What Upper Edmonton needs

Upper Edmonton is a vibrant, multicultural area in North London but, like most neighbourhoods, it has its problems, and they need to be addressed. This round of council elections is a good time to address them.




Londependence leader Tom Foster chatting
with local residents on Fore Street in
Upper Edmonton

Londependence is the party for London. We want local policies that genuinely work for everybody. As a party we aim to be a voice for everyone in London, inner and outer alike. That includes neighbourhoods which are more disadvantaged as much as wealthier ones. It also includes ordinary residential neighbourhoods in outer London as much as the glamorous downtown business districts of the City and the West End. London needs to work from its very centre to its very edge, for people in all demographic groups.

The outer London borough of Enfield can seem rather neglected as an area of London, although there are some neighbourhoods in the borough which have recently been in the spotlight thanks to various major proposals. The neighbourhood of Upper Edmonton has recently received a lot of attention due to plans which would significantly impact this area and its communities such as major local housing developments and the planned expansion of the nearby Edmonton incinerator.

Tom Foster with
Londependence party
secretary Dan Jacobs

Upper Edmonton is a vibrant, multicultural area in North London situated in the southeast of the borough of Enfield. It has a wealth of shops where you can buy products from many places around the world and the neighbourhood is located within close proximity to notable landmarks such as the River Lea and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. However, like most neighbourhoods, Upper Edmonton has its problems, and they need to be addressed.

Londependence is the party of hyperlocalism in London! As part of our aim to ensure that local policies genuinely work for everyone in London, Upper Edmonton is one of the communities in our city that we have been campaigning in.

River Lea (photo by Mark, CC BY 2.0)

Although this shopping list of needs is for Upper Edmonton, many of the same principles also apply to all of Enfield, and indeed the whole of London. We all need decent public transport, clean air, affordable housing, good local schools, and well-run local services. No part of London should be forgotten or taken for granted, be it a borough the size of Enfield or a ward the size of Upper Edmonton.




Upper Edmonton could seriously do with an upgrade in its public transport links.

While some parts of Upper Edmonton have decent public transport links, those in many parts of Upper Edmonton are poor compared with most parts of London. As a result, local people face longer journey times or have to use their cars. Upper Edmonton residents deserve public transport as good as the rest of London, and providing it will significantly reduce traffic and pollution in the area. 

We are calling for: 

  • More bus routes serving Upper Edmonton to ensure better connections across the area.
  • More frequent buses (including 24hr services) across the whole area
  • More frequent London Overground services to Silver Street

In order to improve access to Upper Edmonton, it’s also necessary for transport facilities in neighbouring areas to be improved. Because many local residents use stops and stations in neighbouring areas, such as Wood Green, Palmers Green and Tottenham, improving those services would also benefit people in the whole area. 

We are therefore also calling for:

  • more frequent Piccadilly Line services (to Turnpike Lane and Wood Green)
  • more frequent National Rail services (to Bowes Park and Palmers Green)

Many parts of the Upper Edmonton area are quite a distance away from any station, and there are no tube stations in or around the area. This leaves Upper Edmonton some way behind the rest of London. In the long term, therefore, we would like to see:

  • new tube and train stations in and around the Upper Edmonton area
  • new, non-polluting forms of transport such as trams or trolleybuses serving the Upper Edmonton area



Clean Air

From a photo by Matt Buck (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The high levels of pollution in the Upper Edmonton area have a serious negative impact on local people’s health and well-being. Pollution hotspots include the A406, the A10, the Great Cambridge Roundabout area, Fore Street and Watermead Way, but the whole ward is affected.

Cars passing Aylward Academy

Neighbouring areas are also badly polluted, including those around Silver Street, Pasteur Gardens, and Hedge Lane. Worse, there are schools close to these areas (such as Aylward Academy, Oakthorpe Primary and Firs Farm Primary), which means children and young people are regularly being exposed to dangerous levels of toxic air, with potentially disastrous effects on their health and development. This issue of high pollution levels also applies to several other areas which border Upper Edmonton.

This is a massive issue which needs to be addressed ASAP, and it’s crucial that all local representatives should be united on this as a matter of urgency. Due to the dire consequences these pollution levels are having on local people’s health, this issue must be a top priority on the local agenda. In addition, it is crucial and only fair that Upper Edmonton and surrounding areas are included in city-wide strategies to reduce pollution right across London.

Traffic on the Great Cambridge Roundabout

We are therefore calling on Enfield Council, Upper Edmonton’s three councillors, councillors in neighbouring wards, local political parties, and the MPs for Edmonton and neighbouring Southgate, as well as London’s mayor and assembly, to all make a pledge towards:

  • significantly reducing air pollution in the hotspots mentioned above
  • cutting air pollution in and around the ward and borough as a whole
  • making it a key priority to drive down pollution levels around the Great Cambridge Roundabout

Addressing this issue requires serious commitment and real action from the people we’ve mentioned above. They are the people who have the power to change things, and that is why we are calling on them to make a genuine pledge to seriously tackle air pollution.



Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs)

Low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) are a hot local issue in Enfield, and across London. Londependence are very passionate about protecting our environment, reducing pollution and protecting the health and well-being of all residents, and in particular children, but it needs to work for everybody.

The implementation of the Enfield LTN scheme has divided opinion, with some local groups passionately supporting the scheme, and others equally passionately opposing it. Many who oppose the Enfield LTN scheme feel that the way in which it has been implemented has displaced traffic and pollution to areas located outside the scheme, posing a threat to the air quality and health of those who live there.

Less traffic in some
areas may mean
more in others

When implementing any policy that will have an impact on our local environment (whether it’s LTNs or any other environmental scheme or policy), it is crucial that the knock-on effect this would have on surrounding neighbourhoods must always be assessed. Major schemes such as Enfield’s LTNs need to be planned carefully and thoroughly, and implemented properly, and the wider picture needs to be considered.

We therefore call on Enfield council and TfL to thoroughly assess: 

  • what impact existing LTNs in the borough have on traffic and pollution levels in nearby areas which are outside the scheme
  • how planned LTNs in the borough will affect traffic and pollution levels in neighbouring areas
  • how they will affect the overall traffic and air pollution in areas which are further away from the schemes 
  • what local residents, both inside the LTNs and in the area around them, feel about bringing them in; local residents’ views must be taken into account at all times

We are also calling for Enfield Council and TfL to thoroughly assess and publish the impact that existing and planned LTNs in the borough have on traffic and pollution in the Upper Edmonton ward specifically. We are calling for the same assessment to be conducted and published for both Bowes ward east and Highfield ward south due to their close proximity to both Upper Edmonton ward and the Bowes area LTN.

We are also calling for Haringey Council and TfL to publish their assessment of the impact that their planned and implemented LTNs have on parts of Enfield which border Haringey, in particular Upper Edmonton ward (as well as Bowes ward east, which also borders Haringey).



The Edmonton Incinerator

From a photo by Nico Hogg (CC BY-NC 2.0)

We oppose building a new incinerator by the Lea Valley Viaduct. Burning rubbish – especially if it includes plastic – is outdated and harmful. We need better recycling facilities instead.

A new incinerator, already way over budget, will pump deadly pollutants into the air, threatening our children’s health. The existing one belches out over 2 tonnes of particulate matter every year, not to mention NO2, sulphur dioxide and heavy metals, all dangerous to our health, and especially that of children. It won’t be doing the climate any favours either. We need to deal with our rubbish cleanly, not create still more pollution.

Needless to say, they didn’t site the incinerator in any of the borough’s better-heeled neighbourhoods.