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A people-friendly junction unveiled!

Last Friday saw the long-awaited completion of the most significant junction in the Cycle Enfield A105 scheme – the Ridge Avenue/Church Street intersection, next to Ridge Avenue Library. It’s not completely finished in every detail, but it’s operational – and that means waving goodbye to those temporary traffic lights with their inevitable queues of cars. Plus, it looks great. This blog post is re-blogged from Enfield Cycling Campaign’s website.

 

A stretch of segregated cycle lane approaching the junction

A stretch of segregated cycle lane approaching the junction

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Better Streets for Enfield attends Enfield Council meeting

Better Streets for Enfield attended the Enfield Council meeting on the 6th April. We sometimes go to meetings if they are discussing something to do with better streets. But on this occasion it was because the Conservative opposition had tabled a motion called “The council’s Labour administration isn’t listening”. Having attended the meeting I feel we should re-name it “Anti-cyclists campaigners aren’t getting their way and are cross”. The whole motion was a thinly disguised attack on Cycle Enfield or what was called Mini Holland. Having said that I think there are some important points to be made. If the works aren’t being carried out properly and there are too many barriers hemming in the businesses – that should be discussed. It was brought up but not much discussed but instead there was an awful lot re-hashed from previous meetings. Enfield Council have been through the courts over the consultation more than once – and won. Even Conservative Opposition Leader Terry Neville admitted the A105 consultation was done “correctly” when he appeared before the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the Enfield Town scheme. So it was a proper consultation – the results are not what the anti-cycling campaigners wanted to hear – but that is not a point to bash the council with.

Cross party support

Labour Cllr Vicki Pite made a very strong point when she  pointed out yet again, that originally this scheme had cross party support was a cross party scheme and the council have broadly followed the same plan as initially put forward. The only time it has deviated is in response to a consultation – an example being the Enfield Town Scheme. She quoted from Cllr Joanne Laban, the Shadow Cabinet Member for Environment, in support of the 2013 Mini Holland bid. The quotes very powerfully supported the scheme.

                  Joanne Laban 2013

 

This was going to encourage more people to walk and cycle. Cllr Pite asked why the Conservative opposition no longer supported the scheme and the response was that they would still be…. if the consultation had been done properly. I refer you to the above – that the consultation was done properly. The reality is this looks like political opportunism by the Conservative opposition.

 

                 Cross party support in 2013 but not in 2017 – why not?

Terry Neville also mentioned a letter they  had received from TFL. Of course the money is coming from TFL and has their full support. In reality while it has their full support it is up to the local council to design and build the infrastructure in consultation with the local people – why would we want it any other way?However Cllr Neville disagreed and said he has a letter from TFL distancing themselves from the project. Distancing themselves? Or just letting the council get on with building the infrastructure with their full support.  It is true that Sadiq Khan hasn’t been to visit the works but why would he as nothing is finished.

Other than that there were lots of Councilors scoring party political points. At times the Labour administration turned the tables on the opposition by pointing out that Labour do more forums than the Conservatives 11 to 7 in one ward for example. Another example -people are contacting Labour councilors in Conservative wards because they cannot contact Conservative members. I have no idea where the truth lies but it didn’t seem much like the Labour politicians are not listening. Another point Vicki made was the abuse of our local politicians. Clearly she directed this at Save Our Green Lanes and Helen Osman in particular who was in the public gallery – not mentioned by name but we all knew whom she meant. By all accounts the councilors are still putting up with people screaming and shouting at them. Why? Politicians are elected – if you don’t like what they do throw them out in 2018. A point that, at least, Cllr Terry Neville was keen to make.

I thought the whole motion was shambolic from the start. This was neatly summed up by the vote at the end. Really neither party, least of all the Conservatives, appeared to know what the vote was about. When the vote came, Labour comfortably won (though I still don’t know what the vote was about).

The public gallery was busy but not full. Probably evenly spread between the two parties – maybe slightly more anti-cycling campaigners if the clapping was anything to go by.

Hal Haines

April 2017

http://cycleenfield.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Enfield-Mini-Holland-Bid-Document-2-MB.pdf

The A105 cycle lanes – the work progresses

It’s been exciting to see the new cycle infrastructure take shape on the A105. These photos were taken in the first week of April to give you a little taste of the progress so far (excuse the poor quality of these night time pictures)…

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Cycle lane crossing the junction with Park Avenue. The cycle lane in the foreground is the end of a bus stop bypass

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Clean Air London Meeting

David Hilliard and I attended the “How do we get clean air for all Londoners” meeting arranged by Caroline Russell, Green London Assembly member. There were about 75 people attending – a mixture of experts and campaigners. This wasn’t a sit back and listen to some speeches type event – it was more about engaging the experts and campaigners to come up with some ideas about how we can get a Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) across the whole of London. The ULEZ has improved since Boris Johnson first proposed a small zone due to start in 2020.

Boris Johnson's original ULEZ zone due in 2020
Boris Johnson’s original ULEZ plan due to start in 2020

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Support Green Lanes!

On Saturday 18 March a group of Enfield residents gathered in Winchmore Hill to support businesses affected by the Cycle Enfield roadworks.

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Do you want a Quieter Neighbourhood?

Is your neighbourhood affected by too much traffic? If it’s fast or heavy enough that you wouldn’t feel confident cycling in your area,  crossing your own road or letting your child play on the street, then this is for you.

Enfield Council are asking what we think of our residential streets and neighbourhoods for its Quieter Neighbourhoods scheme. The aim is to make our neighbourhoods better for walking, cycling, play and sense of community. The perception survey is here. (The survey has now finished for Palmers Green, Bush Hill Park, Winchmore Hill and Grange Park – look out for draft designs for these areas – but your views are still needed if you live elsewhere in Enfield.)

From the Quieter Neighbourhoods website

From the Quieter Neighbourhoods website

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Better Streets for Enfield March Newletter

Sad news
February was overshadowed by the tragic death of Anita Szucs, killed by a hit-and-run driver on Bounces Road, Edmonton, as she cycled home from work on 6 February. Anita was just 30, and had been married for less than a year to her husband, Tamas. He has since called for more cycle lanes and safer roads on social media, telling reporters that he has ‘lost everything‘.

Our response
This terrible event, the second fatal hit and runin Enfield in a few short months, prompted Better Streets to write an open letter to the Mayor in conjunction with Enfield Cycling Campaign. We are calling on Sadiq Khan to visit our borough and give his full support to Enfield’s walking and cycling scheme, which by changing street design could literally save lives. Better Streets members also attended a vigil and protest at Trafalgar Square on 11 February to remember the five people who lost their lives on London’s streets in just one week, and to call on the Treasury for better funding for walking and cycling nationally – 10% of the transport budget by 2020.

 

Support Green Lanes!

Better Streets members are rallying to support businesses affected by the roadworks on Green Lanes. Join us in Winchmore Hill on Saturday 18 March at 11.45am, ready to bring love, hope and hard cash to our favourite Green Lanes shops. While Cycle Enfield opponents claim that the scheme will damage local business, we want to encourage them that the pain of the roadworks will be worth it – cycle lanes should create a more pleasant shopping environment, and have been shown to boost high street incomes elsewhere. The economic impact assessment by Regeneris suggested that shops might see an uplift of 10-15% in the medium term after the work is complete.

Quieter Neighbourhoods

The long-awaited Quieter Neighbourhoods part of the Cycle Enfield scheme is due to restart this month in the Fox Lane area of Palmers Green. Residents will be invited to respond to a survey of the perceived issues in their area. Better Streets are pushing for measures that will reduce not just the speed but the volume of through traffic on residential streets. Last year some Better Streets members were
inspired by a tour of Walthamstow’s low-traffic neighbourhood or ‘village’, where former rat runs have become havens for walking, cycling and play and car journeys have been reduced by 10,000 a day. This is the kind of transformation that we would love to see on Enfield’s residential streets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids unplugged!

Palmers Green Play Quarter gets into its stride with a series of events to get children out and about in their community. This includes an ‘open play street’ – when the road is closed to through traffic to let children play – on the 19 March, 2-5pm on Devonshire Road N13, to show how play streets work. Devonshire Road’s play street was the first in the borough and is nearing the end of its third year. Sadly it was in the local news after an angry driver ignored stewards and drove onto the street at speed, but organisers say such incidents are unusual.

 

Betters Streets for Enfield February newsletter

February 2017 Newsletter

Dear all

 

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/

 

Dangerous speeding

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&sectionIs=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.

 

Quieter neighbourhoods

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.

Clare Rogers

Come see us at Palmers Green Festival

Better Streets For Enfield are going to be at Palmers Green Festival today. Come and visit us between 12-7pm in Broomfield Park. We will have a stall and also a try-a-bike area.

For more details about the festival please visit the Palmers Green Festival website.