is the most dangerous part, as cars travel at very high speed. I’m also concerned about the impact of pollution on our children's health: our middle child suffers from asthma, and I want our new baby's lungs to get the best possible start."
"I can’t believe how peaceful and safe the Poet’s Corner streets are now. In comparison, Howard Rd has become busier and it has become a popular cut through for people avoiding Hoe Street. I understand people just want to get about quickly, but many forget this is a residential street and drive too fast. I would like my children to be able to cross their own road and be able to walk to school safely."
In 2015, Hilltop residents narrowly voted against traffic calming for our streets. Unfortunately, every other residential area from Blackhorse Road to Wood Street voted to close their streets to through traffic. As a result our streets have become busier, while all around us we can see quieter, safer streets with small parks and community spaces for people to enjoy.
We understand that not everyone feels positive about Mini Holland, so all we ask is for you to stop for a moment the next time you are visiting local streets. Browns, Byron, Milton, Aubrey and Tower Hamlets Roads have all been closed to through traffic, and they are a short distance from us. Have a look around and ask – would less traffic be a bad thing? Can you see any of the things you are concerned about? And with our streets being the only ones still open, where will all the traffic go that used to travel through these streets? You will probably have already noticed an increase in traffic since Aubrey Road has been closed to through traffic. Will more traffic have a good or bad impact on our roads and community?
In early 2017 we will have another chance to give input about the kind of community we want to live in. The Mini Holland scheme is being extended along Forest Road, and the situation on adjoining streets can be revisited as part of this. We have an opportunity to propose a plan to the council that we would like, and would work for us. We welcome suggestions to how you think the changes would work best. The council ARE prepared to listen to our ideas.
1. A trial period before any road changes are put in place. It’s only by trying the proposed changes will we know what has worked, what hasn’t and what needs tweaking. A trial should give us a reasonable idea of what living on a traffic calmed street is like.
2. Lockable bollards for all our ‘filters’. We would prefer to have wooden, removable bollards installed rather than the fixed metal type. This would mean emergency services would be able to unlock the bollards and access our roads quickly in times of emergency. We think where Rectory Road and Howard Road meet Church Hill might be the best place for these, but we neighbours could discuss this further.
3. A small park at the junction of The Drive and Church Hill. It would be immediately next to the block of flats on The Drive, providing outdoor space for those who don’t have access to a garden.
4. What else? You tell us! It’s up to us to put forward a plan that’s right for our area.
Grove Road E17 used to be very busy, with frequent accidents involving vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
The traffic has been replaced with trees and plants, and now it’s a relaxing place where you can enjoy visiting the cafe or shops. Residents in the area can still drive home and park at their front door, deliveries can still be made, refuse collections and anything else that happens on a residential street still go on as normal - just without the noisy and often dangerous traffic from people who don’t live there.
OUR TWO PLAY STREET EVENTS IN THE SUMMER REMINDED US THAT OUR STREETS CAN BE THE PLACES OF VITALITY AND COMMUNITY THAT THEY WERE JUST A GENERATION AGO.
If you are a Hilltop resident, you can show your support for our aims by clicking below.