The council has released the results of the Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood trial. The trial used large planters at the entrances of residential streets to try to slow drivers and discourage them cutting through the area. But the data shows that instead, both traffic speed and volume increased (by about 3% on average) after the planters were installed.

Acknowledging that the planters aren’t doing their job, the council plans to remove them.

“We collected data prior to the implementation of the trial and have now collected interim data following the deployment of 50 per cent of the planters. We now have evidential data which demonstrates that the planters are not achieving their intended objective of reducing through traffic in these areas…The trial planters will be removed and no further planters will be installed as part of this particular approach.”

Council Quieter Neighbourhood update

This might be good news

So what’s next – will the council just abandon the neighbourhood to traffic? It seems not:

The Council remains committed to measures to reduce motor traffic speed and volume through residential areas…We will therefore look to develop new proposals for the Fox Lane area, as we continue to explore methods that we can then look to replicate in other areas of the Borough.”


And the only effective option to reduce through traffic is by using barriers (like the one in the photo below) to remove it completely, making streets access-only by car. Does this mean the council is considering a low traffic neighbourhood?

A street closed to through traffic in Waltham Forest, creating space for planting. Image: E17 modal filters

If so, we would strongly support it as Better Streets for Enfield. The map below is our suggestion of where filters (barriers to motor traffic) could be placed in the Fox Lane neighbourhood. These would keep through traffic on the surrounding main roads, but allow access to every street by car. This is only one of many possible layouts. It would not affect the W9 bus route. The closed sections could provide space for anything from planting to seating to children’s play areas. (Apologies for the missing names on some streets – we will put this right.)

Green lines represent closures like the one in the photo above

What difference would it make?

If the new scheme removed through traffic, we would expect a truly quiet neighbourhood. Current rat runs like The Mall, Meadway and Fox Lane itself would become safe routes for active travel, allowing children to walk, cycle and scoot to school. Traffic might rise at first on the surrounding main roads, but experience shows that it decreases again over time. In fact we would expect far fewer car journeys overall, as short journeys become less convenient to drive, but much easier to walk or cycle. Waltham Forest saw 10,000 fewer car journeys a day in and around its first low traffic neighbourhood (“Mini Holland scheme in Walthamstow hailed as major success as traffic falls by half“).

Nice for Fox Lane, but what about elsewhere?

The Fox Lane area is by no means Enfield’s worst neighbourhood for traffic. This is the exciting part: if a low traffic neighbourhood is successful in Fox Lane, it could be replicated in other areas which could benefit even more. We want every ward in the borough to have a low traffic neighbourhood – even if it takes 20 years.

Want to know more?

If you are a resident of the Fox Lane area, come to the Fox Lane and District Residents Association (FLDRA) meeting on Wednesday 12 June, 7.45pm, Burford Church Hall, Burford Gardens N13. Richard Eason of the council’s Healthy Streets programme will be talking about the Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood. You can also get our Fox Lane Better Streets updates – just email us at and ask.