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.
But things are changing. The newly erected pedestrian sign outside Gail’s bakery, where Southwood Lane meets Highgate High Street – funded by a Haringey Councillors’ Ward Grant – 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.
2020 UPDATE: Plans for other signs in the chain have at last been approved for funding by CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) monies by Camden and we anticipate their installation during summer 2020. Ones in Highgate Village will include one on the island by the 271 turnround and another outside the HLSI where Swains Lane connects with South Grove. Other signs will be installed near the terminus of the 88 bus route at Parliament Hill Fields and at Gospel Oak Overground Station
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.