Wednesday 11 May 2022

TFL and Barnet Council conspire to cause traffic chaos in Mill Hill

 My studio manager was 45 minutes late for work yesterday. He lives on the Fairway which is a side road off the A1 north of Apex Corner. He was fuming. Due to TFL bridge works on the A41, Barnet council agreed to the closure of Pike Road, the slip road onto the A41 by APEX corner, for 'storage of plant', the only way to get to Mill Hill is to drive an mile north to Stirling corner, then return south. Temporary traffic lights on Hale Lane have meant this route is also jammed, it is an alternative route from the A41 to Mill Hill from Broadfields, so drivers are left  with little option. This picture from the Apex traffic cam shows the queues at 10.21, normally when the road is quiet.

I asked a Conservative Councillor about the A41 works, they said this was 'down to TFL'. I contacted our GLA rep Anne Clarke yesterday. Anne is a very good rep on casework and got straight back to me. This was the response she received.

While we are sorry for the inconvenience these closures are causing to residents, they are required as we need to complete essential maintenance work on the A41 Edgware Way bridge (over the M1 and National Rail tracks). The full details of the works can be found at

The closure of Pike Road and diversion route were agreed with the London Borough of Barnet following extensive discussion - including a site visit - as the best location to site welfare, storage and recovery facilities. These facilities are vital for ensuring the works are carried out as safely and quickly as possible. Marshals are on site to provide assistance. Any changes to the welfare, storage or recovery facilities location would require a change to our programme and method of working, which could extend the period when we are on site.  

Several alternative sites were considered for locating the welfare, storage and recovery facilities, and the impact on residents as well as agreement regarding the site location was considered through discussions with Barnet. Oakmead Gardens was considered as an alternative, but as a Traffic Order would have been needed to reopen it for access and it is on the wrong side of the road, this was deemed impractical. The footway in front of the nearby KFC restaurant was also considered, but it was deemed that there would not be enough space. The carriageway was discarded as an option as it would have required us to move the welfare and storage facilities and recovery vehicles when we switched approaches and it was deemed that there would not be sufficient space. 

Although we would not generally carry out a formal public consultation for operationally essential works such as these, the closures for the Edgware Way works, including the closure of Pike Road, were advertised in the normal way. This included a letter-drop to properties and a customer email to registered users, and Public Liaison Officers canvassed the area from 21 March, advising local businesses and residents of the works. 

We will consistently monitor the traffic and bus impacts of the closure and respond appropriately to minimise the impacts of the closure. This will include monitoring congestion on routes impacted by the closure and making optimisations to traffic signals to support traffic flows. Extra buses have also been added to the most impacted routes through the area.         

I appreciate this is not the answer that Anne’s constituents were hoping for, but I hope that it helps to clarify the need for the closures as part of these essential maintenance works. 

Please let me know if you have further questions.

As you can see, Barnet Council did agree to the closure. The reason for using Pike Road was that TFL would need to move the site welfare, storage and recovery vehicles across the road when they started on the other side. In plain English, this means that they are quite happy to cause massive inconvenience to residents for months on end, if it spares them a bit of hassle. It is quite outrageous. 

Add in the works on Hale Lane, the closure of Hendon Wood Lane etc, Mill Hill is in gridlock and it is fairly and squarely down to lack of planning by Barnet Council.

One can only wonder why local councillors for the former Hale Ward did not kick up a stink when this was mooted. 

I have written to the local councillors who approved this, a Mill Hill Councillor and the CEO of Barnet to try and get some answers. IF you are affected, I suggest you do the same. Their emails are below

------ Original Message ------
From: "ROGER Tichborne"
Sent: Wednesday, 11 May, 22 At 10:21
Subject: Pike Road Closure

Dear Former Hale Ward Councillors, CLlr Duschinsky and Mr Hooton,

Please can you advise why you agreed to the closure of Pike Road for TFL works. I have queried this with TFL who confirmed that this was done, purely because it was more convenient for their works "The carriageway was discarded as an option as it would have required us to move the welfare and storage facilities and recovery vehicles when we switched approaches"

These works are causing massive disruption, making residents late for work and having a hugely detrimental impact on people's lives. With the roadworks on Hale Lane and the temporary traffic lights, Mill Hill was in gridlock yesterday. This has had an impact on my business with both customers and staff arriving very late for sessions/work/music lessons.

Barnet council needs to have a strategic plan for such roadworks and take into account the impact of such works on residents. The closure of Pike Road means residents of the Fairway now have a detour of nearly 2 miles just to get across the A1. WIth the closure of Barnet Gate Lane, there is even more pressure on Apex Corner than ever. This is no way to run a council


Roger Tichborne

**** Update ****

I have received this email via Councillor Gurung

Dear Roger,
Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. I am sorry for the disruption it has caused to the residents and local businesses. We have received many emails and phone calls about this road closure and road works. I have raised this issue with the TFL and the council several times in last couple of weeks. Finally, we are meeting with TFL tomorrow. Please see below email from the Liaison Officer Re. Let's see what we can do to improve the traffic situation around apex corner. 

As far as I know TFL & Council officers didn’t consult with local councillors before they made the decision. I will raise this issue during the meeting. Will keep you posted the outcome of the meeting. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding.
Kind regards 

Thank you for your email and I am really sorry to hear about the traffic delays experienced

Your concerns and the request to re-open one lane on Pike Road will be discussed with TFL colleagues tomorrow and I will provide you with an update before the end of business Thursday 12 May



Cris Tavares
Member Liaison Re 
2 Bristol Avenue | Colindale | NW9 4EW 

#### Update 12/5/2022

Barnet Council and TFL have confirmed that, following pressure from the Barnet Eye and local residents, One lane of Pike Road will open today. Thanks to everyone who emailed local councillors 

#### Update 13/5/2022

From: "Hooton, John" <>
To: "ROGER Tichborne" <>; "Duschinsky, Cllr Val" <>; "Gurung, Cllr Lachhya" <>; "Jajeh, Cllr Laithe" <>; "Simberg, Cllr Elliot" <>
Cc: "Clarke, Cllr Anne" <>; "Rawlings, Cllr Barry" <>
Sent: Friday, 13 May, 22 At 09:22
Subject: RE: Pike Road Closure - Update please

I received this update from John Hooton, CEO of Barnet Council this morning:

Roger – we had a solution to this yesterday but unfortunately a number of issues were raised by TfL which mean that we are still trying to get them to resolve. I am very sorry for the inconvenience  and we are pushing hard to get TfL to sort this out today.



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