Organisers of a community-led campaign are demanding proper consultation and engagement with local residents before Barnet Council goes ahead with a programme of road safety and traffic calming measures in Mays Lane and surrounding roads.


They want the chance to assess the data on which the council has made its proposals and an opportunity to discuss improvements which could be made to increase the safety of pedestrians as well as motorists.

To encourage the broadest possible debate – and to allow an equal voice for the widest range of opinions to be expressed – the group have established a website where comments can be posted.

Residents are being urged to send their responses to the council’s scheme as soon as possible.

Many believe these proposals are “ill-thought through” and they fear they

would increase the danger of Mays Lane and nearby roads becoming rat runs for lorries and large vehicles. They think this could be avoided if it was possible to achieve a dialogue with the council.

One key objective for some of the opponents of the scheme is to persuade the council to retain the width barrier in Mays Lane while at the same improving the flow of traffic.

Instead of removing the width restriction – as the council proposes – this group of Mays Lane protestors want it to be kept and remodelled to make it easier for cars to negotiate while preventing access for lorries and large vans.

They also oppose plans to introduce no entry restrictions on several roads off Mays Lane arguing that they are not needed.

However, there is strong support for the introduction of two new zebra crossings – in Mays Lane and Whitings Road.

While demanding further discussions on the overall scheme, the residents hope there will be no delay in the installation of the new pedestrian crossings.

Because of the number of strength of objections, the council has already allowed two extensions in the deadline for comments and the Mays Lane community group is urging residents to respond immediately. (see below for further details of the scheme and how to take part in the consultation)

Campaign organiser Gina Theodorou says 50 residents have already signed up to their online consultation. In the two months since the council published its proposals, they have researched the scheme and canvassed opinion.

“We have lots of different views and want to hear both sides of the argument.

“But what is absolutely clear is that the council’s thinking it entirely misplaced. Officials say these road safety and calming measures are needed to reduce an increasing number of accidents along Mays Lane.

“But our research shows there has been no increase with no more than from five to seven accidents a year over the last five years.

“We already have a 20mph speed limit, but drivers don’t stick to it. There are no speed cameras and absolutely no enforcement so extending a 20mph limit to other roads isn’t going to make any difference.

“We want a chance to examine the council’s data on why these changes are needed and an opportunity to discuss alternative options”

Ms Theodorou acknowledged that there might have been complaints from some motorists about the width barrier which they claim adds to the congestion.

“We think that could be remedied by improving the lay out and by smoothing out the angle at which vehicles have to approach the barrier.

“If that barrier is removed, lorries and large vehicles will turn Mays Lane into a rat run. Already lorries are using Manor Road and Hillside Gardens to avoid the width restriction. They take no notice of 5-ton weight limits.”

Ms Theodorou said residents had been shocked by the inadequate and patchy consultation by the council. Householders in major roads affected by the scheme – such as Chesterfield Road, Connaught Road, and Allan Drive – had not received consultation letters.

There had been no consultation with three primary schools affected by the scheme – Underhill, Whitings Hill, and St Catherine’s.

“Now that the residents can see what is being proposed we can assess opinion.  Everyone wants to know why the community wasn’t asked to indicate what we think is needed and what we think would work.

“Our verdict is that these changes would make Mays Lane and surrounding streets less safe. Certainly, this scheme is not in line with the healthy streets’ initiative, it does nothing to encourage parents and children to walk to school, nor does it help cyclists.”

Paul Wilby, one of the residents supporting the campaign, feared the council was trying to rush through a traffic improvement scheme to take advantage of money on offer for Transport for London and which unless approved would fail to be included in the current financial year.

“Barnet Council have got this the wrong way round. They are wanting to spend the money without having sought the opinion of the local community.

“We are not against change, but we would like a two-way consultation. They are expecting residents to approve a scheme to which we’ve had no input.”

Karen Kiil backed the demand for the approach to the width restriction to be re-aligned to ease access.

“Unfortunately, some of the larger cars can’t get through the restriction. All it would take is for the barrier to be widened a couple of inches on either side. Then the bigger cars could get through and that would perhaps reduce the number of objections from motorists.”

Mr Theodorou urged residents to act before the closing date for comments on Thursday 8 March. These are the steps they should take. 1, Go online and look at the Mays Lane campaign and register support:

2, Read more about the council’s proposals:

3, Respond by email to the council’s consultation: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.