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Enfield is to become a London 'mini-Holland' - but shopkeepers fear loss of parking spaces will deter shoppers...

Cyclists have spent hundreds of pounds in a shopping parade in north London to prove to traders that bike paths outside their shops will not put off trade.

20 cyclists visited Palmers Green in Enfield to show that replacing parking spaces with cycle paths under ‘mini-Holland’ plans will not deter shoppers.

Enfield Borough Council successfully bid for £30m under the Mayor Of London’s £100million Mini Holland initiative to encourage more people to get on their bikes in the capital.

Adrian Lauchlan, a Southgate Cycling Club member and borough co-ordinator for the London Cycling Campaign in Enfield, told the Enfield Independent: “People panicked when they announced they could remove the parking spaces.

“But we want to show – we’re here to buy things. We spend money too.

“Cyclists aren’t just lycra-clad people going out on their bikes just for a bike ride – we want to show them that we actually will be cycling to the shops of these plans go ahead.”

Claire Rogers added: “We would still spend as much money as people who come by car do. It makes so much sense to me.

David Hughes said: “Anything that improves the environment is worth it. This would stop people from using their cars and help keep the roads a little bit greener.”

Earlier this year the London boroughs of Enfield, Kingston upon Thames and Waltham Forest each got around £30 million in funding as part of Mayor of London Boris Johnson's 'Mini-Hollands' initiative, which aims to prioritise cycling in outer London town centres, including redesigning junctions using Dutch-style infrastructure.

The unsuccessful boroughs were Bexley, Ealing, Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Newham. The first four will share the remaining £10 millon or so of the £100 million put aside for the initiative, while Newham will get money from a separate source for works in Stratford town centre.

Mr Johnson said: "I have been incredibly impressed with the standard of the mini-Holland entries and by the thirst among all the finalists to transform themselves into better places for people. It has been so hard to choose between them that I have decided that all shall have prizes.

“Areas once terra incognita for the bicycle will, over time, become every bit as cycle-friendly as their Dutch equivalents - places that suburbs and towns all over Britain will want to copy.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.