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Topic: Council savings and cycle lanes

Council savings and cycle lanes
16 Aug 2019 19:07 #4754

David Hughes David Hughes's Avatar Topic Author

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[Moderator's comment: A forum discussion about wheelie bins has turned partially into a discussion about cycle lanes. I try to keep discussions to one subject at a time, so I've moved David Hughes' response to S. Leonidas's comments about council expenditure and bike lanes to a new thread, starting with a quote to put David's comments in context. However, I don't really think there's anything to say for or against cycle lanes that hasn't already been said several thousand times, so unless people have something fresh to say I'll be looking to lock this discussion soon. Basil]

S LEONIDAS wrote: The Council does not really care about savings - if it did it would not have overspent on the farcical cycle lane highway along two routes and possible a third complete with totally unnecessary furniture like the excessive use of orcas, metal posts near junctions, and the raised tarmac tables at every opportunity. Should I also mention the horrid and extremely dangerous planter boxes that were installed and now removed? If the Council managed its affairs properly and controlled its spending more wisely it would not be pleading under funding - despite what Central Governments (any party) do (which is another matter). It can also consider cutting the salaries paid to its executives - these do not have to be as high as they are - if they don't want the job as a proper salary level then I will be happy to step in!

S. Leonidas seems very, very certain than his opinions are the right ones: “Wheelie bins petition relaunched” on 15 August, but I think he hasn’t thought through the issues which lie behind the changes which have been made to the A105 Green Lanes in the last year or two. Furthermore he seems to see the world exclusively through the windscreen of a road vehicle, apparently walkers and cyclists don’t have any place in his world.

So, let us take a look at the issues which lie behind his views in the light of the needs of the overall variety of road users: children, teenagers, adults and those like me who are past their best. I cycle and drive by the way though I use public transport rather than drive when it’s possible.

True cars are wonderfully versatile, but, especially when driver-only, they need a great deal of room per person. Cyclist by contrast need very little room whether parked or travelling, have no detrimental influence on air quality, and the exercise of pedalling helps towards a healthy lifestyle. All of which is among the reason why the Government – not the Council – provided most of the finance for creating Enfield Council’s cycle lanes. Clearly a Conservative national government was convinced that it was worth encouraging the development of a cycling culture. After all much of northern Europe (The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, others) achieved that long ago.

As for Mr. Leonidas’s problem with raised tarmac tables he only has to persuade drivers to stick to speed limits and they would disappear like magic. Meanwhile cyclists, pedestrians and especially kids, who have lost most during the car age, need their protection. Similarly orcas and metal posts near junctions could easily be dispensed with if drivers recognised that villages, towns and cities are primarily places to live and work, not a network enabling drivers to exercise their pleasure in driving.

Next in his series of problems there were the plant boxes (which were trialled on the Lakes Estate not installed – the Council is looking at possible alternatives). Annoying to drivers according to Mr. Leonidas, though as a driver I didn’t find them so. They were trialled in an attempt to persuade drivers to stick to main roads rather than avoiding traffic by using residential streets. Just another way in which kids freedoms have been limited by unnecessary traffic.

By the way could Mr. Leonidas please explain how they were dangerous; I never, ever, saw one move.

I won’t challenge the accusation of excessive local government salaries, but I doubt it’s the case. Could he provide some evidence?
The following user(s) said Thank You: Danilo Barani

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Council savings and cycle lanes
22 Aug 2019 09:15 #4763

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Cannot believe this topic is still being discussed (and I am replying which probably doesn't help) but possibly a final word to both David Hughes and S.Leonidas. Not sure how many times this has been stated but the council did NOT fund the cycle lanes.

This came from the Mayor of London's budget. What Enfield Council did have to pay for and have been careful to not be too specific about was the amount of money overspent on late working, re-doing parts of the scheme etc. The project went over schedule. I have seen estimates of up to £2.6m and it has been mentioned in some statements by the council but without stating the costs.

It is noticeable that a whole section of the latest route in Fore St Edmonton has not even been started and the cycle lanes begin about a third of a mile from the North Circular Junction. This could be a cost saving exercise. No mention on the Cycle Enfield website of any works on the A1010 South scheme south of Park Avenue.

The cycle lanes are here to stay even though they are very underused. No usage figures have been published since June. Also re cycling safety, this may be useful reading: www.landscapearchitecture.org.uk/66-7-cyclist-fatalities-2018-tfls-lcn-london-cycle-network/

On the subject of the planters in the Fox Lane area, they were definitely a hazard for drivers and were moved either by accident or design. Photos were taken as well which were published on the SOS Green Lanes Facebook page which I have copies of. Some were moved by residents (Amberly Road, Cranley Gardens and The Mall and others were hit by bin lorries or even set on fire etc. They were neither popular or effective and a good example of doing something on the cheap without due consideration.

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Council savings and cycle lanes
22 Aug 2019 11:07 #4766

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From my memory, my understanding of the frustrating start/end of EMH a few hundred yards short of the A406 was because of TfL's intention (try not to laugh) to turn Palmerston Road into another of its disastrous quietways (QW10, I think). Proposals were consulted on for amendment of the junction at the top of PR to ease ped & cycle traffic flow across the A406 and onto Palmerston Crescent for the continuation of QW10 thus joining up with EMH where it currently looks to just abruptly start.

Not sure the Landscape Architecture article does the favours you intend - it is actually just highlighting how poor the London Cycle Network is, especially under the current Mayor and Commissioner. No QW can EVER be described as "Flagship". The QW schemes are derided as a disgrace by safety campaigners for good reason - they are not infrastructure, nor safe, just paint. A rebrand of an existing road with no segregation nor amendments to traffic flow does nothing to promote cycling or protect users.

Planters were a hazard for bad drivers. Presuming SOS Green Lanes is the same as SOGL, that org is a joke and I'm surprised it's still going/has raised sufficient funds from people to pay all the Court costs for lost cases. If you can't see a giant object in the middle of the road covered in reflective material, hand back you licence as you are a danger behind the wheel.

The people that set them on fire and through paint all over them should be arrested for vandalism, end of. Absolute idiocy.

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Council savings and cycle lanes
22 Aug 2019 12:26 #4767

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David, Hi, Green Lanes SOS Facebook is not the same as SOGL. Different people run it. It was primarily set up to debate the cycle lanes but it covers more general topics now about the area mainly to do with transport. No fundraising or campaigns involved. About 1,100 residents in Winchmore Hill and Palmers Green are the main followers. I am one of the admin on the site.
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