Others protested in similar vein. A deputation met members of the Planning Development Committee to present a petition signed by over 300 people opposed to the widening scheme. Although the Chairman and Mr Corfield addressed the Conunittee, no reply or comment was made. The Council was holding its cards very close to its chest.
Haringey Council had asked Ove Arup, the famous civil engineers, to produce a report on the road. By some means the Residents Association obtained a copy of the Report, so that they knew the case for the other side, but had to go to some lengths to conceal their knowledge. Ove Arup had concluded that the road from Tottenham to Hendon and the Edgware Road was an essential link and widening, while regrettable, was inevitable. The real problem was the narrow stretch at Fortis Green. The existing carriageway width varied from 19-21 feet and it was proposed to widen it to 33 feet. There might be a case for widening the road still further at a later date. It might be possible to reduce the footpath width to 8 feet instead of the existing 10-12 feet, but the need for the new road could not be denied.
Instead of agreeing to the widening, the Residents put forward two alternative one-way schemes:
A Public Inquiry into the Road Widening was held under P. St L. Lloyd, OBE, ACGI, C Eng, MICE, in 1970. He took great care to brief himself on the issues, visiting all the sites and meeting representatives of the opposing sides.
At the Inquiry, Counsel for the Opposition, well briefed by Mr Corfield, claimed that the average speed along Fortis Green was 22 m.p.h. and well above the London norm. The 'improvements ' would make the road, which was then virtually accident free, very dangerous. The proposed widening would increase the danger without improving the flow and a unique stretch of road would be spoilt for ever.
The pavement near the shops had been widened voluntarily by the shopkeepers throwing in their frontages to add to the pavement width. If the road was widened at the expense of the pavements in front of the shops, they would become very narrow. Indeed, when the 'Clissold Arms' opened its cellar trap to take a delivery, the pavement would be virtually impassable.
Under the proposed plan the trees on the south side would have to be removed and those on the north considerably mutilated by removing the lower branches to allow double-decker buses to pass within eighteen inches. This would be unsightly, to say the least.