Cycle Enfield celebrated the long-awaited completion of the A1010 scheme on Saturday 31 August. It kicked off with guided rides from four different town centres. The Ponders End, Edmonton Green and Enfield Town rides had at least 10 riders each, while a group of 30 rode from Palmers Green. The finish point was just off the new Salmons Brook trail on the A10 where the Alevi Foundation provided a generous Turkish lunch and Cycle Enfield laid on a range of events, including cycle taster sessions.
The new infrastructure
For some, this was the first time riding on the new A1010 cycle lanes. There was a sense of safety and separation from motor traffic, with the nicest stretch being the two-way path completely separated from the road. There’s been frustration during construction at the number of people parking cars in the bike lanes, but we only encountered half a car in the lane on our ride (although that was enough to make the lane unusable for non-standard bikes). The separators used by the scheme such as wands and orcas may be getting the message across to drivers to keep out. The rain gardens are also lovely, softening and cheering up the grey of this busy road, making shopping areas a more people-friendly place to be.
On the ride that started at Edmonton Green it was great to see all sorts of bikes – a bike trailer pulling two small children, and an adult trike (with a speaker, so our ride was accompanied by music!). Several young children on their one bikes rode from Ponders End. And we weren’t the only people on bikes – there were plenty of other riders using the lanes who were just going about their daily business.
Things to improve
The were only two flies in our ointment. Edmonton Green roundabout felt safe to ride on but the cycle signals hold you up – it’s clear to see why more confident riders choose to go with the cars. And when we got to Ponders End town centre, the cycle lanes disappear. Our ride leader had to choose between taking us on the shared pavement (where we would annoy pedestrians) or on the carriageway with the motor vehicles. It’s disappointing that the design here prioritises space for car parking over safety for active travel.
Nonetheless, this is a transformation. Cycling, walking, shopping and spending time are all far more safe and pleasant thanks to this scheme. Come and have a look if you haven’t already – on two, or maybe three, wheels.