This weekend is your last chance to comment on the council’s plans for Enfield Town centre as a Liveable Neighbourhood with funding from the Mayor. Please have your say by midnight on Sunday 15 November!

Here are our thoughts…

In a nutshell

Overall, we support these designs and think they will result in Enfield Town being a better place to live, work, study in and visit.

We can’t help feeling a bit disappointed that while plenty of 1970s gyratory are being removed across London, Enfield is keeping its Church Street/Cecil Road gyratory, and that general motor traffic will continue to run through the heart of the town. Having said that, the designs will definitely make the high street feel less traffic-dominated, and walking and cycling safer and easier – with a few gaps that need attention, highlighted below.

What we like

On the Church Street at the moment, up to three lanes of motor traffic – some of it speeding around the gyratory – and not much opportunity to cross the road make this high street intimidating for pedestrians. The plans should change that:

  • Reduced traffic lanes will mean calmer traffic
  • Wider crossings will give more priority to pedestrians
  • 20mph is much better for a street with lots of footfall
  • Wider pavements and more public realm will feel safer and more people-friendly.

We hope and expect that local businesses will see the benefit in their income as the high street becomes a nicer place to be.

In the wider area, it’s great to see:

  • Two big junctions with a pedestrian-only phase
  • A better crossing to Enfield Town station and on Cecil Road
  • Two service roads turned into public realm
  • Two point closures, at Little Park Gdns and St Andrews Road, making walking and cycling much safer
  • Cecil Road cycle tracks – these will not only make cycling safe and pleasant in both directions, but calm traffic by narrowing this wide sweeping road that currently invites speeding
  • Bus stop bypasses on London and Cecil Road to prevent conflict between bus passengers and cycling
  • Safer access to Enfield Grammar School for walking and cycling
  • New disabled parking bays.

A few concerns

A big gap in the protected cycle lanes on London Road is our top concern. Cycleway 20 stops well short of the town centre, so a temporary link was created via Essex and Sydney Roads until the Enfield Town scheme arrived. Now that it has arrived, this unsatisfactory link to the ‘back door’ of the high street on Cecil Road is proposed to become permanent. This is not acceptable.

To cycle north or east, eg to Silver Street, you have to choose between a safe but very indirect route along three sides of a rectangle (Essex, Sydney, Cecil Roads) – or a direct route along London Road that offers no protection for cycling. We think that Cycleway 20 should continue directly and safely all the way to Church Street, whether people are visiting the town centre or continuing north or east.

Some major junctions could be safer for cycling. The Silver Street/Church Street and Southbury/Genotin junctions look better in the plans than they are now, but still look intimidating. Cycle infrastructure should be safe enough for a 12-year-old to use unaccompanied (Chris Boardman’s safety benchmark!) and we’re not sure that standard will be achieved on these tricky junctions.

The east-west extent of scheme could be wider – we would like to see safer cycling extend to Enfield Chase Station in the west, and in the east to Eaton Road, which can then link to the proposed cycle route eastwards to Ponders End.

Could there be more greening? We would like to see every opportunity taken for planting, whether trees, rain gardens or planters on Church Street – the western end especially is currently drab and grey.