Enfield Council press the green button but the road ahead is far from clear
On February 10th Enfield Council's Cabinet voted to proceed with the proposals to build segregated cycle lanes down both sides of the Green Lanes, from Enfield Town to the North Circular.
THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED SHORTLY WITH MORE NEWS ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN SO ENCOURAGE ENFIELD COUNCIL TO CONSIDER ALTERNATIVE ROUTES WHICH WOULD HAVE LESS OF AN IMPACT ON THE LIVES OF THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN THE LOCAL AREA
This is despite:
* Questionable results from the public consultation;
* David Burrowes' referendum results amongst people who actually live on or close to Green Lanes (instead of in Aberdeen or Bristol, as was the case with the 'official consultion;
* Submissions against the proposals from the Winchmore Hill, Grange, Fox Lane & District and the Enfield Town residents associations and other community associations including the Over 50s Forum;
" Submissons from Green Lanes businesses and the Green Lanes Business Association;
* Hundreds of emails, letters and social media posts from people who believe that Green Lanes is too narrow and congested to accommodate these cycle lanes and that insufficent attention has been paid to the needs of residents, shoppers and business owners.
* Boris Johnson's suggestion that the plans are halted for two months to allow for further modelling of the impct of these proposals. This has already been done in Kingston upon Thames, another 'Mini Holland' winner.
Enfield Council has 'misrepresented' reports commissioned to 'demonstrate' that the cycle lane proposals would not have a negative impact on Green Lanes businesses, lead to more congestion, a worsening of air quality and make it harder for people with limited mobility travel around their local area.
Grange ward councillor Terry Neville OBE, who heads the Conservative opposition group writes:
"This is not however the end of the line.The next step will be a call in for scrutiny during March. If that fails there must then be statutory consultation on the plans which will begin probably not before April, and only then if the Tfl board agrees to release the money to Enfield. Meanwhile, David Burrowes and I are continuing to press Boris Johnson to re consider the release of the money very carefully, having regard to the strong opposition and the fact that the case for this expenditure is weak in the extreme"
Enfield Council is anticipating that their decision to proceed will be challenged in the courts. Evidence is currently being assembled and put before a barrister, to ascertain that there is a good grounds to challenge these proposals, on the basis that the consultation process was flawed and that the scheme will not have a negative impact on the local area.
Once this has been established, Enfield Council will be served notice of the intent to call for a judical review.
Key points for consideration will be:
The online consultation process was open to abuse. It was possible for anyone to complete the questionnaire from anywhere in the world, without any knowledge of the local area. It was also possible for people to submit made up questionnaires as no personal details were required, other than a postcode in the borough. In other TfL cycle lane consultations respondents are required to provide their name.
Regeneris, who were commissioned to undertake an economic risk assessment argued that the A105 cycle lane scheme was unlikely to achieve its objectives in encouraging more people to shp locally by bike and that it was not sufficiently "transformative" to have any positive uplift for the local economy in either Winchmore Hill or Palmers Green.
For this 'in depth' study the Regeneris team talked to ten local businesses, none of them from the 53 restaurants, bars and takeaways along the route that operate in the evening, when the loss of parking on single yellow lines will be most keenly felt. Even so, they' miraculously' found that in their estimation the most likely outcome would be a drop in turnover of around 1%.
What is COMPLETELY MISSING from this report is any projection of the loss of turnover the business might suffer during the three - six months when the cycle lanes are being built, even though the consultants discuss the risks that customers might shop elsewhere. During the construction stage up to forty parking spaces could be lost in the proximity of Winchmore Hill Broadway, yet argue that over the year the loss of income will be negligible.
Here is a link to the full Regeneris report LINK
And this submission made on behalf of Winchmore Hill business owners here
Similarly the Environmental Impact Analysis found that even if the council achieves its aim of converting five per cent of car journeys to travel by bicycle the impact will be just a .01 per cent reduction in air pollution. Breathe deep everyone, you're really going to notice that! Oh, except they only modelled the impact taking into account journeys going north/south along the A105, they did not include the additional delays likely to be created on the east-west cross routes at road junctions in their calculations. So, that report should also be taken with a pinch of salt.You can read the report here
The report of the Equalities Impact Analysis was not circulated until just prior to the Cabinet meeting to 'decide' on whether the scheme should continue. Removal of all the central crossing refuges, two sections of bus lane, around 70 kerb side parking spaces, will all make it harder for people with mobility problems to move around their local area. A more detailed analysis of the main flaws of the scheme will be appended to this article shortly.
DOES THE CYCLE ENFIELD 'PROPOGANDA' BREECH THE CODE OF RECOMMENDED PRACTICE ON LOCAL AUTHORITY PUBLICITY?
The Code requires that local authority promotional material should be
Be cost effective
Have regard to equality and diversity
Be issued with care during periods of heightened sensitivity
Read the code here
WHY NO 'TRIUMPHANT' PRESS RELEASE?
"Cycle tracks along main roads can enourage people to stop, shop and spend money on their local high streets"
Sorry this isn't what your experts are saying
A week after the Enfield Council cabinet meeting, there has been no press release announcing that the scheme will go ahead - perhaps they can see that the road ahead is very congested?
Perhaps Enfield Council now realises that this is a 'road to nowhere'?
There is no way that Haringey Council will allow it to proceed down their section of Green Lanes.
On February 10th Enfield Council's Cabinet voted to proceed with the proposals to build segregated cycle lanes along Green Lanes from Enfield Town to the North Circular.