February 2017 Newsletter
Welcome to our first Better Streets newsletter! Until now we have been relying mainly on our Facebook page to communicate with each other, but of course that doesn’t work for everyone. So here’s a round-up of recent events and discussions.
‘Clean Air for Enfield’ meeting in Bowes School
At this public meeting chaired by David Burrowes MP, we heard from Cllrs Daniel Anderson and Alan Sitkin, Ned Johnson the council pollution officer, London Assembly member Caroline Russell and Clare Rogers of Better Streets. Here’s Caroline Russell’s account of the meeting:http://www.palmersgreencommunity.org.uk/pgc/environmental-issues/1355-tackling-air-pollution-in-enfield
For us at Better Streets, while we support extending the Ultra Low Emission Zone out to the M25, we wanted to emphasise the need for all of us to do less driving in the borough, especially shorter journeys. We were also concerned to hear about the plight of Bowes School and residents on Warwick and Brownlow Roads, both suffering from heavy traffic volumes as well as pollution from the nearby North Circular. Better Streets is pushing for solutions such as ‘low-traffic neighbourhoods’ for this area. Bowes School’s pollution problem has since then received very effective coverage in the Evening Standard: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/london-pollution-cry-for-help-as-school-pupils-walk-home-through-cloud-of-black-smoke-a3450531.html
A London head teacher today issued a heartfelt “cry for help” to protect her pupils from toxic air which has blighted the capital for days. Effie Demetriou of Bowes Primary School, next to the North Circular, begged Sadiq Khan and Transport for London to act and cut local pollution. “The level can escalate high and it affects our pupils’ health,” the associate head teacher told the Standard.
Daniel Jones of the Green Party organised the meeting. You can sign the ULEZ extension petition he has also set up here:https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/extend-the-ultra-low-emission-zone-to-the-whole-of-london?source=facebook-share-button&time=1484041371
We are calling on the Mayor of London to tackle air pollution and save lives by creating an Ultra Low Emission Zone (‘ULEZ’) to cover the whole of Greater London. An ULEZ is an area in which vehicles must meet exhaust emission standards or pay a daily travel charge. The highest charges will be paid by the most polluting vehicles. The Mayor is proposing to create an ULEZ for all vehicles in central London in 2019. He is consulting on whether to extend it to cover the area inside the North…
Cycle lane progress
Throughout January the construction of the Green Lanes cycle infrastructure has steadily progressed, with the area near Mason’s Corner (junction with Green Dragon Lane) now complete, including lane markings and ‘orcas’, which are fixed intermittently along the lane edge to reinforce them. Two bus stop boarders are also complete and some junction treatments. Work continues north and south of the completed stretch. The full timetable is here: http://cycleenfield.co.uk/construction/
A front page article in the local paper covered the dangerous and persistent problem of ‘boy racers’ tearing up and down Green Lanes and the A10 at night, a problem that appears to be worse in Enfield than most parts of the country. A driver was caught more recently doing over 100mph. http://www.enfield-today.co.uk/article.cfm?id=116733&headline=Driver%20caught%20doing%20106mph%20in%20Enfield§ionIs=news&searchyear=2017
There appears to be a deep-rooted mindset among some sectors of the population that this life-threatening behaviour is acceptable, a view that we urgently need to confront. Replacing the speed cameras on the A10 would be a great start.
‘School street’ hopes
Problems with overwhelming traffic on streets where schools are located have been in the local news. A petition was started by a mother at Oakthorpe School on Tile Kiln Lane, and the council are looking at proposals for two other streets, Autumn Close and Goat Lane. We are pushing for a ‘school streets’ scheme that closes the street to through traffic daily during school run hours to enable children to walk or cycle in safety, and have been assured that the council are considering that as an option. This is being done in Edinburgh http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/streetsahead/info/35/school_travel/87/school_streets
School streets will limit the number of cars in the street at the beginning and end of the school day
after a successful trial and now also in Camden – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZnotSJ_4bU&feature=youtu.be Palmers Green has recently become a ‘Play Quarter’ under London Play, and its leader Catherine Nicholson is approaching schools in Palmers Green to trial this idea.
We are expecting to hear more soon about the ‘quieter neighbourhoods’ scheme to reduce through traffic on residential streets. Cycle Enfield hope to bring these improvements to the whole borough but will start with the areas closest to the Green Lanes route. These residents will get a ‘perception survey’ leaflet, hopefully this month, to identify the main problems before the designs are produced. We are hoping to communicate the benefits of measures like modal filters that are very effective in reducing through traffic on residential streets, without overloading the main roads nearby.