Would you like an Enfield that’s “liveable” – where streets are much less dominated by traffic, and much more pleasant for walking, cycling and spending time? That’s the goal of the My Liveable London campaign. If so – can you help? From next week we will need volunteers to distribute “My Liveable Enfield” leaflets, asking the public to email Enfield party leaders before the local elections.
Basil Clarke tells us more about My Liveable London in his article below, re-posted from the Palmers Green Community website:
In the run up to the council elections on 3rd May two organisations that campaign for a fresh approach to London’s streets have come together to set out a challenge for party leaders in each of London’s 32 boroughs.
London Living Streets, who seek better streets for pedestrians, are combining forces with the London Cycle Campaign, who, unsurprisingly, would like pleasanter and safer conditions for people riding bikes in London. They are calling their joint campaign My Liveable London and they want boroughs to create more “low traffic neighbourhoods”.
What is a Liveable London?
A Liveable London is a city where it’s enjoyable and safe to walk and cycle for all your local trips, where there are relaxing places outside where you can watch the world go by or chat with your neighbours, and where children can safely roam and walk or cycle to school.
It’s a London where our families, friends and communities are put first on our streets, and where motor traffic, pollution and congestion don’t dominate our public spaces. A city where everyone can live well, breathe easy, walk and cycle safely and happily.
What is the challenge to party leaders?
In each London borough local branches of LLS and LCC, or affiliated organisations like Better Streets for Enfield, will be contacting the leaders of each political party, inviting them on walk-arounds to see the worst, and the best, examples of their borough’s streets, and challenging them to bid for money from Transport for London’s Liveable Neighbourhoods programme – the successor to the previous Mayor of London’s “Mini-Hollands”. Councils can bid for up to £10 million to transform residential areas, town centres, transport interchanges and connecting routes. (The first round of schemes will be starting soon, including one to transform the area around the clock tower in Crouch End.)
To back up the local campaigners, the next phase will be an email campaign when thousands of Londoners will have an opportunity to ask those bidding to run their boroughs to take advantage of the opportunity to make their constituents’ lives pleasanter and healthier.
Why is a Liveable London important?
- Cleaner and safer air: Road traffic is a major source of the pollution that is causing ill health and premature death
- Healthier residents – streets safe for walking and cycling will enable people go build physical activity into their everyday lives, improving their health and saving the NHS money
- Getting children moving: Making it easier and safer for children to roam, and for them to walk or cycle to school is vital for their health. It also cuts motor traffic, reducing the number of ‘school run’ trips
- Strengthening communities: By creating safe, quiet spaces that aren’t intimidating and where people want to stop and chat to neighbours, we can start to break down the barriers that leave so many trapped behind their front doors.
- Keeping the city moving. Walking, cycling and public transport are the most efficient modes of travel. And we need to ensure that the popularity of apps such as Google maps and Waze don’t turn our quiet, residential streets into choked-up rat runs.
What are Better Streets for Enfield asking for?
Better Streets have produced a version of the campaign “asks” which takes account of the situation in Enfield, where we are mid-way through a somewhat delayed implementation of Cycle Enfield – one of the original “Mini-Holland” schemes – and the associated Quieter Neighbourhoods schemes are only just beginning to be put in place.
Better Streets for Enfield calls on all local parties to commit to supporting the health and happiness of all residents by creating people-friendly streets in Enfield – where traffic is reduced, where people have priority over traffic, and where walking, cycling and public transport are safe, attractive options for everyone. We ask you to commit to:
- Submitting a high-quality and safe, “Liveable Neighbourhood” bid, based in an area with high potential for walking and cycling, that provides big wins for both and that takes major steps to prioritise people walking and cycling over private cars in the area during the course of your term
- Creating low-traffic neighbourhoods, to reduce traffic speed and volume where people live
- Completing the work of Cycle Enfield, to allow all-age, all-ability cycling throughout the borough.