Author Archives: DPNF




  • Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum undertook a survey of local people and businesses to test the water on the community’s views on traffic and travel in our area.
  • The Government is actively encouraging local measures to reduce traffic in residential areas, including implementing ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhoods’ (LTNs), which are springing up across London.  We wanted to know what our neighbours thought about the principle of an LTN and other measures in Dartmouth Park.
  • The survey took place over 2 weeks in late July 2020 and was completed by 401 people. We are very grateful for this amazing response.
  • Responses were received from a broad range of people:
    • Living on 67 different streets
    • 44% under the age of 50
    • 45% have children under 18 in their household


Regarding issues experienced:

  • 82% think there was too much traffic in Dartmouth Park before lockdown
  • 70% think there was too much traffic on their street before lockdown
  • At least half of respondents say that their immediate local area suffers from:
    • noticeable pollution
    • excessive rat-running
    • excessive speeding
  • 94% appreciated the fall in traffic and improved air quality during lockdown.

Regarding possible interventions, the following number show how many respondents say they are very supportive and quite supportive of each measure:

  • 77% support removing obstructions from pavements for people with disabilities
  • 75% support reducing through traffic
  • 73% support trialling a Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme in Dartmouth Park
  • 71% support cycle lanes on busy roads such as Highgate Road and Gordon House Road
  • 69% support banning through traffic so long as traffic is not displaced onto other local residential streets
  • 68% support restricting through traffic at peak times
  • 64% support pedestrian/zebra crossings across main roads
  • 62% support widening pavements where practical
  • 62% support changing some streets into pedestrian areas
  • 61% support play streets – temporary closure of residential streets to allow children to play
  • 60% support vehicle-activated speed signs
  • 55% support rephasing traffic lights to benefit pedestrians
  • 54% support more cycle parking hangars
  • 50% support removing pavement parking
  • 47% support extending bike hire into Dartmouth Park
  • 46% support more cycle paths on Hampstead Heath
  • 46% support removing parking from Highgate Road to allow more space for cycling
  • 45% support more one way streets
  • 39% support secure parking for cargo bikes
  • 39% support traffic calming such as speed humps
  • 34% support more brightly lit streets

When people were asked what measures they would support to help the businesses and enable safe community interaction in our 4 local centres:

  • For Swain’s Lane:
    • 78% support more cycle parking
    • 77% support more places to sit
    • 77% support more planting and environmental improvements
    • 76% support new public toilets
    • 74% support closing to traffic at weekends to allow businesses to put tables and chairs in the street
    • 72% support restricting traffic access to improve the environment for pedestrians and outdoor customers
    • 68% support removing some parking to allow businesses to put out more tables and chairs
  • For York Rise/Chetwynd Road:
    • 66% support more planting and environmental improvements
    • 65% support removing some parking to allow businesses to put out more tables and chairs
    • 65% support closing to traffic at weekends to allow businesses to put tables and chairs in the street
    • 61% support restricting traffic access to improve the environment for pedestrians and outdoor customers
    • 55% support more cycle parking
    • 54% support more places to sit
  • For Highgate Road (around Parliament Hill Medical Centre):
  • 74% support more planting and environmental improvements
  • 70% support more cycle parking
    • 65% support new public toilets
  • 56% support more places to sit
  • For Chester Road:
  • 68% support more planting and environmental improvements
    • 60% support more cycle parking
    • 54% support more places to sit

What now?

  • We have shared the findings with Camden Council to enable them to decide how to respond to them.
  • Armed with these findings, we will campaign for measures to improve the neighbourhood for residents and businesses.
  • We are seeking funding to explore the issues raised in the survey with the community in more depth.


This short survey is designed to test the water on the Dartmouth Park community’s views on traffic and travel in our area in response to the twin emergencies of coronavirus and safeguarding our environment.

Whilst the past few months have been difficult, many people have appreciated the lack of traffic and the noticeable improvement in air quality.  People are also worried that traffic levels will return worse than before if people are reluctant to use public transport.  And they want to make the trading environment for our local businesses as attractive as possible as the recovery gathers pace.

Communities across London are seeing benefits of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. These are where through traffic is cut from an area whilst access for residents, visitors, deliveries is freely allowed. Where they have been implemented in Waltham Forest, streets are safer, air quality has improved, businesses are thriving, and more people are making greener, healthier travel choices. You can see more information in this short film:

The Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum’s Neighbourhood Plan passed a local referendum in February with over 1000 votes cast, 88% in favour. The Plan includes several policies and projects that support walking and cycling, traffic reduction, our local businesses and healthy lifestyles – all of which have become more important since then.

The findings of this survey will be passed to Camden Council to allow them to consider what, if any, interventions they can make on a temporary or trial basis.

The survey will close on 31 July.  It should take less than 10 minutes to complete. 

One respondent will receive a voucher worth £20 to spend in the local shop or business of their choice!

We would love to hear your views on how we can make Dartmouth Park an even better place to live.

Please take the survey here.

Gospel Oak School to lose its pollution buffer of fruit trees, birch trees and meadow

writes Jessica Jacobs

Disappointing news that Gospel Oak Primary School Head teacher John Hayes’ extension plans will take the school even closer to the busy traffic of Mansfield Road because it includes the removal of the beautiful meadow and birch trees and fruit tress bordering the school entrance.


Planting the apple tree by school entrance September 2008 Part of the Little Green Fingers Gardening Club initiative 


These trees are a vital protection for pollution and a beautiful asset for Mansfield Road. From the data the Green Party and Clean Air London (Simon Burkett) have already got, Mansfield Road (by Gospel Oak Station and the school entrance ) got readings of 45 and 46 ug/m2. The World Health Organisation and the EU say that breathing more than 20 ug/m2 of NO2 is dangerous and more than 40 ug/m2 is illegal.


Map of pollution levels in Camden streets

Mr Hayes claims that their removal is necessary because the plans include a disabled access ramp. Furthermore the trees have been examined and are in an ‘deteriorated’ state. Once removed there will be saplings replanted but he could not confirm how many and what size. The majority of the meadow would be paved over however.


While a disabled ramp is long overdue at the school, it is not clear why it was not installed on the other side of the school entrance. In the last ten years, the steps to the school have been significantly altered on two occasions – both perfect opportunities to install a ramp. However even though parents requested this no ramp was installed and the steps remained. The trees also look in good shape – while the fruit trees have been producing delicious fruit since they were planted in 2008, helping highly urbanised children understand that where food comes from.

What is perhaps more worrying is that there has been very little communication with the parents at the school. The plans include a lot of building work but Mr Hayes has only mentioned it once to a small group of parents at his coffee mornings. He also says he tweeted about it (140 followers) but the tweet has not yet been located. The school has a regular newsletter but this option was not chosen. When asked this week, Mr Hayes agreed to post architects drawings of the plan on the school website.

However one parent who has been involved in the development project stated that it would not be a good idea to publicise details of the plans as it would give parents the ‘wrong message’. In addition the planning permission portal that is open for comments closes very soon – during half-term – so parents and the public will not be able to access these drawings until after the deadline.

To find out more and leave a comment on the planning application go to:

Enter the planning reference number 2016/0665/P 

Or try this link

Deadline for comments on camden planning portal is June 9 2016