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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.

Links

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.

Log in to comment

David Eden posted a reply #3710 15 Mar 2018 12:17

Families say "Thank you for the bike lanes"

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!
PGC Webmaster posted a reply #3714 15 Mar 2018 16:16

Families say "Thank you for the bike lanes"

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.

Karl Brown posted a reply #3794 13 Apr 2018 14:29

Families say "Thank you for the bike lanes"

£350m extra weekly for the NHS via the big red bus, Turkey, and so 70 million potential UK migrants to join the EU, and now, Enfield Council funded the cycle lanes. There is a real democratic issue in politicians spouting such popularist matter in the hope of getting across the election line. Damage is long term, not only to their personal credibility but to the wider population left to live with the misinformation.

Conservative councillor Ertan Hurer writes in the latest Palmers Green Life.

For a number of years he has suggested I take a close look at the council’s budget. Let me now refer him to Cabinet minutes of April 2015 (copied below) – a position I have little doubt he is well aware of. Very clearly a TFL funded project.

Remember the numerous “send the money back to the Mayor” yellow posters. I wonder just what was meant in this parallel world of misinformation and u turns. Maybe they meant back to the mayor of Enfield?

Before him declaring a ”white elephant” and “waste of money”, it’s probably worth reflecting that the first of the segregated lanes was not even complete when his piece was written and none of the near 40 quieter neighbourhoods expected across the borough had even started. Jumping the gun?

Divisive within our community he claims – yes and due to what ongoing approach to this long term programme his party once fully endorsed before they lost the election and therefore management of the TFL money I wonder? Division which resulted in the end of such free activities as Palmers Scream, Proms in the Park and others then in train for why was I to throw so much effort into a community many were intent on simply ripping apart. Calm, rationale debate never had a chance.

“If I had been in control” then our money would have been spent on Broomfield House. Well the same councillor was Cabinet Member for Finance for two whole terms. And?

Last time his conservative party turned aside huge central London funding, secured by a joint residents / council effort to improve our streets, it took him a full decade to confess, “Karl, we were wrong a decade ago”. This time I was expecting a u turn on the u turn to take much less time, but no, it seems that while the world hasn’t ended, the public realm is more attractive, congestion is not the forecast disaster, shops haven’t closed, more cyclists are in evidence as each day goers by and so forth, the answer is to dig even deeper in the hole of your own making in the hope something, just anything crops up. Maybe it’s the orcas, maybe it’s the occasional open car door, maybe it’s the. Well let’s see what comes next.

And he signs off as a retiring councillor soon to be “on the other side of the fence. Oh, but forgetting to mention that he’s actually standing as a councillor again. Just perfectly sums it all up.
Enfield Council Cabinet Minutes 29 April 2015
4. CYCLE ENFIELD PROPOSALS
4.1 The total estimated cost of the Cycle Enfield project is £42M
4.2 The funding package assembled for this project comprises of the following:
Source Contribution £M
TfL Mini Holland programme 30.000
LIP/other GLA 7.726
Developer contributions 1.000
Network Rail 1.500
Borough resources 2.150
Total 42.376
4.3 The £2.150 million of Borough resources identified above is from an existing or planned borough source. The Mini Holland bid assumed that some of the proposed cycle routes are on Borough Roads and Principal Roads that would be resurfaced over the next five years

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