Image courtesy Highgate Neighbourhood Forum
For many years the grade II listed retaining wall for the Bank, the small road in front of Channing Senior School, has been in a fragile state. It was damaged in part by vehicles turning and reversing on the road hitting railings mounted on the wall and weakening it. The wall had to be supported on the Highgate Hill side with sections of it enclosed by unsightly hoarding in four different places. Haringey have now unveiled plans to restore the wall and hope to start work soon*. They did a good job on the retaining wall in North Hill near Highgate Primary School, so we’re optimistic.
The section of Highgate Hill nearby is long overdue for some safety improvements, and the need was highlighted by an accident involving a motorcyclist at the junction with Cholmeley Park in May. This junction in particular suffers from poor visibility and is crossed frequently by pupils going to, and between, Channing junior and senior schools. Other safety improvements we would like to see are a build out for the bus stop outside Channing senior, some widening of pavements on the Haringey side and improvement of the pelican crossing near Cote to slow traffic.
Together with the Neighbourhood Forum we had a constructive meeting with Haringey’s road traffic engineer in July and will be continuing to follow up in September. Highgate Hill is a boundary road between Camden and Haringey and the obligations and responsibilities of each borough are complex. Both boroughs have tended to treat Highgate Hill and Highgate High Street as lower priorities because of difficulties of coordination.
* The wall will be reinstated as before with railings above it and there will be bollards along the top of the Bank so that vehicles do not drive too close to the wall causing the wall to subside again in the future. It is also planned that the stretch of Highgate Hill between Cholmeley Park and Hornsey Lane will be resurfaced, and they were encouraged to take the opportunity to improve the safety of the Cholmeley Park junction and to consider building out the bus stop outside Channing School to provide a safer waiting area. The work on the Bank is likely to start next spring.