Five years ago few people had heard of a “Low Traffic Neighbourhood” but that has all changed. HereBetter Streets for Enfield member Clare Rogers gives a very personal account of her journey over the last few years.
All around me London’s streets have been changing. It’s been extraordinary to watch. We’ve seen healthy, civilised measures erupt into the world – like protected cycle lanes and low traffic neighbourhoods and roads closed for al fresco dining – accompanied by a storm of controversy. It’s like watching the Incredible Hulk in reverse. A deadly, monstrous road system has a fit, falls into a coma and then breaks out into spasms of healthy streets. Who would have thought…?
Sam and Roberta run Hot Milk neighbourhood cafe in Bounds Green and here Sam explains how their business is adapting. Adapting, not only to the low traffic neighbourhood, but also the need for fewer deliveries. This is a really good example of how businesses can play their part in reducing traffic and so emissions on our roads.
‘Hot Milk is based in Haringey but we have ties with the borough of Enfield Borough through many of our customers. We have been very supportive of the Bowes Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) since the beginning. As a business that receives many deliveries throughout the week, we had to look at the impact of the LTN. One of the first things we did was to investigate how we could get fewer deliveries. We started to consolidate in a number of ways. Firstly, we offered keys to all of our suppliers so that they could deliver during the night.
Our milk supplier was delivering every other day and we switched to a twice-weekly delivery. One less van on the road to us. We gave them keys to come during the night and they are able to put the milk in the fridge for us. They also now deliver all of our other dairy produce. We organised for our egg and smoked salmon delivery to be done by the same delivery company. Whilst they come during the day we have now limited what was a two drop to a single drop off.
Our pastry and bread come during the night – they have keys and are able to leave the pastry on our counter for us. Our dry store is now a fortnightly delivery and much of our fresh produce is coming from the local shops in Bounds Green. We discovered that they were using similar suppliers and we were able to support other local shops whilst providing a service for our customers. This is something that we are constantly working on, we are always trying to reduce the impact of our deliveries. Obviously the fewer deliveries we receive the better.
I also sometimes drive to the cash and carry, but my journeys there are limited and always planned not to be during the busy time on the road. I rarely encounter traffic by not driving at peak times.
Coffee Delivery We have one coffee delivery per month. We now take 5kg bags which use less packaging than individual 1kg bags. We also run a subscription service and deliver these locally via bicycle. It’s much easier and faster to get around locally.
Passing Trade Some groups opposing the LTN warned us of passing trade dropping but we would argue otherwise. Our trade is good and we are seeing cyclists, parents with prams, walkers, runners and more coming in every day. The idea that we are losing trade because people can’t drive here is madness. We’re a local heart of the community shop and want to be accessible to everyone.
One of the interesting things about the people we talk to every day is the absolute support that the LTN receives. People who walk here mention being able to walk here on a peaceful street which makes the journey more enjoyable. We’ve spoken to so many people who have offered words of support to the LTN. Not just parents, other businesses too who see the benefit of having fewer cars on the road. We have advised people to write to Enfield Council with their support but often know that with kids etc writing an email when they get home can be forgotten. We are very happy to pass on the many messages of support.
Bus Gate We fully support the bus gate in Brownlow Road. The idea that people could sit outside drinking coffee and having less traffic while they do is dreamy.
To add, we are very supportive and would be very very saddened to lose the LTN. If anything we need to fight for more of these.’
November 13, 2021 / admin / Comments Off on Monitoring air quality around the Bowes low traffic neighbourhoods: Part 2
Air pollution data has been used by opponents of the Bowes LTN to try to prove that air quality has got worse as a result of the trial. But has it? We take a more accurate look at the data, by stripping away the biases like lockdown and seasonal changes, and come up with quite a different result…
Enfield Cycle Campaign and Better Streets for Enfield are running a Try-a-bike session in September as part of the Enfield Climate Festival. Are you new to cycling and want to give it a go? Perhaps you want to try a different type of bike, or find out how much easier it is to ride an electric bike? Do your children want to try a new bike or are new to cycling? There will be lots of different children’s bikes to try. Ever wondered what it is like to ride a delivery cargo bike? Want to see if you can take your kids to school using a ‘tag-a-long’, tandem or a ‘bakfiet’? This is your chance to give it a go. It kicks off at 1100 on 19th September in Hazelwood Recreation Ground and finishes at 1500.
Maybe you are already a cyclist and would like to help show people bikes? We need volunteers to help with the event, including:
Meet and greet people as they arrive and direct them to the relevant section of the tennis courts.
Helpers to match people up with a bike and get them going. It may be necessary to adjust saddle heights etc.
Supervisors to stand in the middle of the circuit (everyone cycles round them) and keep an eye out for any issues – mechanical problems, risky behaviour etc.
If you can help with this great initiative to encourage people to cycle please email firstname.lastname@example.org
July 2, 2021 / admin / Comments Off on Counts reveal big increases in walking & cycling on Fox Lane
There has been a more than fivefold increase in walking, and an even bigger increase in cycling, on Fox Lane since it became part of a low traffic neighbourhood (LTN), according to counts in 2018 and 2021.
Many anti-LTN campaigners claim that a majority (or ‘the many’) support their views. Multiple research surveys show the opposite is true and last week in north London the electorate spoke. Indeed anti-LTN campaign platforms proved disastrous for local candidates. There were four by-elections in Hackney – two prominent anti-LTN & ‘Horrendous Hackney Road Closures’ organisers stood to become Councillors in two of these.
Standing in Hoxton East & Shoreditch: Niall Crowley, endorsed by Lawrence Fox, writer for Spiked online & opinion pieces such as ‘In defence of gentrification’ received just 7.8% of the total votes. In comparison; the Greens received 16% and the Labour winner 53%. Candidate Clair Battaglino, on Twitter as ‘Future Councillor’ and ardent campaigner to remove LTNs received a mere 3.8% of total votes. The Labour candidate elected received 63%.
In neighbouring Islington, anti-LTN candidates also failed spectacularly. In St Peter’s ward by-election, Jody Grabber, with the single policy of removing LTNs and who faces court charges of drug possession & violence next month, came last. Also in Islington, Bunhill ward anti-LTN candidate Martyn Perks came last. In Highbury West ward candidates of the parties promoting LTNs (Labour & Greens) received 73% of vote. Let the people decide!
Are you a new or returning cyclist feeling nervous about riding on Enfield’s roads? Would you like to ride a bit further or make a journey to work or elsewhere that you have not been able to before? Or are you a confident cyclist who would like to help another rider experience the joy and freedom of getting about by bike? Enfield Cycling Campaign has joined the Cycle Buddies scheme, pairing up experienced and novice riders to provide support and share expertise. If you, or anyone you know (experienced or novice), is interested in signing up, CLICK HERE for the form to complete.
You can read all about Cycle Buddies and the experience of people who have buddied already on the London Cycling Campaign website HERE .
Since Enfield’s first low traffic neighbourhood went in we have been following the air quality monitoring station at Bowes school. Some people were concerned that air quality would deteriorate due to more traffic on the A406 – this was a worry as the monitoring station is in the school grounds. We were confident this wouldn’t happen, but it seemed sensible to wait for the trial to progress before drawing any conclusions. However, in the recent opposition report, there was some ‘cherry-picked’ data to show that the LTNs had caused air pollution to go up. ‘Cherry-picked’ data because air pollution always goes up in the winter for various reasons* – so a month by month comparison isn’t particularly useful or valid.
Republished with permission from Palmers Green Community website, this article first appeared on 6 January 2021
Enfield Council has been allocated government funding totalling £1.55 million to spend on active travel schemes: £1.3 million to pay for two cycleway schemes and £160,000 for phase 2 of the Bowes low-traffic neighbourhood (LTN), which would use a “bus gate” to give relief to the long suffering residents of Brownlow Road. Additionally, the council is hopeful of obtaining funding from Transport for London in the next financial year for phase 2 of the Connaught Gardens LTN and is planning to start work on two further LTNs, in Upper Edmonton.
The Active Travel Fund
The money is Enfield’s share of the £175 million being allocated to councils throughout England by the Department for Transport (DfT), representing tranche 2 of what was originally referred to as the Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF) but is now known simply as the Active Travel Fund. The EATF was earmarked for rapid changes designed to encourage and facilitate walking and cycling against the background of sharply reduced usage of public transport because of coronavirus restrictions. Consequently, councils were given very short deadlines (a few weeks) during which to engage with the public, design schemes and build them.
Tranche 2 money will be spent on schemes designed for the longer term. Government deadlines for implementation will be longer and councils will have to confirm that they have consulted all appropriate local stakeholders, including businesses, emergency services, and local MPs.
Enfield Council announced the news of its successful bid in a press release published this afternoon [6 January]. The full text is on its website here.
Bowes low-traffic neighbourhood, phase 2
£160,000 of the DfT funding will go to phase 2 of the Bowes LTN. Phase 1, implemented in late summer 2020, has created peaceful streets on either side of Brownlow Road but may have actually exacerbated the situation in the street which has suffered most from through traffic – Brownlow Road itself. For many years the volume of traffic has far exceeded the street’s capacity and residents have had to endure noise, fumes and danger. Queues of cars often stretch back along nearly the whole length of the street, waiting for the lights at the northern end, where priority is given to the North Circular Road traffic.
Phase 2, if it goes ahead, will bring to fruition the dreams of a group of residents who last year set up Healthy Streets Bounds Green, calling for, among other things, a “bus gate for Brownlow”. This is exactly what the council is proposing to do. A bus gate is a camera-controlled point which only buses, emergency vehicles, bikes and people on foot are permitted to pass. To prevent problems for other local roads, design and consultation will need to be closely coordinated with neighbouring Haringey Council, which has also received funding for LTNs in the Bounds Green area, and with Transport for London. In particular, the scheme might require TfL to allow traffic to turn right out of Bounds Green Road onto the North Circular at Hobart Corner.
Phase 1 of the Bowes scheme is currently operating as a trial with formal consultation running concurrently and due to end in February. Depending on feedback received and after reviewing data relating to the effect on other roads, bus running times, emergency services and other considerations, the council may decide to abandon the scheme, to amend it, or to make it permanent. If amended, the trial and formal consultation period will be extended. A possible way of amending the scheme would be to change it around so that residents and visitors access the streets from the Bounds Green Road direction, rather than from the north.
More low traffic neighbourhoods in prospect
The press release also states that the further funding from TfL, anticipated at the start of the new financial year (April), will be prioritised for the Connaught Gardens quieter neighbourhood. Phase 1 of this scheme, a small one-way system in Palmers Green (Windsor Road, Osborne Road, Lightcliffe Road and New River Crescent) is currently being trialled.
The bulk of the new money allocated to Enfield will be spent on cycling infrastructure (low traffic neighbourhoods are far cheaper). There are two projects – more construction of cycle lanes along the A1010 (Ponders End High Street) and work on a cycleway linking Enfield Town and Ponders End. The original plan to put cycle lanes along Southbury Road has been abandoned and the cycleway will instead use streets further south.
Two further walking and cycling routes are currently being built. The first provides a link between the A1010 cycle lanes and the North Middlesex Hospital via Pymmes Park and will eventually join up with the Tottenham to Old Street section of Cycleway 1. The other, Angel Walk, runs between Edmonton Green and the new Meridian Water development.