New Traffic Proposals for Dartmouth Park

The DPNF along with other local groups were asked to comment on initial traffic calming options that are being considered by Camden Council. Please see Ben Castell’s (DPNF Chair 2018/2019) response to the proposals on behalf of the DPNF and below the presentation given by Simi, Hannah and Adam.

Dear Simi, Hannah and Adam

Thank you for inviting representatives from the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum to attend the meeting on your proposals for the Dartmouth Park area traffic scheme.  Ellen Gates and I have now discussed the three proposals with the committee of the Neighbourhood  Forum and I set out the Forum’s comments below.

We understand very well the reasons behind your proposals to address traffic in the Dartmouth Park area.  In our engagement with residents in the area while preparing the draft Neighbourhood Plan, we have repeatedly been told that residents are concerned about high levels of traffic on some residential streets (especially Chetwynd Road) during peak times, and there is a strong desire to reduce through traffic.  Residents are also concerned about high levels of pollution in the area, with the air on most of our streets being above legal limits for nitrogen dioxide pollution.  Proposals to address those issues are therefore very welcome.

However, the consensus of the committee was that none of the three proposals put forward goes far enough in addressing the fundamental problem:  the high levels of through traffic using Dartmouth Park’s residential streets as a rat run.  You indicated at the meeting that 75% of the traffic on Chetwynd Road in the morning and evening peaks is through traffic.  That traffic simply has no business in Dartmouth Park.  It should be restricted, by physical means if necessary, to the main streets of Highgate West Hill/Highgate Road or Fortess Road/Fortess Walk.  By contrast, the three proposals put forward seem to assume that nothing can be done  to restrict traffic coming down Dartmouth Park Hill and turning into Dartmouth Park.

From the additional information recently provided by Adam on the potential impact on traffic levels, it appears that all of the proposals would, to a greater or lesser extent, result in traffic being displaced from Chetwynd Road onto other streets in the area.  We believe a more comprehensive approach that would result in the entire neighbourhood being protected from through traffic (perhaps a low traffic neighbourhood approach) would be more appropriate.  Option 1 comes closest to achieving this, but even it would result in substantial increases in traffic on Swains Road and Chester Road, already two of the busiest roads in the area.   The reliance of all the options on one way streets is also a concern, as residents are concerned that they could lead to higher traffic speeds.

Obviously the solution to this problem is complex, and we appreciate your efforts to find a workable solution.  Without trying to design the scheme ourselves, we believe an approach that addresses the fundamental problem of traffic coming down Dartmouth Park Hill in the morning peak would be an important element of any scheme.  This might be a block near the north end of DPH, or perhaps a tidal flow system on DPH similar to that in operation on Grafton Road (with traffic allowed northbound in the morning and southbound in the evening).

Finally, we note that morning peak traffic on Chetwynd Road is massively reduced now that the private school holidays have begun whilst state school holidays have not. This gives a clear indication of what is generating the trips and we hope that real effort is put into implementing travel plans with those institutions in addition to the measures that you are currently considering.

We will look forward to continuing to engage with you as your plans develop.

Best wishes

Ben Castell

Chair, Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum


Dear Local Groups,

Further to Hannah’s email earlier in the week, we wanted to make you aware that there was a typo in the presentation for option 3; the text read “Westbound route is less direct making it less desirable for through vehicles“, this should have read “Eastbound route is less direct making it less desirable for through vehicles”.

At the last meeting we were asked to provide information on  which roads we felt that traffic would divert to if a particular option was taken forward. Please note that for all options we would expect some traffic to not even reach this area, meaning they would travel via Highgate West Hill/Highgate Road or Fortess Road/Fortess Walk.  However we have considered each option and have assessed likely diversion based on which roads can be accessed. Below you will find the information, this has been  categorised for each of the roads by ‘Most’ (possibly high levels of displacement on this particular road) or ‘Some’ (we anticipate lower levels of displacement on this particular road).

Option 1

  • Westbound Route

o   Chester Road/Swain’s Lane (Most)

o   Fortess Road (Some)

o   Fortess Walk (Some)

o   Burghley Road (Some – outside of Healthy School Street hours)

  • Eastbound Route

o   Lady Sommerset Road (Most)

o   Swain’s Lane (Some)

o   Highgate West Hill / Highgate High Street (Most)

o   Burghley Road (Some – outside of Healthy School Street hours

Option 2

  • As a result of option 2, traffic is likely to be displaced locally. This is as follows:

o   Croftdown Road (Most)

o   Dartmouth Park Road (Most)

o   York Rise (Most)

o   Churchill Road (Some)

Option 3

  • As a result of option 3, traffic is likely to be displaced locally. This is as follows:

o   Woodsome Road (Most)

o   Croftdown Road (Some)

o   Boscastle Road (Most)

o   Laurirer Road (Most)

o   Dartmouth Park Road (Most)

o   Churchill Road (Some)

o   York Rise (Some)

Please note: the above information assumes if all traffic currently going through the area continue to do so (worst case). However, there is a likelihood some vehicles will avoid the area and find an alternative route.

I hope the above information is clear and if you require any further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind Regards,

Adam Iqbal
Design Engineer
Supporting Communities
London Borough of Camden

Telephone:    02079746810