Category: News (page 1 of 10)

Taking to the streets in 2020

Hal Haines with a foreword by Viola Rondeboom

Last Monday we returned from a long summer escape in Utrecht to find our peaceful North London neighbourhood suddenly up in arms. Groups of upset neighbours had taken to the streets to protest, and this went on for a few days in a row. What caused the mayhem? The Bowes and Bounds Green area is one of a few neighbourhoods in Enfield about to get a Dutch style, area-wide low-traffic scheme intended to remove through-traffic from residential streets and redirect it back to the main roads.

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Please support the plan for Bowes – even if you don’t love it

There has been a LOT of discussion in our Facebook group about the council’s low traffic neighbourhood plans for the West Bowes / Bounds Green area, announced on Monday.

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New plans for Fox Lane quieter neighbourhood revealed

This piece by Basil Clarke first appeared on the Palmers Green Community website on 9th July.

[Original article]

Enfield Council’s revised plans for the Fox Lane quieter neighbourhood, which were published today, will dramatically reduce traffic and associated pollution, noise and road danger over a large area of residential streets stretching from Palmers Green to Southgate. Subject to approval by the deputy council leader, the proposals will be implemented on a trial basis for six months starting this summer.

The trial will also serve as a 6-month formal consultation period, during which the council will also carry out monitoring of the effect on roads outside the area. Depending on the results of both, the scheme will either be discontinued, modified or made permanent.

Leaflets showing the new scheme were today distributed to homes in the neighbourhood, and more detailed information has been uploaded to the Let’s Talk Enfield website, along with an explanatory video


Dramatically reduced traffic in the area

By preventing drivers from cutting through the area, the scheme will lead to falls in traffic of 75 per cent or more in the busiest streets, such as Meadway, Amberley Road, Greenway and Old Park Road, while Fox Lane itself could experience a reduction of 90 per cent or more.

Table: Estimated effect of scheme on traffic flows*

(If the table is not displaying properly, click here)

 Existing (2019 survey)Estimated post-scheme% reduction
 7AM-7PMAM Peak HourPM Peak Hour7AM-7PMAM Peak HourPM Peak Hour7AM-7PMAM Peak HourPM Peak Hour
Bourne Avenue (N)1600-1700200-300100-200500-6000-500-5065-75%85-95%80-90%
Parkway200-3000-500-50100-2000-500-5035-45%No changeNo change
The Ridgeway100-2000-500-50100-2000-500-500-10%No changeNo change
Greenway2000-3000200-300200-300500-60050-10050-10075-85%85-95%85-95%
Fox Lane (W)5000-6000500-600500-600700-800200-300200-30080-90%55-65%50-60%
Amberley Read3000-4000300-400300-400600-700100-20050-10075-85%50-60%75-85%
St George’s Road1100-1200 100-200100-200300-400100-200100-20065-75%No changeNo change
Craniey Gardens500-60050-10050-100400-5000-500-5015-25%60-70%60-70%
Burford Gardens600-70050-10050-100500-6000-500-5010-20%60-70%60-70%
Caversham Avenue800-900100-20050-100400-50050-1000-5045-55%45-55%60-70%
Fox Lane (E)5000-6000600-700500-600500-600100-200100-20085-95%85-95%85-95%
Devonshire Road600-70050-10050-100300-4000-500-5040-50%60-70%60-70%
Old Park Road1700-1800200-30050-100400-500100-2000-5070-80%35-55%60-70%
Groveland Road1100-1200100-200100-200400-5000-500-5055-65%45-55%80-90%
Lakeside Road500-60050-10050-100400-5000-500-5015-25%60-70%60-70%
Denvent Road600-70050-10050-100400-50050-10050-10025-35%No changeNo change
Ulleswater Road600-70050-10050-100500-6000-500-5010-20%60-70%60-70%
Conway Road600-700100-2000-50400-5000-500-5025-35%80-90%No change
Selborne Road1600-1700100-200100-200500-600100-20050-10065-75%No change45-55%
The Mall2000-3000300-400300-400600-700100-2000-5070-80%50-60%85-95%
Oakfield Road400-5000-500-50400-5000-500-500-10%No changeNo change
Meadway (S)3000-4000 500-600400-500300-40050-100100-20085-75%65-75%35-45%

 *The numbers shown in the table indicate the total number of vehicles on the road – both with a local origin or destination, and traffic cutting through the area


Impact on surrounding roads

While estimating the effect on traffic volumes within the area is relatively easy, forecasting what will happen on surrounding roads is much less straightforward. There is ample evidence of “traffic evaporation” following the introduction of low-traffic neighbourhoods elsewhere. This reflects the fact that traffic is not an uncontrollable elemental force of nature, it is the result of human behaviour, and schemes such as this are designed to change behaviour, to encourage less driving and more active travel – walking, riding bikes, using public transport – and to move longer distance travel back to the strategic roads where it belongs and which it would have used before satnav made it easy for drivers to navigate complex routes designed to shave a small amount of time off their journeys, to the detriment of people living along the routes.

With streets inside the area being quieter and safer, and with cleaner air, some residents will walk to destinations outside the area when they previously would have driven, thus removing traffic. Some of the drivers that currently cut through the area will use completely different routes that may not go anywhere near Palmers Green or Southgate. Given time, new patterns of travel will emerge. There’s no reliable way of forecasting what they will be – a sufficiently long trial is the most effective way to find out


Next steps

Council officers are currently drafting a formal report that sets out the details of the design, including all the previous engagement and feedback received. This report will then be submitted to the deputy council leader, Ian Barnes, who is the primary decision maker for this neighbourhood project.

Subject to formal approval a trial of this design will commence over the summer. Any trial would take place using a process of experimental traffic orders. It is at the point of the start of a trial where formal consultation opens for a period of six months, with residents able to provide comments once they have had the opportunity to experience the trial working in practice. At the end of the 6-month review period, a decision will be made on whether to remove the trial, make changes or make the project permanent. This decision will be informed by the community feedback collected throughout the consultation during the trial period.

Once the formal report has been approved, it will be published on the project page. The council will then send a letter to all properties within the area to inform people of the decision.

If the trial is going ahead, this letter will provide more information on specific timelines and further detail on how additional feedback can be provided as part of the formal consultation process.

To find out more visit: letstalk.enfeld.gov.uk/foxlaneQN

Links

Let’s Talk Enfield: Fox Lane quieter neighbourhood

Fox Lane quieter neighbourhood leaflet – July 2020

Slides with data visualisations

No going back: our call for pop-up bike lanes (and more) to keep traffic low after lockdown

In collaboration with Enfield Cycling Campaign, we wrote the following open letter to Enfield Council.


*Update: please find Cllr Barnes’ reply below our letter*

Dear Cllr Caliskan and Cllr Barnes,

We are writing to urge you, as leaders of Enfield Council, to make simple, temporary changes to our streets to prevent the predicted boom in motor traffic as lockdown eases, and to encourage people to travel sustainably and safely with enough space for social distancing. 

We have witnessed an unprecedented drop in motor traffic in Enfield during the Covid-19 lockdown. While the cause of this drop is tragic, the benefits are undeniable: clean air, safe, quiet streets and a massive rise in people of all ages cycling both for exercise and essential journeys. 

Traffic may come back worse than before 
Yet as lockdown eases, this welcome rise in air quality and active travel would be lost if we allow traffic to come flooding back, while public transport is shunned and at low capacity. Particularly in Enfield, we could see a catastrophic rise in car use and the resulting negative safety impacts this would bring (see the modal shift in Wuhan below). This would badly affect walking and cycling – active travel rates are dependent on routes that feel safe and have lower traffic volumes. Many key workers currently cycling to work or residents to the shops won’t continue when motor traffic levels return to pre-Covid levels or worse. 

Source: Ipsos |Impact of Coronavirus to New Car Purchase in China


Space for distancing 
Also, councils around the country are recognising that the UK’s car-centric roads with narrow pavements and lack of cycle infrastructure make social distancing almost impossible for pedestrians and cyclists. And while lockdown restrictions might ease soon, social distancing measures are expected to continue in some form until 2022. In order to limit contagion, more space is needed for those walking and cycling to maintain a safe distance from each other without stepping into the road or cycling in heavy traffic.

Our asks
That is why, while traffic volumes are low, we are urgently calling for the following measures. They are in line with those called for by London Cycling Campaign, Living Streets and Cycling UK, to name a few, and a growing number of boroughs across London are adopting them. We particularly recommend reading Lambeth’s emergency transport strategy, which will introduce temporary cycle lanes, widen footways and create low traffic neighbourhoods.

  1. To enable cycling as transport, we suggest pop-up cycle lanes on the following public transport routes, to create “corridors for key workers” and preempt a rise in commuter car trips:

    – Along the Piccadilly Line
    – Along the 212 / 307 bus routes through Enfield
    – Enabling access to CS1

    We can provide more detailed suggestions including maps in the next few days. 

  2. To deal with pinch points that are barriers to all-age cycling, we want to see road space reallocated to make active travel safe. The narrow bridge on Aldermans Hill N13 is one example that prevents families safely reaching the C20 cycle lanes – instead they tend to cycle on the pavement. This could be addressed by coning off a lane of traffic to walking and cycling. We can help identify several other similar pinch points in the borough and make detailed suggestions if needed.

  3. To lock in the benefits of low traffic, we are especially calling for a trial bus gate on Brownlow Road so that air pollution does not return to its previous toxic and illegal levels. A bus gate here would open up the street for families to cycle to school as well as commuters to work, forming the backbone of a healthy low traffic neighbourhood that prioritises sustainable transport. Filters would be needed on surrounding streets to prevent traffic displacement.

  4. To enable social distancing on shopping streets, we would like to see road space reallocated to people where pavements are narrow and people have to queue. This can be achieved by suspending parking anywhere near local shops or coning off traffic lanes and all service roads. Suspending parking (leaving disabled provision and loading) would also discourage unnecessary car use for short journeys to local shops.


Active travel improves public health
Not only are these measures essential to enable residents to socially distance while walking or cycling, prioritising active travel is a crucial strategy for improving public health. Active travel tackles obesity and air pollution. People with obesity and lung conditions are at a higher risk of getting sick, while air pollution has been linked to a higher death rate from Covid-19.

This public health crisis demands immediate, decisive and strong leadership from the council to assure the safety of residents during this pandemic. Enfield council needs to ensure residents have safe routes they can use to walk and cycle to work, the shops, or for exercise.

If there is one thing this crisis has taught us, it’s that the future is not a given. We’ve learnt that there are certain things we can change, very quickly, especially when public safety is at risk. We can choose how to reshape our public space and mobility. The coronavirus crisis has been like a crash diet for our streets. The question is, how many pounds do we want to gain again?

Although we can’t wait to go out and meet each other again, even at a safe distance, we don’t want or need to go back to those fume-filled, congested and hostile roads of the past. Let this crisis be a turning point for healthy streets in Enfield.

Many thanks,

Viola Rondeboom and Clare Rogers
On behalf of Better Streets for Enfield and Enfield Cycling Campaign

Reply from Cllr Ian Barnes on Wednesday 29 April:

Many thanks for your letter.

Some of the initial data coming out of Wuhan as the lockdown is relaxed is indeed disturbing with regards to a potential huge rise in private car use and the possible hit taken by public transport.

Enfield Council recognises the challenges ahead and at an informal Cabinet meeting last night (Tuesday) officers were tasked with examining potential mitigating measures to protect the residents of the borough and to bring details back to Cabinet.

You mention Lambeth in your letter and I do want to point out that their first phase only concerns footway widening [our sentence quoting £75,000 for the whole project was an error and is now removed from our letter – Clare]. They are very open about the fact that all other phases, including temporary cycle lanes and LTNs, rely on continued TfL funding and as they admit there is considerable uncertainty about this funding going forward.

Cllr Ian Barnes

YES to low traffic in the Fox Lane area

More than 75 Fox Lane area residents got together to show their support for low traffic neighbourhood plans last Sunday. Aged from only a few months to over 70 years, they met at the Amberley Road play street and unveiled a “YES TO LOW TRAFFIC” banner.

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School streets come to Enfield!

Last week Enfield joined the growing list of London boroughs with ‘school streets’, launching two on the same day.

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Support a liveable Angel Edmonton

Enfield Council are bidding for Liveable Neighbourhood funds from Transport for London to improve the streets of Angel Edmonton. We have until this Friday (31 January) to support them! Please respond here – take a moment to create an account if it’s your first time.

The area covered by Angel Edmonton’s Liveable Neighbourhood bid
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Snobs and newcomers? Our response to the Green Lanes Business Association*

Last week the Green Lanes Business Association (GLBA) wrote an extraordinary letter railing against the council’s Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood plans – and the residents who support them. Read it here.

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A year of better streets

How was 2019 for you? Here’s a round-up of Better Streets for Enfield’s news over the last year. It’s been busy…

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Residents come together to support the Fox Lane low traffic neighbourhood

Recent local press would suggest that there is nothing but opposition to the plans for a low traffic neighbourhood in the Fox Lane area. This article, reposted with permission from Palmers Green Community website, gives another side to the story…

People living in Fox Lane and surrounding streets are welcoming Enfield Council’s idea of closing roads to create low-traffic neighbourhood (LTN) throughout the area and are calling on other residents to voice their support.

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