Ken’s plans for Henlys Corner rubbished

7:19pm Wednesday 16th October 2002

By Leigh Collins

The Mayor of London's plans to improve the notorious Henlys Corner bottleneck in Finchley have been described as 'madness beyond belief' by Barnet Council.

Ken Livingstone wants to create pedestrian crossings at the junction, where the North Circular meets the A1, as well as creating cycle and bus lanes and blocking off access to minor roads. The council believes these proposals will merely increase congestion at the junction which is one of the most jammed in north London.

Cabinet member for environment, Councillor Brian Coleman, who is also the GLA Member for Barnet, said: "The new plan will not stop rat-running through adjacent borough roads nor the persistent delays on the North Circular itself.

"It's absurd. It's madness beyond belief. It's Livingstone at his most bonkers He has total disregard for the lives of the residents of Barnet."

The council believes that the original scheme, which involved building an underpass at Brent Street and a tunnel at Henlys Corner, should go ahead. That was agreed in the Nineties after an extensive public consultation and a public inquiry.

But Labour MP for Finchley and Golders Green, Rudi Vis, said that pedestrians and cyclists had the right to safety.

He said: "I think there ought to be improvements, not merely for people in cars, but cyclists and pedestrians who cannot traverse that stretch of road."

He added that schoolchildren and congregants of Finchley Synagogue, which faces the junction, have great difficulty crossing the road, and that building a pedestrian bridge over Henlys Corner would be pointless because people do not use them.

Transport for London, which is responsible for the project, declined to comment as it was still consulting the public on the plans.

Final plans for the development are due to be determined by the end of March next year, with work scheduled to begin in July 2003.

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