Like it or not, Highgate receives thousands of visitors every year. The Forum has been driving the campaign to improve signage to make life easier.
One of our most popular visitor destinations is Highgate Cemetery. Many visitors make the not unreasonable assumption that the best way to reach the Cemetery would be to alight at Highgate tube station. If they do there is every chance that they will get lost at least once along the difficult route between the tube exit and their Swains Lane destination.
Visit any historic area in Britain and you will find interpretation boards and direction signs which help you make the most of your visit. But not in Highgate. Despite our wealth of places of historical, architectural and literary interest neither Haringey or Camden councils give attention to how visitors might be helped to enjoy their visit.
Things may be changing. The newly erected pedestrian sign outside Gail’s bakery, where Southwood Lane meets Highgate High Street, is the first of what the Forum hopes will be a series of direction signs studding the route between Highgate tube station and the terminus of the route 88 bus at Parliament Hill Fields. Funds have been allocated for the installation of eight signs along the route, two of them in Haringey and six on the Camden side of the High Street, Highgate Cemetery having been a generous contributor.
Clearly we want to avoid the introduction of inappropriate visual clutter but when specifying how the signs should look the Forum has taken care to specify a design which avoids being overly intrusive, is discreet and appropriate for pedestrians rather than drivers. The first sign will look better once it becomes just one in a chain of consistently designed signs and we look forward to when matching signs are erected on the Camden side.