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TOPIC: Major changes to Enfield Town cycle lanes plans

Major changes to Enfield Town cycle lanes plans 09 Nov 2016 19:46 #2398

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enfield town revised cycle design

 Revised Proposals and Timetable

  • Summary and map on Cycle Enfield website
  • January 2017: Exhibition of revised proposals and community co-design workshops for enhanced public realm
  • Spring 2017: Statutory consultation to capture any final issues that may impact upon the design

Enfield Council has today revealed its revised proposals for implementing its Cycle Holland vision in the centre of Enfield Town.

The new scheme retains the existing one-way system for cars, buses and lorries (westbound along Cecil Road, eastbound along Church Street).  There will be no cycle lanes along Church Street, instead lanes in both directions along Cecil Road will provide for safe through journeys by bike.

While the basic road layout for cars remains unchanged, there will be measures to soften the impact of motorised traffic on other users of the town centre:  a 20mph speed limit, improved pedestrian crossings, wider pavements, a much more pedestrian-friendly route from the Library Square to Town Park and various other public realm enhancements, in particular with regard to the area in front of Enfield Town railway station.

Reversing the decision to ban private cars from Church Street has been a disappointment for Better Streets for Enfield, which campaigns for more liveable streets throughout the borough.  But its members are not despondent.

"A car-free Church Street would have been wonderful"

Clare Rogers from Better Streets for Enfield thinks that a car-free Church Street would have been wonderful, "boosting the local economy by making the high street a much more pleasant place to be".  As a cyclist, Clare is disappointed that when travelling east-west it will still be necessary to make a diversion along Cecil Road.  But, she says, "this new design is not the end of the world - there is a lot here to reassure us that Enfield Town IS getting serious improvements that could reduce the number of car journeys by encouraging more walking and cycling."

Among these improvements Clare lists more space for pedestrians in Church Street, new disabled parking bays, full segregation by planting for cycle lanes on the north side of Cecil Road, fully segregated cycle lanes on London Road and connectivity between the  new cycleways and proposed Greenway routes.

"No one can now say the Council are bulldozing their plans through"

"And," Clare points out, "no one can say now that the Council are bulldozing their plans through despite public opposition. The public apparently wanted to keep their cars on Church Street, and that's what they've got. It won't be as good for business as a car-free Church Street, but there we go. My hope is that in a few years' time, when there has been more of a shift away from car travel in Enfield due to some great cycling infrastructure, there will be more public support for a car-free high street. We could push for some car-free Sundays in the town centre in the meantime, and demonstrate to people how much better it would be. So maybe this is a two-stage process that will take longer than we thought. I guess Holland wasn't built in a day."

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Major changes to Enfield Town cycle lanes plans 10 Nov 2016 17:33 #2399

Paul Mandel Paul Mandel's Avatar
Good. The plans previously consulted on were totally unrealistic, would have lead to frequent gridlock, stretching well beyond the town and would have wrecked the local bus services.

If economically viable, by all means build a road tunnel under the town centre and than pedestrianise /cyclise the whole area.

At least one significant problem with the revised plans. There is a break in the cycle lane outside the Dugdale Centre / Thomas Hardy . Not sure why Council hasn't routed something around it and into Sydney Road.

Hopefully, the Council will also see sense and produce a workable East West route, which on which has also planned a pig's ear.

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Major changes to Enfield Town cycle lanes plans 28 Nov 2016 11:53 #2463

Mac Leckey Mac Leckey's Avatar
Sorry but I think Clare Rogers is incorrect. Another person thinks the fact that car drivers need to travel east west or north south through Enfield is bad news. It is interesting that people in Palmers Green have negative views of car drivers in Enfield town. Perhaps those living in Enfield town have a greater understanding of traffic in the town. Making Church fir only for buses and bikes does not equal an improvement in retailers flocking to rent empty retail property. That is down to economics and people on bikes cannot carry as much home as those with a car.

The new plans for Enfield town are an improvement on the previous, but still flawed. The cycle route from Palmers Green to Enfield is already causing delay for all road users and with bus stops being rebuilt means that any vehicle behind a bus at a bus stop (ie in Ridge Avenue) has no chance of passing it, leading to a lengthening of travel time. Something the council wanted to avoid.

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Major changes to Enfield Town cycle lanes plans 28 Nov 2016 18:36 #2465

It looks as if Mac Leckey has fallen into the trap that so many others fall into, namely that towns and cities are places to drive about in rather than primarily places to live in.

Certainly travel within cities is necessary, and sadly it's also true that people need to travel through them to get to somewhere else. But he surely he can't believe that high streets are made better places to be and shop by the presence of cars. After all what they lead to is driver priority over pedestrians, potential physical danger for pedestrians and children in particular, and shockingly bad air quality with all its dangers to health.

It's just those sorts of issues which make it more likely that shops will be empty.

All the evidence is that improving public space is what matters to retail, not the presence of traffic, which may explain why fully pedestrianized shopping streets do relatively better than traffic-dominated streets.

However that's a topic which has been done to death, though Mac L. seems not to have come across it before. The bigger issue - which has also been done to death but he seems not to have noticed that either - is that with a growing population (though fortunately a falling per capita car ownership) London has to find a way reducing short car journeys: perhaps around 15% of all journeys by car.

This morning I cycled from Palmers Green to Enfield though I could have taken my car; I should say here I'm nearly 80 because it matters to this point. As Mac L. said there was was a huge tailback where work to install the cycle lanes is going on, so on the way back I walked the length of the work to better understand who was driving all these cars. The vast majority consisted of driver-only cars, lots of the drivers were young, but quite a few of them a bit long in the tooth like me. Could some of them have biked, could they have caught a bus or a train? Doesn't it strike any of the car-bound population that over that length of journey in a city ( I understand that some drivers would have been making longer journeys than to Enfield, but equally some could have been making even shorter journeys) the journey time is not that much longer by bike, and that the exercise would help ward off diabetes and other illnesses.

Londoners are must start facing up to the fact that for a myriad of reasons car use has to drop. And one of those reasons is that traffic has devastated children's independence over my lifetime.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Hal Haines

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