Open Letters to Cllr Denial Anderson and LBE officers
Local residents and business owners are sick to death of the banal, glib answers trotted out by senior Enfield Councillors and officers, when we clearly face a serious crisis in Winchmore Hill and now also in Palmers Green.
Here are a selection of the responses sent to me. Take the time to read them. They are detailed, written by people who have clearly done proper research and believe that this undemocratic Enfield Mini Holland mess should be halted, before our local high streets are destroyed and we have accidents on what until now hasn't been an especially dangerous road.
Park Avenue junction is a death trap 23/5
Cycle for Enfield as we know has been beset with many problems. I would like to bring to your attention the junction of the A105, Park Ave and Village Rd at St Stephens Church.
I thought the idea of cycle paths was to make it safer for cyclists, this junction is a death trap. Whoever designed this cycle crossover did not have safety in mind for any road users be they on bikes, in vehicles or on foot so whoever passed this scheme in Enfield Council is at fault for discounting public safety.
The crossing put in for cyclist crossing over Park Ave is far too close to the junction with the A105 so that any vehicle turning left at the junction only has 9 to 10 feet before it connects with the cycle path at which vehicles are supposed to stop, also if vehicles are travelling from the Bush Hill Park side it is a sharp bend just before the cycle path. Having double white lines on the road cyclists would assume all traffic would stop and they would have a clear run on the cycle path.
Traffic turning right into this junction from the A105 would be going at least 20 miles per hour which has a stopping distance of 40 feet. Any vehicle turning left into Park Ave would be going at least 10 miles an hour, at 10 miles an hour stopping distance would be approximately 20 feet and at 5 miles per hour the stopping distance would be approximately 10 feet depending on weather conditions, any cyclist using the path at this junction would be expecting vehicles to stop so there is bound to be an accident.
Any motor vehicle driver who did indeed notice the double white lines and stopped would cause havoc as the car behind being unable to see the road markings could crash into them.
This is a very busy junction which I observed for over a three quarters of an hour; there were a large number of vehicles using this junction from all directions but not one stopped at the double white lines.
I would now like to quote the highway code - "double white lines across the carriageway are for traffic to give way at a major road and can be used at mini-roundabouts". No mention of cycle tracks with these road markings. What it does state as Rule 81 "cycle only crossings, cycle tracks on opposite side of road must be linked by traffic light signalled crossings you may cross the road but only when green cycle is shown."
In my opinion if the track followed the A105 rather than being dropped back 9/10 feet it would have been a much safer option.
Bush Hill Park Resident
Retired from the London Ambulance Service
and Vice Chair FERAA
Rat-running on Radcliffe Road. 20/5
Dear David (Burrowes) and local councillors
Has anyone taken a walk – or indeed tried to take a drive - around Winchmore Hill Broadway since the arrival of the lights at the junction with Green Lanes, Station Road and Fords Grove/Farm Road?
When the road was being re-surfaced a few weeks ago we had a taste of what was to come. All traffic was sent on a diversion up and down Radcliffe Road between 8pm and 6am. There was a continuous stream up and down a totally unsuitable residential road. We thought it was temporary.Little did we know!
Now the lights have been switched this volume of traffic is even worse – and it continues through the whole day and night. Did whoever set up the timing on the traffic lights ever consider just how much traffic uses Station Road? Have they hung around long enough to review what's happening?
Traffic on Green Lanes is flowing straight through with a lengthy green timing – in both directions and indeed the lights are often green with nothing in sight. By contrast the queue up Station Road seems never less than 10 cars and in the middle of the morning on Friday (1030) was 14 cars and today, Saturday ( 1030 again) up to 18. Since 2 cars can go through at a time on green, 1 extra on the orange ( and frequently in desperation a fourth on red!) this means several changes of light and lengthy waits.
Absolute nonsense – no wonder Radcliffe Road has become a race track with cars hurtling through in both directions. We have even had lorries, council Refuse Lorries and builders' lorries with skips all tearing down the road – and it all has to play chicken at the right hand bend as well as dodging in and out of the cars parked on both sides of a residential street.
This is a totally unsustainable situation. We are a narrow side road not designed to be a race track.
Something needs to be done and urgently before there is a serious accident.
As a registered blue badge holder who wishes to support the local businesses (unlike Enfield Council) I have experienced the following problems 15/5.
Winchmore Hill Broadway.
There were no parking spaces available either North or South of Green Lanes.
I had to park in the Fords Grove car park and walk with my crutches up hill over the bridge to collect my urgent Medication from Atkinsons Pharmacy, then back to the traffic lights to cross the road. The walk to the paper shop, the butcher and the baker. Then walk back to the traffic lights with my crutches, carrying my shopping, back to the car park. Total time taken 30 minutes. Usually it takes about 10 minutes.
Whilst I was there I witnessed one of the apparently shouting at a disabled woman on her scooter as she had apparently got inside the pedestrian barriers and wanted the worker to move the barrier across Compton Road so she could leave. This I observed from a distance do cannot confirm what actually to place.
I had an appointment at the optician.
No on street parking.
New temporary traffic lights at The Fox roundabout and congestion at the triangle.
It took 15 Minutes to travel from Winsor Road to Palmers Green car park. 4 changes of lights.
Please also note the 3 cyclist who passed me while I was waiting ignored the red lights. (what is new!).
After I left the carpark I tried to return to Hedge Lane via Hazelwood Lane only to be met by congestion due to parked vehicles and traffic try to avoid the chaos.
The way things are going I wonder how many local shops will be left by the time the cycle lanes are completed.
I also would like to draw your attention to a prominent local cyclist's comments. 'CYCLE LANES ARE NOT FOR REAL CYCLSTS'
That shows the contempt that some of them have for your lanes.
Several cyclists in the main road going around Masons Corner. Not using the provided cycle lane. Blocking and holding up traffic. Understand this has been photographed.
01.00 hrs this morning the traffic lights were red to allow cars to exit Sainsbury. Suggest traffic lights be switched off when Sainsbury are closed.
Palmers Green is becoming grid locked at times due the closure of Broomfield Lane and the temporary traffic lights. I took 20 minutes to get from the Fox to the North Circular. This is even before you start work on the Aldermans Hill junction.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT THEN !
The proposed closure of Bourne Hill from 10/5 for 6 weeks has not yet happened. Has this been cancelled ? Understand traffic will be diverted via Aldermans Hill. Can this be possible with the current congestion (see above).
The closure of Compton Road due 8/5 for 2 months has not happened. Has this been cancelled ?
Problems for the disabled at Winchmore Hill Broadway. I had to assist a disabled man with his shopping as there was insufficient room on the pavement due to the current road works.
He also asked if I knew what he will have to do when the cycle lanes finally get going. Does he have to us the cycle lane or the pavement ? I could not help him. Do you know ?
I have also been talking to someone I met someone who runs a group for the elderly and those with visual problems. I was told that a lot of the members are concerned with having to cross the cycle lanes to get on and off the buses that they rely on. Also one of the members with visual problems keeps on getting lost due the road works, fences and crossings being moved. Can you understand how he feels ?
Richard Johnsen (Frustrated driver and local shopper)
FORMAL COMPLAINT REGARDING WINCHMORE HILL BROADWAY (3.5.17)
Dear Mr. Taylor, Mr. Miller,
I am lodging the following formal complaints regarding ongoing works to the pedestrian ways on The Broadway N21.
I notice workers are currently reducing footpath widths on The Broadway. This reduction has not been shown on drawings circulated during the consultation.
Insufficient space has been allowed for cycle lanes, motorised transport and pedestrians to co-exist.
I do understand that most laws concerning building and infrastructure are not retrospective and therefore do not apply to any infrastructure in place before the passing of any law and in some cases existing pavement widths are less than the recommended minimum of 2.4m. However this is no excuse for making other, additional sections of the pavement area narrower than the officially recognised minimum of 2.4m. This will make the area more difficult to negotiate for pedestrians and bus passengers and in particular for those with prams or pushchairs and for wheelchair users. Furthermore, with some of these road alterations you are reducing pavement widths even further, when these footways were overloaded even before you started works.
These reduced width pavements will, following cycle lane construction, be more heavily used and more obstructed than before. That is before considering street furniture - road signs, street lighting, a post box, etc. Deliveries to shops and flats will now have to be, in many cases, trolleyed in along these pavements. Cycles are parked on pavements chained to street furniture and cyclists continue to defy traffic laws by riding along these pavements.
All of this will make pedestrian traffic much more difficult, but especially so for those with push chairs, wheel chairs, mobility scooters etc. etc. As it affects wheelchair users and mobility scooters more than other groups of road users this should have been examined in an equality impact assessment.
I therefore also question whether making worse and/or denying of proper access to the disabled is legal. It would appear to conflict with your duties under the Equality Act 2010. I can see no reference to narrowing of the pavements, or reference to surveys of pedestrian traffic existing or predicted, in your 'Predictive Equality Impact Assessment'. I therefore believe that both you and your designers have both been negligent in not properly considering the consequences of footpath width reduction.
Complaint 4. Work has commenced without the necessary detailed survey to ensure that everything will fit. Neither have you carried out Road Safety Audits at the required points in the design process.
Business proprietors have not been warned in sufficient detail of your proposals nor has sufficient attention been given to mitigating the adverse impacts of the work on their day-to-day actions.
Taken together Council tax and business rate payers are seeing large sums of money wasted on things that will not work in practice with proposed increased inaccessibility threatening the livelihoods of those living and working there.
I look forward to your early response to the above complaints.
YOU ARE REQUIRED TO ENGAGE AND LISTEN
To all Councillors & Officers of Enfield Council
I need to update you on the complete farce of a project that has been damaging our parade since January.
A while ago we noticed that Bush Hill Road seemed too narrow for two way traffic and we informed Rilwan about this. Not surprisingly Ringway had to dig up the side by the park to widen that section for suitable traffic flow.
For over fifteen weeks the barriers outside my shop removed our parking and for nearly six weeks an unconnected piece of cycle lane was left untouched until yesterday. But we were still fed the lie by various parties that there was mitigation and that parking was provided.
Two days ago Ringway finally realised that they had built a section of cycle lane next to an advertising board which projected into that lane. So they had to dig up paving again to assist its removal.
And today the idiots are digging up the paving on Bush Hill Road yet again because they forgot to connect the power to some street lights!
Add to this their disgusting misuse of barriers (over 900 metres) on our parade for months and the fact they are permitted to work from 7:00am till 6:00pm but choose work 8 till 4, we have a disgraceful situation where the A105 has been worked on for over half a year now but is under 30% complete.
I have been complaining regularly about the dreadful way this project is damaging our businesses and bar one copy and pasted reply from Daniel Anderson I have been ignored by every Labour Councillor.
This is totally unacceptable and contrary to the councilors code of conduct - you are required to engage and listen!
Daniel Anderson, and Alan Sitkin – when are either of you going to start engaging with people that have genuine concerns about your cycle lanes instead of your pals at Better Streets for Enfield?
Doug Taylor – Are you going to explain to your constituents in Ponders End that their disruption and losses will be similar to that committed on the A105? Are you also going to allow this project to continue even though there are no functional plans for the Nags Head junction?
To every Labour councillor – you are currently part of a council that is ignoring every attempt to engage. Every step of the way certain parties are brushing people off with rhetoric about road widening, public realms and their discredited audits, they are wasting money on publicity stunts to try and repair the tarnish that their behavior is causing.
And when people posted complaints on Enfield Councils facebook page about Daniel Anderson's planters, they were removed along with the observation that we were witnessing Chinese style politics!
I hope that some of you recognise that Enfield Council is being steered down a very undemocratic path and try to impress on your colleagues the need to speak to all parties and listen.
Richard Turner, Lords DIY
and on behalf of the residents and traders of Bush Hill Parade & Avenue Parade
YOU ARE STILL IGNORING OUR BUSINESSES
Dear Cllr. Anderson
Referring to your post on Better Streets For Enfield on 7th April. I find it sarcastic and insulting to the thousands of people that are trying to convince you that your designs for Cycle Enfield need to be changed.
I'm truly staggered how you say "so few opponents were actually present" as a way of devaluing their strength of feeling. And then insult them further by commenting "and how muted were their reactions. So so tedious".
But not as tedious as your regular engagement with Better Streets For Enfield, where you surround yourself with "yes" people and preach to the converted. Getting pats on the back for being so resolute and affiliating yourself with the view that your opponents are cycle haters.
Cllr. Anderson, you are meant to be an elected representative of the people . So for Christs sake will you start acting like one and engage with the people of Enfield instead of a minority pressure group that seems to use you as their personal council mole.
Please be reminded of a few of your roles set out by the LGA.
As the local elected representative you will engage with residents and groups on a wide range of different issues and take on an important community leadership role.
As an elected representative it is important to let local people know what you have been doing, but it's equally important to listen to people and groups in your area.
The councillor's workbook on neighbourhood and community engagement expects you to show the following strengths.
An understanding of your ward, the representation of local voices, communicating and influencing skills.
So far Cllr. Anderson you have have exhibited little or none of these strengths and definitely are not fulfilling your role as an elected councillor in charge of a major project.
In contrast to your insular approach to politics, my colleagues and I engage with the local community seven days a week, we meet and talk to many hundreds of people and we hear opinions from every social and political demographic.
In almost two years we have only met five people that support your project. In just over seventy days 368 people have signed our petition to challenge the continuation of your cycle lanes. Indeed, many of the opponents to your scheme are cyclists themselves and convey to me their dismay at the folly of your designs.
And today, during a walk around our Parade, I hear the usual comments about how this project is a waste of money, how cyclists will use the roads and the laughs at the double painted cycle lanes in the middle of our Parade!
All these opinions would be valuable to you as a councillor and would help you to understand the considerable objection to these lanes and the impact that this project is having on peoples lives. But to ignore them, pretend that they have no value or to remove them like the negative comments about your planters were removed from Enfield Councils Facebook page is unacceptable.
So my advice to you Cllr. Anderson is to re-read The councillor's role & communication in the LGA Guidelines and The councillor's workbook on neighbourhood and community engagement and see if you can emulate the roles and strengths it expects from councillors.
Maybe then the traders and residents along the A105 and the A1010 might get a personal visit from you and a chance to voice their opinions instead of reading about your PR stunts at Forty Hall and your £8000 planters.
Richard Turner, Lords DIY
And on behalf of the residents and traders of Bush Hill Parade & Avenue Parade
DO NOT IGNORE MY EMAIL
We live in Bush Hill Road close to the main junction at Ridge Avenue and life has been turned into complete hell. When your cycle lane project started we realised this would cause us a great deal of inconvenience and more than one sleepless night. But we had absolutely no idea of the huge impact you were planning on causing permanently on our lives.
Recently retired we made a conscious decision to live out the rest of our lives in Enfield where we have spent our lives. We have worked extremely hard to get our home as we want it, we have all the local shops we want just a short walk away and the corner of Bush Hill Parade is a great place for meeting the local community and stopping for a quick chat.
You have changed all that! The major issue to us is making Bush Hill Road one way – no consultation, no informing us, we just got up one morning and signs were there. How incredibly arrogant of the council. And although there has been no consultation as yet on your plans to put a cycle lane in Bush Hill Road (laughable as I have lived here for 13years and can honestly say in that time I have seen one cyclist on one occasion) you are forging ahead with it anyway. A lot of the people here think this is a temporary closure but you can see by the work you have completed at the junction you are making our road one way permanently.
We now feel completely trapped in our home and I can't tell you how badly it is affecting us. A trip to anywhere even say Grange Park station to pick up our grandchildren (and no at 1 & 3 they can't walk or cycle) involves a major journey to return home, queuing to the end of Old Park Ridings, queuing at the end of Green Dragon Lane and always no matter which direction you try to enter Bush Hill Road from queuing along London Road, Church Street or Ridge Avenue and you can taste the exhaust fumes! This is not going to get any better when the work is done as where the traffic moved in two lanes it now has to queue all the time and woe betide if there is a bus needing to stop and allow its passengers off into the path of a wayward cyclist, it holds up the traffic further, you should live here with the car horns constantly beeping and the emergency services, who sound their sirens day or night at the junction (we accept they have to do this) but now traffic can't move out of their way so it takes much longer to get through. And then you send a bill to say our rates are increasing!
All the local small businesses are seriously thinking of closing as you had already imposed high rates, now people can't park to go there and they are all saying business is 25-30% down and they can't survive. Please stop ruining Enfield before it is too late, by the day I am seeing 'for sale' signs on houses of people who have lived here for years.
The other side is yes wouldn't it be wonderful if Enfield was a mini Holland and there were less cars on our roads but did you seriously look at the demographic of Enfield before you decided on this course. How many councillors ride bikes all the time? Exactly, and do you really think the people of Enfield are going to? I don't know anyone in favour of this scheme or who is rushing out to buy a bike anytime soon. We are a very very different borough to Waltham Forest and if you took the time to listen to your constituents you would do as Enfield Councils website says you do: Councillors do not just look after the needs of those who elected them but have a duty to the whole community, a responsibility to champion the needs of all the constituents in their ward.
The council have done this in order to get the money whilst it is available from Tfl but you are not serving the needs of your constituents or indeed listening to them. There are a very small minority of cyclists in the borough who welcome these lanes although unbelievably a week ago I saw the very rare sight of one on the road along Ridge Avenue where the cycle lane has been completed and was he using it? No he was weaving in and out of the traffic. And the amazing thing is he doesn't have to pay road tax and insurance like all the rest of us responsible drivers.
A recent article in the Evening Standard about how the cycle lanes project is severely impacting negatively on Enfield was met with a tirade of abuse on social media from cyclists who probably don't even live in the borough and have, like Enfield council, no care at all for less able, elderly residents or families with young children.
I am quite sure most residents would have, like me, preferred our councillors concern for our health, our monetary contribution and your dogged determination to see a project pushed forward, to have been expended on saving Chase Farm A & E which would have much better served the boroughs welfare.
I have just received a letter through my door from Rilwan Oshingbade to inform me that Bush Hill Road will be closed at the junction of Ridge Avenue for 5 nights 9pm to 6am from Monday 3 April. So it would seem that residents living in the lower end of Bush Hill Road are having a curfew imposed on them as there is no other way for us to get to our homes and neighbours who are taxi and minicab drivers are being told you won't be able to return home till after 6am! isn't this carrying things a little too far even in our 'big brother' borough.
I do hope that as it says on the letter PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THE CONTENTS OF THIS LETTER you do not ignore the contents of this email.
MISREPRESENTATION OF CYCLE ENFIELD CONSTRUCTION IN THE MEDIA
As usual I am obliged to let you know how much damage your mismanagement of the A105 project has inflicted on my business and the surrounding area. The mass of barriers still paralyses traffic trying to pass through or visit this parade. Most of the barriers still enclose incomplete works some untouched for over three weeks. Traffic jams occur regularly as vehicles try to negotiate the 140metres between temporary lights. Ambulances get stuck, sometimes turning around to avoid this junction. And now we are informed that this entire junction will be closed for five nights between 8pm and 6am for resurfacing, and still there is no parking!
As usual Cllr.Anderson I am still waiting for you to visit the area concerned if only to learn from your mistakes. Instead you disrespect us further with your ridiculous PR exercise that chose to spend over £8000 on planters on a 60m section of Green Lanes on the borders of Haringey instead of repairing pot holes and paving! And if that wasn't insult enough, I read in the Evening Standard your comment in the article about the drastic drop in income businesses along the A105 have shouldered.
"To date we have completed over a third of the A105 Cycle Enfield Scheme and work is accelerating"
I regularly use the A105 route and I knew this to be false so I recorded a journey along Green Lanes and was shocked at the lack of work that has been done.
After 1 1/2km from the North Circular you first meet a 200m stretch of barriers on the right that cuts off the shops from the road and ends at the Bourne Hill junction Then you meet a partly completed but non operational section next to Sainsbury which leads to the long term barriers surrounding Station Road ex-roundabout. Another ½km or so and you meet the only section of operational cycle lane. 450m from Masons Corner to Cambridge Gardens.
After that is a short stretch of incomplete works before you meet the barriers at Bush Hill Parade and Avenue Parade.
Finally there is about a 1/2km section of incomplete works until you meet the recent barriers and temporary lights at the bottom of Bush Hill.
So after nearly five months of inconvenience, traffic jams and massive loss of trade, the 5.7km stretch of the A105 has 18% part completed but non operational cycle lanes, about 6% under construction and most importantly - it has under 8% completed and operational cycle lanes.
And you have the shameless audacity to pronounce that this scheme is over a third complete.
Daniel Anderson, your incompetence is causing untold damage to our thoroughfares and businesses and is misrepresenting the aims of Cycle Enfield and Enfield Council.
I strongly suggest that you explain at the next Council meeting why you are so grossly uninformed about the A105 project and why you have consistently avoided visiting Bush Hill Parade and other areas to witness first hand the damage and lack of mitigation that you so vociferously deny exists.
Richard Turner, Lords DIY
And on behalf of the residents and traders of Bush Hill Parade & Avenue Parade
WHO OWNS ENFIELD MINI HOLLAND - ENFIELD COUNCIL OR TfL?
Dear Cllr. Anderson
At the Call-in Meeting on the 1st March 2017, a meeting open to the public, you stated that 'Cycle Enfield' is "a TfL scheme, not an Enfield scheme".
Cllr Chamberlain corrected you at the time, saying that this was not the case (ie, it is an Enfield scheme). On Friday I received confirmation from Leon Daniels at TfL that the Cycle Enfield scheme is indeed an Enfield scheme, not a TfL scheme.
Given that you are lead cabinet member for Cycle Enfield, and have been for some two years now, is it really the case that you were not in possession of the facts regarding ownership of, and responsibility for, this scheme on the 1st March 2017?
The alternative explanation is that if you did know this, then you deliberated stated something you knew not to be the truth, in a meeting open to the public.
Which of the above is the explanation for your behaviour, please?
Dr Linda Miller
TOWN PLANNER SAYS THIS IS NOT HOW IT IS DONE IN HOLLAND
The following Freedom of Information request has been sent to TFL, I request a list of all the cycle schemes that have been rejected for lesser increases in journey times due to harmful impact on bus resources and income. I know that there are at least two such schemes in the London Borough of Southwark, including at Camberwell.
Clearly, the solution is to convert this scheme to an extension of the Low Emissions Zones proposed for Haringey, with bus lanes and other bus priority measures that cyclists can use, cycle friendly junctions on the main-roads alongside parallel cycle routes on quiet-ways including an extension of Cycle Superhighway to Edmonton Green via North Middlesex Hospital and Pymmes Park to replace the insane proposal of removing the bus lane on the A1010 south of the A406.
I will add, that the Conservative Group in Enfield are being extremely generous to the Edmonton Labour Group in attempting to reverse this scheme. Politically, they would be much better off sitting back and not trying to resolve the scheme, not intervening to improve it for bus users and pedestrians, because I can tell you now that when Edmonton residents wake up to not being able to take the bus to work and not being able to park their cars, that they will in droves, vote Tory. The Borough will also be set back a few decades in terms of social equality due to material reduction in ease of access to employment. As a Town Planner myself, I can tell you that parking and public transport delays are some of the few things other than the cancellation of the Great British Bake Off that will get sleeping voters from their chairs.
I will add, that I have studied the Dutch approach at University. When they removed parking spaces and introduced cycle lanes, they did it bit by bit, removing a parking space here and a parking space there, trialling and seeing the impact before removing more. Often they would remove just one parking space at a time. This was a great success which allowed people to adapt, with adequate time for mitigation to be put in place. Just because you say this is Dutch does not mean it is, and it is certainly not the Dutch way to remove over 40% of parking on a busy commercial road with countless businesses in one go. An approach that was not and will never be taken in Holland, so it is fraudulent to claim that such a cockeyed approach has anything in common with the far more sensible Dutch Planners.
Philip R, MSc, PGDip.
MAJOR SAFETY CONCERNS ON THE A105 CYCLE LANE
Dear Cllr. Anderson
Thank you for your email.
Your response starts with the incredible statement that " the roads will actually be wider along much of the stretch". I have no need to challenge this assertion, it's veracity is destroyed by the responses made by Jarvis to recommendations in Mini Holland cycling scheme Stage 1 Road Safety Audit ref : 2524/032/A105/BOR/2015. I refer you to pages 7,8,10,14,23,24 and 25 where Jacobs state " The scheme reduces carriageway widths ". Page 23 of the report contains an interesting fact that " an acceptable carriageway width is 3.25 meters in each direction". The cycle lane scheme required the removal of pedestrian refuges and this was an obvious indicator that the road was not wide enough to support the scheme. Pages 23, 24 and 25 of the audit report confirm this. Just read the response about the proposed crossing at St. Monica's church " there is no longer space for an advisory crossing island " or the responses re Compton Road and Vicar's Moor Lane junctions with Green Lanes, " pedestrian refuges could not be retained as the carriageway is reduced to accommodate the proposed cycle lane, parking bays and an acceptable traffic lane width". I presume that's a width of 3.25 metres!
You mention that the scheme has the support of health professionals and you mention Glenn Stewart in particular. I attended a meeting last June, organised by Enfield Over 50's Forum, where Mr Stewart gave a presentation on the health benefits the cycle scheme. One of the issues raised, by the attendees, was the safety of people boarding and alighting from buses directly onto a cycle lane. The response to this came not from Mr Stewart, but from a cyclist. He stated quite emphatically, that there would be no problem. Why? Because he, as a competent cyclist would not use the cycle lane and therefore those using it would have plenty of time to stop. Was the pertinent information that cyclists won't be using the cycle lane ever fed back to Enfield councillors and officers ?
In response to my concerns about the safety of orcas and mini orcas you referred me to the ongoing road safety audit which contains very interesting and informative information. Enfield's Parking and Traffic Policy 2017 document does the same. I read in Section 3.16 that Mandatory Cycle lanes are expected to increase significantly with the introduction of new cycle schemes. I presume that the A105 is one such scheme and at some point it will become a Mandatory Cycle lane. In order to comply with the definition of a Mandatory Cycle Lane you will have to remove all the expensive looking orcas and replace them with a solid white line. One has to question the value for money aspect of this.
You refer me to Enfield's mitigation measures. Let's look at a few. Up grade car parks, does that mean becoming a pay and display car park. Staged works so that they finish quickly and without disruption. Minimising disruption? Ridge Avenue was a sea of barriers with no work happening. Finishing quickly? Ridge Avenue scheduled work September to December 2016 just about finished, a three month job took 5. Sainsburys junction, planned work November to January, still ongoing, may finish mid March. Hope.
I'm confused by this sentence: An increase in the number of journeys made by bicycle will help reduce congestion, which is likely to increase given that Enfield's population is set to rise by 75,000 within the next 15 years and therefore improve journey times".
I've looked at the report on Enfield's web site relating and to population growth figures 2013-2033. Currently, the 65+ age group account for 12.8% of Enfield's population. In the short term to 2023 those aged 55-64 are especially likely to increase their proportion. In the long term to 2033, the 60+ age group is likely to increase their proportion. Whilst the proportion of under 15's is set to fall over the same period. The stepped graph illustrates the change very dramatically. Had these population growth projections been reversed, you may have been able to argue that there would be an increase in journeys made by bicycle, but as it stands this argument fails. You have created a very expensive white elephant.
With regard to changes made to the draft traffic management orders resulting from statutory consultation. Here's how it works, a proposal that is plainly ridiculous and unenforceable is proposed, placing time constraints to designated parking on the west side of Green Lanes. From Monday to Saturday between the hours 8am-6.30pm parking allowed for 2 hours followed by a 4 hour no return restriction. A report is then produced removing the time constraint and the council says we listened.
The Inrix report is also interesting. We all know that London is becoming an increasingly congested city, due to increased mini cabs and delivery of online purchases. I note that Cambridge with its miles of cycle lanes and thousands of cyclists is 13th in the table. I was interested to learn about SCOOT technology and how it optimizes traffic light timings to reduce delays. When can we expect to see the benefits of SCOOT in place across Enfield.
I am well aware of the former mayor's role in encouraging cycling. I am also aware of the current mayor's decisions around schemes and purchases made by the previous mayor. His scrapping of the diesel/ electric Boris bus, the illegal water cannons which the mayor had no authority to deploy and possibly, the scrapping of the garden bridge. All vanity projects for Boris. Regrettably, Boris's penchant for rushing through, not thinking through, his projects have had disasterous consequences for cyclists. The CS2 cycle route has seen loss of life, in particular the at the Bow / Aldgate roundabout, which has now had to be redesigned.
I notice that have ignored my concerns about cyclists safety when they are hidden behind parked cars. I refer to the Stage 1 audit report section 3.4 page 7 which highlights the possibility of nose to tail collisions where cars have to brake suddenly prior to turning into side roads and the more worrying possibility of cycle vehicle conflict. The scheme's plan to hide cyclists behind parked cars represents a danger to both cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. The issue of drivers turning left into side roads had been dealt with, but what about vehicles turning right having to brake suddenly to avoid a cyclist thereby placing themselve in danger of being hit by oncoming traffic. I can't imagine that any auditors will accept this state of affairs .
Incidentally, when will the Stage 2 audit be published ? I presume that it has taken place as it should have done on the completion of the design stage.
I notice that Sadiq Khan has recently made a number of statements expressing concerns about cycle schemes, " the needs of local residents.. must be paramount" , " first phase has not been a huge success - we need to learn" , " we are speaking to councils to divert cyclists away from main roads particularly in outer London" and finally, " the construction of segregated cycle lanes in itself causes pollution".
I would be interested to know if Enfield Council is taking an notice of the mayor of just carry on regardless in it's own bombastic manner.
OUR BUSINESSES ARE SUFFERING
Dear Councillor Anderson
Thank you your reply. I shall address each of your points in turn:
Support for the scheme
I make reference to the survey carried out by David Burrowes, which showed that 75% of the 17,0000 consulted were against the plans. I make reference to my friends, my neighbours and my colleagues who live and work in the area, all of whom are dismayed by the works and the chaos that they are causing.
I base my views on empirical evidence, namely views of the shopkeepers and shop users that I meet while conducting my everyday local business. While in Lords last week, no less than 3 people signed the petition against the scheme in the brief 10 minutes that I was there. Each was vociferous in their anger at how they feel the scheme is causing disruption and chaos.
While also visiting my pharmacist, she lamented about the loss of trade that she was experiencing. Elderly people who can no longer park easily are having to resort to using the pharmacy at Sainsbury's. Many of her customers have been loyal customers over the years, and are sad to withdraw their patronage; they value the personal care and attention of a dedicated pharmacist who has been involved in their health care over the course of many years and who they consider to be a trusted friend. Plans to upgrade the shop are now on hold as the future is so uncertain.
My hairdresser was especially grateful for my custom last week, as apparently so many clients had cancelled appointments. The shop was empty but for myself and one other customer. Again, the owner is considering his future in Winchmore Hill, as with customers opting for salons which are more accessible, his future is also precarious.
In all, I visited 5 shops during my morning shop in Winchmore Hill. I can assure you that not one single business owner supports this scheme. Without exception, each business owner was in despair about the loss of footfall and consequently the loss of business. If you are seeking to rely on the fact that this scheme has the support of the local community, please, go out into the local community and canvass the opinions of the local people. Perhaps also consider the question that you are asking. Phrased in such nebulous and inherently biased terms as "would you support a healthier and safer Enfield for everyone," no doubt you will gain overwhelming support. Ask people the more honest and specific question of whether they agree with cars being pushed onto residential roads, local shops ceasing trading and pollution increasing as cars line up behind busses that now hold up all traffic and you will finally be recognising the reality of the impact of this scheme on local residents.
While you may view me as someone who is "vociferous in their opposition", my opposition stems not from a dislike of cyclists or of cycling schemes, far from it, my opposition stems from the insouciant manner in which this scheme has been conceived and is now being imposed. To state that I might not agree with what you are trying to achieve is both trite and lazy. I have made clear that I support sensible initiatives which make our streets healthier for residents; I too am one of those residents and stand to benefit from healthier streets. However, in the morning, my own road is now completely clogged up with traffic. Living on a hill, as more than 20 cars form an orderly but impatient uphill queue all along Old Park Ridings - engines idling - the fumes are both visible and pungent. Is this your vision of a healthy street initiative? No doubt Green Lanes will continue to experience a significant decrease in traffic flow as traffic is squeezed into bottlenecks and the area avoided, however, these drivers are not now on bikes making their daily commute to work, they are in fact either queuing on my road or seeking out new routes throughout the residential back streets of Winchmore Hill and Grange Park.
Finally, to seek to rebut my contention that this project does not have the support of local people by resorting to bringing those "who have not expressed a view at all" into the equation is quite simply lamentable.
I am glad that money is being spent on our key destination centres. Sadly, however, the traffic chaos which is resulting is likely to leave these so called destinations more akin to ghost towns than destinations.
In general I welcome initiatives to increase more active forms of travel, especially when such schemes are well conceived, appropriate and proportionate to the needs and desires of the local population, young and old. Shopping list and weather permitting, I often enjoy the very scenic and pleasant trip to Enfield on foot, via the town park. For most people, despite what they might tell you in surveys, it isn't simply the availability of cycling lanes or indeed the safety of cycling that prevents people from being active, it is pure and simple inertia. We have had pavements for very many years and despite the fact that walking requires nothing more expensive or complicated than a sturdy pair of shoes, many people will still make ridiculously short journeys by car. Cycling is certainly one strand in the fight to improve public health, but it not one into which we should sink all our hard earned funds in the naïve expectation that people will suddenly invest in pedal bikes, or the fancy and expensive electric bikes to which you make reference.
A more pragmatic and sensible approach would surely have been to have made our quieter residential roads more amenable to walking and cycling? This would have avoided clogging our main arteries and displacing traffic into areas of Winchmore Hill and Grange Park that simply do not have the capacity to support such levels of traffic.
I welcome the fact that you say that you are working with the local shops to minimise disruption, however, please bear in mind however, that mere platitudes and imperious signs declaring that "we are making our streets better for everyone" will not help ease their suffering. Listen to these people; they live and work here, they interact with residents here, they know how this area works far better than you or any of the remote consultants employed to produce business forecasts. If they are saying that these plans will ruin their businesses and are causing disruption for the people who live and shop here, your duty as our elected representative is to respond, not to arrogantly posture that you are doing this for a greater good.
Cycling as a mode of transportation
I have no objections to cycling as a means of transportation – I own a bike myself. At the risk of repeating myself, I would be happy to cycle along the quieter residential streets of Winchmore Hill and Grange Park which are far more scenic than Green Lanes.
Punishing car drivers
Whether it is your intention or not, the reality is that you are displacing car drivers away from the main arteries which are designed for cars . You might not be punishing them, but you are punishing the residents of Winchmore Hill and Grange Park whose roads have now been transformed by a volume of traffic they were not designed to support. You are also punishing the owners of local businesses who make Winchmore Hill a community.
To conclude, I do not wish to enter into protracted correspondence with you Councillor, even I can recognise the folly and futility of doing so. However, please do not resort to accusing those who oppose you "as not agreeing with what you are trying to achieve" as if you yourself are the paragon of virtue and your detractors are somehow less socially aware or responsible. You will find that most, if not all residents of Winchmore Hill would happily work towards a healthier Enfield, after all, its where we actually live. My concerns, and indeed those of many of the local people who have shared their opinions with me, is that this scheme quite simply does not fulfil these healthier objectives. In this regard, we have every right to hold you to account. I am sure, as I end my correspondence with you, many will just as vociferously take up the mantle.
Suzanne De Jarne
OUR BUSINESSES HAVE BEEN IGNORED
Dear Cllr Anderson,
Thank you for your response. I address your various points below. You say that you " take the viability of businesses in Enfield extremely seriously, but do recognise that during any infrastructure work some temporary disruption
inevitably occurs. For this reason a number of mitigation measures have been put in place, which are publicly available here
If you take the viability of businesses so seriously, why did it take you until mid-February – some four months after work had started - to publish your very generic mitigation measures? Shouldn't these have been more specific and drawn up in advance, not four months after work had started? There isn't even a mention of mitigation measures for bus users. And we note that, risible as these measures may be, you appear nonetheless to have not even managed to abide by those. You have said you will complete the work in stages to minimise disruption, so why have you got work ongoing in Winchmore Hill, Bush Hill/Church Street intersections and now Palmers Green simultaneously?
Regarding Palmers Green, virtually the whole section from Osborne Road to Fox Lane is under road works with a metal fence between the shops and the pavement. Around 30 shops and restaurants are affected – how is any business along that part of the road supposed to receive deliveries?
You say you " are always ready to discuss and consider any other mitigation measures local businesses feel may be useful and would be happy to arrange meetings with council officers and representatives from our contractors Ringway Jacobs. Indeed as you are aware Rilwan Oshingbade is Ringway Jacobs public liaison officer who is on site and available to deal with local business concerns."
Indeed we are, and the businesses are in agreement that Mr Oshingbade is indeed a very charming young man. Powerless, but very charming. He has certainly listened to businesses' concerns. To date, though, he has been unable to resolve a single issue. He appears to look increasingly embarrassed, though, as he hears more and more accounts of the problems LBE and Ringway Jacobs are causing for businesses. However, as we are aware of the limitations of some qualitative measures we have chosen not to assess him on a 7-point Likert-like 'degree of squirm' scale. Given your expertise in ' recognised standards of modes and methodologies' we assume you need neither the nature nor the limitations of Likert scales explained to you.
But given that you have kindly suggested that you are happy to discuss what other mitigation measures your officers might offer to the shops, perhaps you would like to explain to Lords DIY (copied in on this email) what you can offer them, given that they have already lost £8,000 to date and estimate they will lose a total of £30,000 by end of the financial year?
What are you going to do to help them?
Will you be happy to donate your honorarium and expenses to them, perhaps?
What about the dozens of other businesses that are suffering severe loss of income?
What compensation schemes are available to them?
Have you lost a single percent of your income in all the time you have been inflicting this damage on shops?
You say that " However, I would like to be clear that any such liaison will not involve the rerouting of the A105 scheme as this is a fundamental part of the Cycle Enfield project and the arguments for the scheme have already been subject to considerable debate both within and outside the Council, including three failed attempts at a judicial r eview where the courts ruled in the Council's favour".
Your mathematical skills appear to be deserting you, Daniel. There was one failed attempt at a judicial review. An attempt that failed because the judge did not appear to notice the significant number of witness statements contained in the evidence bundle, given he said in his summing up that SOGL might take further action "when the full witness statements are in". It is for that reason - and your decision to place a works order during the consultation period, which only later came to light and is prima facie proof that you had no intention of consulting - that we have lodged an appeal.
We then attempted one injunction, which failed because of - to use the judge's own words - the 'chicken and egg' nature of the situation regarding highways law. Indeed, he had to rely on clarifications from your barrister because he couldn't make out exactly what you had done either. So, one failed application for judicial review, which we are appealing; and one failed application for injunction, which failed because of a very specific legal point but which the judge suggested might be successful once the TMOs are 'made'. Three failed attempts at judicial review?
Count again, Cllr Anderson.
You say that " Taken as a whole, we are confident that this improved network will encourage cycling, while not adversely affecting other forms of transport significantly."
If you are so confident it will not adversely affect other forms of transport then why did you not set up a public inquiry when you received an objection from Arriva Buses during the statutory consultation, as you are required to do by law?
That would have allowed you to present your case in a public forum. If it is so obvious that there will be no adverse impact on bus services, then why did TfL lean on Arriva Buses to withdraw its complaint instead of allowing their concerns to be properly considered? And we note that although Arriva did, consequently, withdraw its formal objection the company was at pains to emphasise that it continued to hold the same concerns.
You say that ' An increase in the number of journeys made by bicycle will help reduce congestion'. Even in the inner London boroughs cycle lanes have only led to a rise to around 2% of journeys by cycle – it is extremely unlikely that cycle use in the outer London boroughs will achieve that – especially given that TfL report that most of the switch to cycling comes from young men abandoning buses. You have given over a third of the road to (at best) one fiftieth of transport users. That is NOT going to help reduce congestion AND YOU KNOW IT.
You state that " the facts are that visitors to our local town centres, including Winchmore Hill and Palmers Green, predominantly come by bus or walk. Much of the existing traffic in the area is passing through but not stopping to benefit the locality".
The fact is that you projected figures for shopper transport mode from surveys of visitors conducted with interviewers positioned mostly around bus stops. A survey of visitors actually purchasing items in shops (i.e. actual shoppers) showed that shoppers arriving by car were far more numerous than you had estimated, but you chose to ignore that – presumably because it was an 'inconvenient truth'. Now, the truth is confirmed and very many of these businesses are being hit very hard indeed by the loss of passing trade. As one of the retailers who has seen his sales drop by around 50% since the onset of the work on the A105 said: "People shop when they can get a parking space - if they can't, they don't come in. We rely on people pulling up and coming in to buy jeans, a top and a pullover. If they can't park I will not be able to carry on, if there is no passing trade."
You also say " Turning to your report, I would be interested in knowing which of the recognised standards of modes and methodologies was used in its creation. " Recognised standards of modes and methodologies were used in its creation?" Been hitting Wikipedia again Daniel? Modes and methods in creating a report? We assume what you meant to ask was "how did we decide on the assessment methodology to use, how did we agree the research instrument and what statistical analyses did we use?" Shall we answer that set of questions instead, since they make more sense?
We sought advice from a researcher with over 20 years' experience in designing and onducting evaluations and assessments (for, amongst others, BIS, the Low Pay Unit, the Local Government Association, the GLA and UKCES); they recommended that we gather quantitative data on shops' percentage losses. This was considered to be optimal, given shops would be understandably reluctant to reveal their actual takings (i.e. cash taken per week) to an interviewer. It also seemed the most relevant figure to request, given that Regeneris reported percentage impact on the local economy in their calculations.
Given the post-Christmas period is normally a quiet trading month it was agreed that shops should be asked to gauge their trading levels against a normal January/early February, as being 'up, the same or down'. Those who said up or down were then asked to put a figure on the extent by which trade was up or down.
No. We did not do that. We calculated the impact of the losses to date on the year's turnover as at the date of interview – ie over the trading year as measured to the first week in February when the interviews took place. We note that you claim that the report "has been examined both by members and officers" and yet none of you appear to have noticed the section where the report actually said this: Note these figures are for the 12 month period to the first week in February. In fact, the loss by the end of the financial year in March is likely to be greater than this as the works, and the drop in trade, continues.
It was therefore a calculation of actual impact of X number of weeks drop in sales as a proportion of a trading year. This is calculated as:
[N weeks x current percentage trading] + [50 - N weeks x 100% turnover].
(e.g. 5 weeks x 60% of usual trade, as reported) + (normal trade outside the period)
We used 50 weeks as the trading base across a 12 month period to allow for closure times at bank holidays, Easter and Christmas. The calculation did not involve any prediction forward ahead of that current week. However, since the roadworks did not look set to finish at any time soon, these shops will absolutely see a further drop in their turnover (and we will see an even larger drop in the local economy as a whole) as the weeks of construction progress – and as we said in the report.
The reason we calculated an annualised impact is because the point of the survey was to compare the data with the predictions made by Regeneris – which, you will recall, were expressed as annualised percentages. And yes, we did say at the time that this was a completely inappropriate way to express impact on small businesses, given that small profit margins may make it difficult for them to survive beyond the construction period itself.
You continue "This is a flawed approach not least given that this period in the year is generally recognised as one of the weakest periods of the year in retail trade so to extrapolate this to an annualised figure results in an accurate representation."
That is precisely why we asked them to compare their trade to a normal January, Cllr Anderson. Are you really so contemptuous in your opinion of the many business members of SOGL that you believed they would not even know this to be an issue in estimating sales figures?
For this reason we first asked traders if their trade was currently up, the same or down compared to normal January trading figures. NOTE we asked the question in that precise wording sequence, in order to avoid any 'priming' effects that might be induced by using the more negative word 'down' first.
In response, two did report improvements in trade – and yes, we included them in the overall calculations of impact on the local economy. Ten reported no change in sales turnover, although they were being affected in other ways – estate agents reporting a drop in walk-ins over the month (down to a third of the previous year), hairdressers and surgeries reporting people arriving late for appointments because of a) the traffic and b) being unable to find anywhere to park, and staff having to work into their lunch breaks and evenings in order to catch up with these appointments. Note that we also included the 'no change' group in calculating total impact on the local economy.
You also state that "I also note in the report you state that a number of businesses noted a drop in trade as early as September, which is well in advance of any of the substantive works in the vicinity of the business concerned and well before some of the junction works that have led to some of the temporary delays.
I cannot, therefore, accept in this case the assumption that any drop in trade was necessarily due to the construction works required for the delivery of the Cycle Enfield scheme or the assumption that if a business stated that they had seen revenue drop from the start of work that this translates to an 18-week period."
From the outset you have denied the fact that the A105 is an essential artery through the borough. Far from revealing the impact on businesses was unrelated to the more widespread traffic works, the findings reveal that, just as SOGL predicted, if you choke off a major artery upstream, you will see effects further downstream. In fact, shopkeepers were asked when their trade first showed a decline.
Some, it is true, did say that it had happened over just the last few weeks. One estimated three weeks, three said four weeks, eight said eight weeks. We do not believe that these differences imply some unreliability in their ability to report – rather they show that shopkeepers were doing their best to give accurate reports of when their takings first started to fall, and this varied depending on the nature of their business and their exact location. But yes, a total of 17 said that their problems had started with the commencement of works further along the A105 in September.
Since you are so interested in methodology and statistics Cllr Anderson, let me state that we estimated percentage impact separately for each of these businesses based on number of weeks for which they had been affected by the time of the interview. At no point did we say all businesses had been affected, nor that they had all been affected for 18 weeks. Quite how carefully do you say you read the report, Daniel?
Finally, to return to your claim that "I cannot, therefore, accept in this case the assumption that any drop in trade was necessarily due to the construction works required for the delivery of the Cycle Enfield scheme"
Really, Cllr Anderson? You think that a total of 38 shops experiencing drops in sales of between 5 and 50% is just due to some random other factor? Really?
May we remind you, Cllr Anderson, that these were long-established shops, not fly-by-night enterprises. Some of the 50 shops we surveyed have been trading for between 30 and 50 years. They are well qualified to report on their turnover and the way it has reacted to external threats in the past. One of the final questions we therefore asked the 38 shopkeepers who reported a trading loss was whether they had ever experienced such a drop before. We asked that expecting them to probably allude to the 2008 recession.
We found that three did refer to the recession, one to seasonal fluctuations and one to a particularly cold winter when sales had fallen. Five businesses in total. The others had experienced nothing on this scale. Do you really still want to cling to this belief that the damage to our local economy is nothing to do with the construction work? The other 33 shops reporting a trading loss were quite clear that the construction work was where the blame for their drop in trade should be laid.
We intend to repeat this survey in March and extend it to Palmers Green. This detailed monitoring of the impact on vital local businesses is something that Enfield Council should be doing. Indeed Regeneris stress "the need for ongoing monitoring".
Lastly, you say that "Regardless of our differences in opinion of the results of your research document, I do not believe it to be a good strategy for you to continually publicly promote the erroneous message that the area is gridlocked and a no-go area for customers, which it is not, but can help create the very situation you wish to avoid."
If the area is not gridlocked, can you explain to us why the 329 bus is now terminating at Wood Green, Cllr Anderson? When are you going to stop lying?
You reiterate at the end of your letter that "we take the vitality of local business seriously and again offer any business the opportunity to discuss their individual needs with council officials and representatives from Ringway Jacobs". We await to hear from Lords DIY how you propose to respond to their 'individual needs' – and those of the many other shops whose businesses you are in the process of wrecking.
If you genuinely take the vitality of local businesses seriously why are you continuing to lie about the costs of this scheme for the local economy?
Thirteen shops in Winchmore Hill are already considering closing if business does not improve soon; nine at Bush Hill parade junction.
How many shops are you willing to sacrifice across the borough in order to drive this scheme through, Cllr Anderson? Because there are a lot of shops along the A1010 that will be in the same situation soon.
On behalf of the Committee and membership of SOGL
Stuart Miller | Cycle Enfield Community Relations Officer
Thank you for your response. It has taken two weeks since our email for you to send a link to a one-page pdf. It has been a month since we have been asking for information. This contrasts with the assertions made on Cycle Enfield's twitter account that the document was more substantial, a supposedly live document that needed to be redacted.
It seems to us that your mitigation plans (published in February) are an afterthought, prompted only by our repeated requests. The works started in September. If you have detailed plans, where are they?
Why is there no mention of bus users in the mitigation plan?
How are you going to compensate businesses for lost earnings?
Why are residents complaining to us that they are being kept awake at night because of works? It is obvious that they haven't been told to expect that.
You claim to be working in phases. The works stretch over 2.5 miles.
If we do not receive answers to these very reasonable questions very soon, we shall be contacting the Information Commissioner over the Council's lack of transparency.
YOUR CLAIN THAT THIS CYCLE SCHEME WILL 'BENEFIT EVERYONE' IS A LONG WAY FROM THE TRUTH
Dear Cllr Doug Taylor
You wrote in the Independent last week in support of the Cycle Enfield scheme. You said that we need to think about how to prevent gridlock, and that one of the ways to do this was to encourage more cycling and use of public transport. In the longer on-line article you said that building more roads was not an option. True: but what on earth made you think that making our current roads worse was a good idea? Roads that support the growth industries of finishing, packaging and distribution in our industrial heartlands?
And who do you think it is that is disagreeing with the idea that we should encourage more cycling and use of public transport? What residents and businesses have consistently said – and you have consistently ignored - is 'yes' to cycle lanes, but 'no' to putting them along main roads where they would cause the predictable problems we are now seeing. But you insist on promoting the idea that people are either 'for' or 'against' cycle lanes. What the various campaigning groups – and they include many cyclists – have said from the start is only that the cycle lanes should not go along our main roads, where they will very much worsen congestion.
Indeed, even Mayor Sadiq Khan now says this, and yet you allow your officers to continue with the plans that were drawn up mainly to placate Andrew Gilligan, the then 'Cycling Czar'. But he is gone, and the Mayor is saying that wherever possible cycle lanes should avoid main roads. There is no good reason why the cycle lanes could not be re-routed away from the A105 and other main roads across the borough. Why then have you not demanded the plans are revised to take this into account?
And how do you plan to encourage more use of public transport when the plans will worsen bus services? Your officers and the scheme promoters and funders at TfL claim that modelling shows little impact on bus journey times. Yet Arriva buses have raised very many concerns about the impact of the changes: they say that parts of the A105 are so narrow that this reduction in carriageway width will delay buses; that the introduction of speed tables will have a disproportionate impact on buses and their passengers; and that bus lanes are essential to help give some predictability to journey times, and therefore object to their proposed removal.
Cllr Taylor, these are all concerns that residents have made repeatedly in the past. Surely when they were made by a bus company you and your officers should have listened?
But what did happen after Arriva Buses made its many concerns about the A105 scheme known during the consultation period?
Did you hold a public inquiry, as you are required to do by law? No. Instead, your bully-boy friends in Transport for London wrote to Arriva telling them that "It would be unwise to request a local public inquiry as a contractor of London Buses".
I'm afraid that looks very much like a threat to most people. And so Arriva was forced to withdraw its objection – but note that Arriva then wrote to TfL to emphasise that its concerns remain.
Public transport can be much more effective in encouraging people out of cars than can cycle lanes – how many people did you see cycling to the shops in the bad weather last weekend, Cllr Taylor? The reality is that even in the inner London boroughs cycling has not reached the holy grail of 5% - but what has happened is that people have started to desert the buses because of their lengthening journey times. Do you really think you will encourage more people to use buses in Enfield by taking out the bus lanes as you propose?
You knew from the start that there was an option of routing the cycle lanes along roads parallel to the A105. True, this was originally opposed by Andrew Gilligan. But Gilligan is now gone and since then Val Shawcross has instructed Enfield to review the Enfield Town scheme and seek a less contentious scheme; surely a sensible course of action at that stage would have been to review the plans as a whole and consider whether there were other, better options across the borough? But no, you plough on regardless.
Again, in the on-line version of your article you said there was misunderstanding about the funding and that it could not be used for other purposes. Well, that is not the whole truth, is it? What you omit to say is that it is only the first £30million of 'mini-Holland' funding that cannot be diverted. You also plan to spend in the region of a further £10million that you will take from other TfL funding strands provided to Enfield for improvements to, and maintenance of, existing transport facilities. So you could spend that money for the benefit of the very great majority of residents who use public transport services. But you chose instead to spend it on a tiny minority of (mainly) privileged young people who shun public transport.
A group of vociferous and atypical cyclists continually tries to promote the idea that anyone who is against this scheme is 'anti-cycling'. I doubt that a single member of this borough who opposes the current Cycle Enfield scheme is anti-cycling. What we are against is its current, damaging, iteration. What we do want to see is a revised plan that takes into account the reality of business needs and the transport choices of the great majority of people in the borough.
For you to claim that a scheme that damages bus services and the local economy is "to everyone's benefit" is an affront to the truth, Cllr Taylor. Isn't it time you and your colleagues woke up to the realities of this scheme?
Dr Linda Miller
MY BUSINESS IS SUFFERING
Cllr. Doug Taylor and Cllr. Daniel Anderson
Cycle Enfield has impacted heavily on Winchmore Hill Broadway to Masons Corner and is currently destroying Bush Hill Parade & Avenue Parade. The Regeneris report was a sham and your continuation with this scandal is an insult to every resident and trader in Enfield.
If my losses carry on at the same rate as I am experiencing now; by April Lords DIY stands to lose over £30,000.
Who the hell gave you the right to treat people with such contempt?
Your behavior is immoral and undemocratic and will be remembered by many thousands of people at the next elections.
Richard Turner, Lords DIY
Cllrs. Doug Taylor and Daniel Anderson
My official figures for this February - Footfall down 27.5% and takings down 23%
The single parking space outside my shop that the traders and I on this Parade have relied on for the last couple of weeks has now been removed. Over eighty metres of barriers are now in front of the shops on Bush Hill Parade, and the same on Avenue Parade opposite. And as the destruction moves towards Bury Street West our businesses promise to suffer even more.
Please tell me how, as elected Councillors and public servants, that you can justify your decision to carry on with this farce when your Financial Impact and Traffic Modeling Audits are so flawed.
And please tell me if you have ever stopped to ask why there is so much opposition to this project, or even asked me or anyone else how they think this project could have been improved – of course not. You have arrogantly assumed that you knew what was right for Enfield's cyclists; but failed to accommodate residents and traders equally.
You had the ideal opportunity to turn TFL's money into an amazing project that would improve cycling, transport links, health and regenerate thoroughfares; but you messed up.
You are a disgrace to Enfield, all of its residents and hard working traders.
You should retain a shed of dignity and call a halt to this mess.
Richard Turner, Lords DIY
THESE BUS STOPS ARE DANGEROUS
Thank you for your email dated 4 March
Your opening statement is " Regarding width reduction what I said is entirely consistent with the points you reference from Jacobs". Can I refer you back to your email dated 23 February when you stated " given that they ( the cycle lanes) are narrower than parked cars the road will actually be wider along much of the stretch. " Just to remind you, the Stage 1 Road Safety Audit is littered with Jacobs declaring "the scheme reduces carriageway widths". Don't you mean to say entirely inconsistent?
The first two sentences of your email of 23 February, lead me to believe that your thinking is as follows:-
1. That a road is a hard surface between pavements edged with kerb stones. Your email of 4 March confirms my interpretation as you state " the roads as a whole will be no narrower as we are not extending pavements" and
2. That you believe that there is simultaneous parking on both sides of the road, and that the removal of parking will increase road widths as a cycle lane is narrower than a parked car. Obviously, no one will dispute that a cycle lane is narrower than a parked car.
However, the statements you make in both emails regarding parking, demonstrate a lack of understanding of parking along the A105 both pre and post implementation. The crux of your argument is that you are increasing carriageway widths by removing cars from both sides of the A105, therefore freeing up the carriageway width occupied by two cars and replacing it with two narrower cycle lanes. On one stretch of the A105, between Hedge Lane and Compton Road there are very few instances where the carriageway is wide enough to allow cars to park opposite each other, indeed on some stretches double yellow lines forbid it. In fact, the majority of parking alternates along both sides of the road. You seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that, in future, there will be no parking on the A105. Indeed, this has to be the case to justify your sentence " However, this will no longer be permitted once cycle lanes are installed and given that the width of the cycle lanes will be less than the width of a parked car, the moving traffic in a number of places will have more space to navigate". I'm sorry to have to disabuse you of your belief that there will be no parking. Take a look at the plans where you will see designated parking and loading bays, or better still take a look at Ridge Avenue. In essence the cycle lane scheme removes the width of only one parked car from the road not two. It follows therefore, for your argument to succeed, that the width of the parked car you are removing must be somewhere in the region of 2.8 - 4.0 metres.
You seek to argue that as you are not extending pavement widths, you are not encroaching into road space for vehicular traffic. You may not be extending pavements but there are other structures encroaching into the carriageway which reduce considerably carriageway widths. As one of these structures is difficult to explain I illustrate with 4 photos.
The first two are of the new bus stop boarders at the north and southbound bus stops at Solna Road. The north bound bus stop boarder seems to be a particularly long one, I would estimate 3 bus lengths. The southbound bus stop has a much smaller bus stop boarder, so illustrates more clearly that buses will stop to the right of the offside cycle lane and clear identifies the tailbacks that will result from buses having to stop so far into the carriageway. As I understand it 27 of theses bus stop boarders will be installed. I note that you state " we have added a 0.5metre buffer strip where feasible". This is a very telling statement, in what circumstances would it not be feasible ? Oh yes, it cannot be used in circumstances where its' use would prevent retention of " acceptable carriageway widths of 3.25meters in each direction" Jacobs.
As say these bus boarders will be monitored and this is essential bearing in mind the following extracts from the appraisal undertaken by the Centre for Accessible Environment as reported in the undated report entitled Approval of Cycle Enfield proposals for A105 - KDM4342
"The design of these bus stops is of particular concern as pedestrians are required to move onto the cycle lane when alighting and disembarking from the bus " " this does not appear to be a recognised bus layout in any of Transport for London's guidance and we would strongly advise that it is not used as it does not appear to benefit either pedestrians or cyclists and could be a potentially hazardous area for all users"
The other two photos show the work in progress at the Green Lanes / Osborne Road N13 junction. The two parallel rows of cobble stones to the right of the pavement, outline the cycle lane. As you can see, there is an additional structure protruding some distance into the carriageway. The second photo shows the southbound 329 having to drive almost entirely on the opposite side of Green Lanes in order to proceed. You can identify the northbound Bourne Hill bus stop road markings too. The removal of the barriers will free up a bit of the carriageway, but I am a a loss to see how a northbound cycle lane can be accommodated.
Regarding my comments about orcas, you say I am mistaken. In what regard, that they are trip hazards or that Camden Council and the City of London are removing them because they are trip hazards ? You cannot say, with certainty, that they will remain as one of the road safety audits may recommend their removal given the precedent set by other London authorities. You also say "they are a central feature of the scheme to create segregated cycle lane. Are these the same segregated cycle lanes about which London's mayor has said " construction of segregated cycle lanes in itself causes pollution" ?
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to correct the figures you quote in respect of population growth. I think you have make a typing error as the Greater London Authority projection is for an additional 45,526 people in Enfield by 2040, Section 10.2.2 Approval of Cycle Enfield proposals for the A105. With regard to the proportions of cyclists within different age groups, can I refer you to an European Commission Mobility and Transport, Road Safely Report, which gives a modal split by age groups in the Netherlands. I don't intend to use all the data just that relating to cycling. In the 12-17 age group 52% of journeys are by bicycle. This falls dramatically to an average of 21% in the 18-59 age group, rising to 24% for 60-74 age group, falling back to 17% for those aged 75+. These figures show that the bicycle is considerably less popular with the elderly, and given the predicted growth in the proportion of those in the 60+ age group in Enfield,support my argument.
You seem to think that I have a cynical attitude to the question of parking restrictions. Not at all. To reiterate, the proposal was that between certain hours, on certain days, parking would be limited to 2 hours with no return within 4 hours. Failure to enforce this regulation would have would have left Enfield open to ridicule. As such, I would suggest that it was a dispensable proposal which was never intended to be enacted.
I notice that you didn't respond to the cyclist statement that he wouldn't use the cycle lane, as his right. Indeed section 63 of the Highway Code advises " although not compulsory you should use the lanes". The success of the scheme depends on its use.
You chose not to respond to my point about the safety of cyclists being hidden behind parked cars. If you look at Table 2 section 3.2.1 of Appendix B in the Approval of Cycle Enfield Proposals for A105, you will see that the officers response re cycle lane positioning, relates to ways of resolving conflict between those entering and leaving parking bays and the carriageway. In order to prevent dooring a 0.5 metre buffer strip will be installed. No thought has been given to the safety of cyclists where vehicles turning into side roads cannot see them. Did no one appreciate the hazards this bizarre idea of hiding cyclists behind parked cars could pose for cyclists and pedestrians ? Or was everyone so entranced by Boris's money ?
Finally, can I refer you to the London Assembly Mayor's Question time of 18 January 2017 where he discussed his healthy streets vision saying "An important part of this will be to consider the whole range of what makes streets work for people rather than focusing too heavily on one mode of transport" and " healthy streets is about "prioritising people".
Isn't it time that you prioritised the people of Enfield, instead of pursuing your own vanity project
WHERE ARE THE PARKING BAYS
Dear Cllr. Anderson,
I am writing to query the status of the parking proposals as part of the CycleEnfield scheme along the stretch of Park Avenue me and my family live on. The works in our area appear to be coming to an end and it appears that the parking bays along the road (as were clearly shown in the original consultation plans) have not been implemented and it appears that there is no intention to do so (judging by the low level bollard installation that has taken place today)
During the consultation period I was assured that there would be replacement parking provision here and at the time discussed these spaces directly with one of the members of the team fielding questions on the day. They assured me that this would go ahead.
Could you please respond to this request for information as a matter of urgency - we as a family were in disagreement with this scheme for much of this consultation process (and felt that comments were not heeded or listened to) and this incident only serves to prove this case.
I look forward to your response and assurance that the scheme will be built as designed:
Here are a selction of letters sent to LBE councillors regarding the A105 cycle lanes.