Monthly Archives: June 2014


Tour de France to whizz past

The Tour de France is coming to London next Monday (7 July) with the route including part of the Lea Bridge Road, a modest walk from South Tottenham.

The world’s most famous cycle race is primarily held in France, but this year includes some UK stages. Monday’s part of the race sees competitors cycling from Cambridge through Essex and then on to north, east and central London before finishing on The Mall.

This excellent interactive map of the whole day’s route also shows crucial details such as elevations. Last year’s winner Chris Froome is part of a multinational squad in “Team Sky”, although Bradley Wiggins did not make the cut.

Tour de France Lee Valley mapThe nearest point of the Tour de France to South Tottenham is a roughly 40 minute stroll down the River Lee and across Walthamstow Marshes.

The racers will come from the east, along Lea Bridge Road, before turning left down Orient Way to head to the Olympic Park. Many of the side roads along the route will be closed or restricted until the race has passed.


[click above for PDF maps]


SambalShiok Malaysian bun

Mouth watering Tottenham Green Market launches this Saturday

Tottenham gets six weeks* of foodie delights starting this Saturday with the launch of Tottenham Green Market.

The delicious grilled cheese toasties by Grill My Cheese will be there as will the incredible looking Malaysian buns from Sambal Shiok (pictured), steak sandwiches from Beef & Liberty, Aji Ceviche, You Doughnut!, and Dalston’s White Rabbit.

The market is a new launch but it comes with a pedigree, being brought to us by Harringay Market founder Jessica Vos and Street Feast organiser Adam Layton.

There will also be cakes, craft beers, coffee, pickles, (more) cheese and other goodies – with the market being hotly anticipated by the Evening Standard and The Londonist.

The market runs on Tottenham Green from 10am till 3pm. See the latest details via Tottenham Green Market on twitter.


* or hopefully more than 6 weeks. Show your support: there’s more than one way to let your mouths do the talking!


No to racist violence in Markfield Park

A mass celebration is planned from 3pm this Saturday to “Reclaim Markfield Park”, after last weekend’s attack on innocent festival-goers attending the long established Music Day event. Organisers Haringey Unite Against Fascism hope to be joined by residents from all communities.

Last Saturday a small group of far-right extremists descended on the park at sunset, throwing fireworks and hurling abuse. Vice magazine reports the crowd managed to push the skinheads back into a small corner of the park, before police arrived to arrest several for breaching the peace. One was arrested for racially aggravated common assault after a victim’s kippah was pushed from his head. A Polish festival-goer was also set upon by the thugs, suffering a stab wound. The Tottenham Journal reports the victim was taken by ambulance to an east London hospital, but his injuries are not believed to be serious.

This weekend, Haringey Unite Against Fascism (UAF) have called on local residents from all communities to join them in a show of solidarity against hate and prejudice. The event promises picnicking, music and talks in a family-friendly atmosphere from 3pm onwards. It is also hoped that those observing Shabbat may attend in vigil.

The Tottenham Journal reports Monday’s Haringey UAF vigil in reaction to the attack drew 150 people at short notice. Eyewitness and journalist Oz Katerji spoke alongside members of Polish anti-fascist group Dywizjon 161 and various trade union and community groups.

Weyman Bennett, joint national secretary of UAF and local resident, said “It doesn’t matter if you are black, white, Asian, straight, gay, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Turkish, Kurdish, Polish or Brazilian – wherever you are from, we stand together in a united way.

“Next Saturday we will go to Markfield Park. Wherever you are from you are welcome here. The only group of people who are not welcome here are Nazis. Haringey is united and will not be divided.”

Haringey UAF’s “Reclaim our park: Unity in the community” is in Markfield Park, South Tottenham N15 4RB from 3pm this Saturday 28 June.


Crossrail 2 emerges on our doorsteps?

Crossrail 2 is a great idea – and a vital project to provide improved public transport in London. But the latest route announced this week still leaves local residents unclear about the threat to local marsh and parkland, and with crucial questions on its impact.

Crossrail-2-Route-Map-sidebarIf the line gets built, fast, frequent trains would reduce overcrowding and encourage people to leave their cars at home. Locally journeys from Seven Sisters to Euston, St Pancras or Tottenham Court Road would take only 15 minutes with trains running through to Victoria, Clapham Junction, Wimbledon and beyond.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has been pushing for the route to go ahead and earlier this week he announced a revised route that could see the line open by 2029.

Impact on South Tottenham?

Much of Crossrail 2 would be built underground. However one branch of the line would emerge from its tunnel somewhere “to the south of Tottenham Hale”. At the moment the exact location is undetermined. This week’s consultation says:

“This change would result in a new location for the tunnel portal to the south of Tottenham Hale, although the exact location has yet to be determined. Further engineering feasibility work is being carried out to review options for the tunnel portal and the impact this would have on the area required. Once the location has been agreed, further consultation with stakeholders and the public will be undertaken.”


The satellite view reveals there is not a lot of space for this “tunnel portal”. Is the small area north east of Markfield Beam Engine Museum a possibility? And what impact would this have on the museum, Pistachios in the Park and the park itself? Or will the tunnel emerge further south, on the edge of Walthamstow Marshes near Coppermill Stream? Remember this is a “high frequency, high capacity rail line”.

Some questions

What is the reasoning behind the line coming above ground south of Tottenham Hale? This area is predominantly residential interspersed with rare and valued open space.

Wouldn’t the tunnel portal be better situated in the predominantly industrial zone just to the north of Tottenham Hale?

More details on the overall plans can be read on the Crossrail 2 website. TfL is running a consultation until 25 July showing full details of the local route options. Question 7 of the accompanying online survey is a good place to raise concerns as it asks for “Comments about the route north of Angel”.


[UPDATE 14/7] Tunnel entrance at Coppermill Junction?

Research by has revealed some interesting detail to these proposals. The document “Crossrail 2: Summary of Option Development” written in May 2013, specifies:

“… [Crossrail tracks] then surface to the south of Tottenham Hale close to Coppermill Junction.”

Coppermill Junction on Walthamstow Marsh

Coppermill Junction on Walthamstow Marsh

This is tantalising glimpse of what the plans may involve, in a document apparently written by infrastructure firm AECOM for TfL. The route south of Tottenham is still very much up for grabs in the consultation, but this suggests the plan is for a tunnel entrance on the edge of Walthamstow Marshes.

View over Walthamstow Marshes – under threat?

View over Walthamstow Marshes – under threat?

The document continues:

“The branch could then join the WAML at a grade separated junction.”

So the emerging tracks would join the existing main line (WAML) in a grade separated or flying junction, with tracks criss-crossing each other via an underpass or bridge. Then…

“The WAML may have been partially 4 tracked before Crossrail 2 is completed and the Crossrail 2 lines on leaving the portals would join the slow (suburban) lines”

This implies the track will be doubled from the existing two tracks running alongside Walthamstow Marsh, between the Warwick Reservoirs, past the corner of Markfield Park, over the River Lea, and up past Yarmouth Crescent and Jarrow Road into Tottenham Hale. Interestingly such tracks used to exist, and the remains of an old bridge can be seen over the Lea adjacent to the existing rail bridge.

Walthamstow Marshes

Bear in mind Walthamstow Marshes are a Site of Special Scientific Interest and “one of the last expanses of semi-natural marshland left in London. Extending to 88 acres, they are unique in the Lower Lea Valley” (read more via the view from the bridge)

This is an inheritance worth protecting.

Would the users of Walthamstow Marshes and Markfield Park – together with local residents – not be served by the tracks emerging above ground somewhere beyond Tottenham Hale? Perhaps some of the wasteland between the Victoria Line sidings and Northumberland Park station could be used? This would have far less impact on our green, open spaces.

Another more community-friendly point to bring the tracks above ground might be just to the south of Angel Road station, by the derelict gas cylinders next to the North Circular. This would also by-pass the Northumberland Park level crossing which saw a person hit only last year – and is already rated with the second highest “Collective Risk Rating” of an incident involving a person or vehicle. No doubt this option would be more expensive – requiring subterranean platforms at Tottenham Hale and an extra 4km of tunnel – but has it even been considered?

Why is the current consultation documentation stopping short of spelling out these consequences? Is the plan really to “plonk” the tunnel exit in an environmentally and residentially sensitive area rather than industrial zoned land a little further north?

[UPDATE 18/7]“A highly sensitive location”

I have just received the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority response to the Crossrail 2 Coppermill Junction plans:

The ‘Regional’ option implies works to the Coppermill junction which lies on the northern edge of Walthamstow Marshes which is part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest. This is a highly sensitive location and construction should avoid this area. The Authority could not support any scheme which would result in an incursion into this area.

So, is this plan off the table? TfL haven’t told us. As the millfields blog points out today:
“TfL say they will consult again after they have decided how the railway will travel through the Marshes towards Tottenham Hale. This is the wrong way round. Local people deserve to be consulted on the range of options and to fully understand and comment on the implications before a decision is made.”

The TfL consultation only runs until 25 July – you can read more on their website and respond online here, where question 7 asks for “Comments about the route north of Angel”. Time to get writing…