Cycle Enfield - the sums DON'T Add up
On January 21st the West Enfield Partnership Board met to review plans for the A105 (Green Lanes) cycle lanes, following the official consultation.
Cllr Bambos Charalambous chaired the meeting, which comprised members of the Cycle Enfield project team and their consulting engineers; councillors and council officers; David Burrowes MP, as well as representatives from a number of local business, community groups and charities - appointed to act as 'critical friends',
The meeting was held after David Burrowes' referendum results showing the best evidence to date that a large number of local people do not support the proposals to put segregated cycle lanes down Green Lanes, regardless of the questionable claims being made by Enfield Council - that "the slient majority" are overwhelmingly behind the cycle lane proposals.
The meeting was after the statement from Boris Johnson that he was recommending to Enfield Council that they will halt the 'Cycle Enfield' scheme's formal approval process for the Green Lanes and other schemes for 2 months pending "more intensively and extensively" engaging with residents and businesses.
At the start of the Partnership Board meeting Cllr Charalambous read out a second letter from Major of London Boris Johnson which stated that he would give Enfield Council discretion to decide how to proceed.
So it appears that Enfield Council is planning to plough on, despite being fully aware of the scale of local opposition to Green Lanes, Enfield Town and almost certainly the Southbury Road stages of the cycle lane scheme as well.
If you click on the image below you can view the presentation which was shown at the Partnership Boad.
Please note the 'perceived positive impacts'
To make cycling safer
•More attractive improved public spaces, more liveable, improved town centres
•Improvements to public health / fitness / wellbeing, tackling obesity
•Better air quality / environmentally friendly, less pollution
•Positive impact on passing trade, local shops
•Reduce congestion, more efficient use of road space.
Further presentations will uploaded to n21online in the next few days from 'experts,' on traffic patterns & potential congestion arising from the scheme; air quality and the impact on our local economy
They did not contain a jot of evidence that the A105 cycle lane proposals can achieve these objectives
When viewing the presentation above also note that numbers of people who had N21 and N13 postcodes are shown but no results - why not?
Also without names and addresses how can anyone be sure that these votes were from actual local people?
On Monday January 25th Enfield Council issued a press release on Green Lanes which has been reprinted in full
The amended A105 Cycle Enfield scheme goes to Cabinet for approval by Enfield Council on 10 February following significant revisions in response to feedback from the many residents and businesses who took part in last year's extensive consultation.
The revised scheme will transform the centres of Palmers Green and Winchmore Hill, which will benefit from more trees, enhanced landscaping, safer cycle routes and more car parking to encourage people to shop locally. There will also be segregated cycle lanes running from Palmers Green, allowing people to cycle more safely and securely to Enfield Town.
Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Daniel Anderson, said:
"The revised A105 Cycle Enfield proposals going to Cabinet for decision, will, if approved, create enhanced town centres in Palmers Green and Winchmore Hill with improved public spaces, less street clutter, safer junctions, a more cycle and pedestrian-friendly environment and extra car spaces, including some free 30 minute parking and additional zebra crossings. These major improvements are all designed to create vibrant town centres – which encourage people to shop locally.
Cllr Daniel Anderson added:
"I was delighted that so many people responded to the consultation and these revised proposals also include significant changes in response to the views expressed by residents and businesses."
These revisions include:
• keeping Vicars Moor Lane and Hazelwood Lane two-way at their junctions with Green Lanes and retaining the left turn from Green Lanes into Station Road;
• improving parking provision for shoppers in Winchmore Hill and Palmers Green;
• adding a raised pavement to nearly all of the proposed bus boarders so passengers don't step straight on to the cycle path, when getting off the bus;
• allowing blue badge holders and dial-a-ride vehicles to set down and pick up passengers at any point along the route;
• moving parking bays to the outside of the cycle lanes to give extra protection to cyclists;
• introducing additional zebra crossing by Regency Court on Park Avenue and by St Monica's Church;
• adjusting some bus stop proposals in response to views from the community.
If the revised plans are approved by Cabinet, Enfield Council will seek approval from Transport for London to proceed with the revised proposals, which have been shaped around the views of local people. The next step would be a period of statutory consultation before the detailed design work would begin. This would include, for example, consideration of the needs of those with disabilities in the choice of construction materials used.
During this period, there would be further public engagement to explain the detail of the revised proposals, including co-design workshops where the community will be able to influence the look and feel of some of the key public spaces, for instance The Triangle in Palmers Green and new public spaces in Winchmore Hill.
Cllr Daniel Anderson added:
"As I have always said, Cycle Enfield is about so much more than creating safer and more cycle friendly streets. Preliminary analysis indicates that this scheme will not only enhance the town centres in Palmers Green and Winchmore Hill, but reduce the growing pressure on our roads, improve air quality for our residents and create a healthier more connected community.
"If approved, these plans will enable people to enjoy the new segregated cycle lanes and improved A105 town centres from this Summer onwards."
On the same day Enfield Council issued a second press release to say that they would be progressing with the Enfield Town and Southbury Road cycle lane schemes.
"Two high profile Cycle Enfield proposals will be revised and considered for approval in response to feedback received from residents, businesses and other groups. A fantastic response saw over 3,400 people participating in the recent Enfield Town and Southbury Road Cycle Enfield consultations".
No detailed statistics were provided, although in a phone call to the Enfield Council Press Officer he stated that 60% of people who voted in the Enfield Town consultation were against the cyle lane proposals.
So Enfield Council is not admitting that the consultation has gone against them
So it isn't suprising to read that Boris Johnson is 'anxious' about the Mini Holland schemes in Enfield.
"My impression at the moment, and I have seen some of the polling evidence, certainly for the scheme in Enfield Town Centre I can say there is very substantial opposition."
60% - against?
No says David Burrowes - more like 75% against
"A senior source at City Hall has informed David Burrowes MP that 75% of over 3400 people who took part in the Council's consultation oppose the plans for Enfield Town. This level of opposition matches the 75% who voted against the cycle lane plans for the A105 in David Burrowes referendum of 17000 households in his constituency"
"It is clear to any reasonable observer that the Council is steamrollering through to approval of the A105 scheme. Their attitude and approach to the last Partnership Board smacked of intransigence and arrogance. The grounds for approving the scheme look weaker as more information comes to light. The lack of reliable evidence of community support and positive impact on high street businesses is significant. The Council's irrational approach to the public is becoming all too clear and open to political and legal challenge."
a week is a very long time in local politics - watch this space?
Is Cycle Enfield reaching hte end of the road, - the sums don't stack up