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TOPIC: Families say "Thank you for the bike lanes"

Families say "Thank you for the bike lanes"
14 Mar 2018 19:04 #3709

Basil Clarke Basil Clarke's Avatar Topic Author
[Original article]

thank you for the bike lanesOn Sunday families came out in their scores to celebrate the inauguration of the cycle lanes connecting Palmers Green to Enfield Town along the A105.

thank you for the bike lanesThe assembled riders say Thank you for the bike lanes (Click on photo to enlarge)

More than 200 people assembled outside Coffee Break in Winchmore Hill, ready to set off on a varied selection of bikes - some their own, others lent out without charge by Urbo.  There were bikes large and small - tandems, cargo bikes, bikes with carriages for kids, a tricycle for disabled riders from Bush Hill Park.

a105 cycle lanes riders gather in palmers greenSome of the PG contingent gather before setting off for Winchmore Hill (Photo: Phil Rogers)

Riders too came in various shapes, sizes and ages.  They included a 5-year-old who managed the whole distance from Palmers Green to Enfield and octogenarian David Hughes, provider of our regular series Cycling in Enfield - the View from the Saddle.  Enfield Council Leader Doug Taylor got on his bike too, along with several more councillors and Enfield Southgate MP Bambos Charalambous.

Guest of honour was Will Norman, the Mayor of London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner, who told the assembled riders that Sadiq Khan was a firm supporter of Cycle Enfield. He added, "This family ride has been a great way to show how these car-dominated roads have been transformed into safe and welcoming streets for cyclists and pedestrians of all ages. The improvements that have been made to the roads of Enfield are a wonderful example of what can be achieved, and exactly what we’d like to see right across the capital.”

But the heroes of the day were Councillor Daniel Anderson, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Clare Rogers, one of the founder members of Better Streets for Enfield.  Although the Cycle Enfield proposals had been drawn up with support from both sides of Enfield Council, Cllr Anderson found himself faced with some very vociferous opposition to any measures that might in any way inconvenience car drivers,  not just from the Save Our Green Lanes campaign, but also from the Conservative group on the Council.  Better Streets for Enfield was set up in response to the campaign against the cycle lanes, bringing together people from across the borough who share the ambition of bringing back people-friendly streets to Enfield and giving the lie to to the claim that "no-one" supported the cycle lanes.

clare rogers and daughters a105 cycle lanes ride 2A very happy Clare Rogers with daughter, friends and their bikes and the tulips for presenting to Cllr Anderson

And in recognition of his persistence in providing safe cycling along Green Lanes despite the naysayers, Better Streets presented Cllr Anderson with a bouquet of tulips (from Holland, presumably, but actually purchased from Pomegranate on Aldermans Hill) and a bottle of award winning sparkling wine from Enfield's own organic vineyard at Forty Hall Farm.  The flowers were presented by two little girls who had arrived in a cargo bike.  Their mother celebrated with a tweet:

kids on bikes a105 cycle lanes"We are grateful for the cycle lanes – because they have given a once-hostile road back to our kids."

Speaking on behalf of Better Streets, Clare Rogers said thank you to Enfield Council:  "Not just thank you from us as campaigners, but on behalf of the one group of people who haven’t been to any public meetings or filled in consultations or written angry letters to the local press. These people will be affected by the scheme more than any other, but they have had virtually no say whatsoever. They are,  of course, our children. We are grateful for the cycle lanes – because they have given a once-hostile road back to our kids."

imageChris Chinnery demonstrates a tricycle from the Inclusive Cycling sessions held on Tuesday to Friday mornings in Bush Hill Park

As I've said, there were bikes of various types at the event, but perhaps the most interesting is the trike ridden by Chris Chinnery.  It's one of an amazing line-up of special bikes and trikes that disabled people are able to use during the Inclusive Cycling sessions in Bush Hill Park on Tuesday to Friday mornings.

There are a lot more photographs on Facebook and Twitter - see the links below.


What a day! Celebrating the A105 (Better Streets for Enfield)

Enfield’s new cycle route showcased on Mother’s Day (Council website)

Cycle Enfield on Twitter

Better Streets for Enfield on Twitter

Photos of the ride on Facebook (146 pictures on Cycle Enfield page)

More photos! (on the Better Streets for Enfield Facebook page)

This article was amended on 15 March 2018 to correct the captions to two photographs and add information about Inclusive Cycling.

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Families say "Thank you for the bike lanes"
15 Mar 2018 12:17 #3710

Wish I could have made this. Love the pics, kids & oldies being the most heart warming - hopefully they'll all start to use the lanes more now too, further put pay to the pathetic anti-cycling rhetoric seen around social media.

Well done all involved!

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Families say "Thank you for the bike lanes"
15 Mar 2018 16:16 #3714

I've corrected a couple of photo captions and added information about the Inclusive Cycling sessions in Bush Hill Park, which you can read about at cycleenfield.co.uk/category/cycling-events/inclusive-cycling/ . See also the video below.

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