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Cyclist riding London to Bristol to raise money for legal challenge to fight Enfield Mini Holland

Concerns centre on congestion resulting from diverted traffic

At least one local cyclist is unhappy with current proposals for Cycle Enfield, the £30m Mini Holland scheme which would see the introduction of protected bike lanes and restrictions on vehicle access to the town centre. Justin Mason will cycle from London to Bristol from June 3-5 in a bid to raise £1,000 to mount a legal challenge against what he describes as ‘short-sighted proposals’.

The consultation on Cycle Enfield closed on December 18 and since then, a number of changes have been made in response to feedback from the public.

One concern mentioned in the consultation summary was possible congestion from traffic being diverted down alternate routes.

Writing on his JustGiving page, Mason said:

“We live in the middle of town and LB Enfield’s proposals to clear the town centre for bikes will see the volume of traffic double within 50 feet of our home: that’s twice the danger from cars, vans, trucks and buses and twice the pollution. For me, my family and my neighbours it won’t improve our health or create safe and secure cycle lane routes for everyone. Cycle Enfield have got it completely wrong and need to start again.”

In January, Enfield Southgate MP David Burrowes claimed there was ‘overwhelming opposition’ to Cycle Enfield. Burrowes wants the £30m Mini Holland grant to be given back.

However, Mason is keen to make the point that you don’t have to be anti-cycling to oppose the current proposals. “As I said before, I love being on a bike but I can’t accept LB Enfield’s proposals as they’re a threat to the welfare and health of all who live in the vicinity. For the Council to bull-doze this through is not right and must be resisted strongly.”

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15 comments

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Justin Mason | 7 years ago
0 likes

Thank you for your comments: it makes me happy to see that the issue is getting noticed.

Unfortunately this well-intentioned scheme displaces the traffic to a neighbouring street, Cecil Road, within 50 feet of my home. The traffic in the immediate vicinity will double as it has nowhere else to go, increasing pollution and the hazard from vehicles. Crossing points are to be removed and there will be no cycle lanes on the affected road. We asked LB Enfield to select an option that incorporated these things. They said no because TfL wouldn't accept them. We asked LB Enfield to think again and go back to the option (4) that worked but they said no. We asked them to accept the views of residents in the vicinity of the scheme (it was put to the vote) and they still said no, we're not listening to you.

I'm doing this because I feel I have to say no, not at any price, and because the issue is not black and white. The displaced traffic has not been addressed by the LB Enfield-approved scheme but there was an option that did so.

Judicial review is the only course of action remaining to us and several groups have clubbed together to support one another.

Someone has to step up even if it makes them unpopular, attracts criticism or put them in the sights of the trolls and if you were me, I'm sure that you'd take a deep breath and do the same.

Thank you again for your comments. I'm glad that I live in a country where there is some measure of free speech remaining.

 

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awjr replied to Justin Mason | 7 years ago
2 likes
Justin Mason wrote:

Unfortunately this well-intentioned scheme displaces the traffic to a neighbouring street, Cecil Road, within 50 feet of my home.

Justin,

This idea that traffic will be displaced has been disproved time and time again. What you find it something called traffic evaporation or disappearing traffic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearing_traffic

You have a valid concern and I think the scheme should have built in a process for rolling out filtered permeability onto roads as the traffic is displaced. This would have allowed the scheme to go ahead and enable reactive filtered permeability to be put in place to allay concerns of displaced traffic. 

Instead your approach is to nuke the scheme, despite the huge benefits that this scheme brings to the area. That's a hard one to swallow.

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kie7077 replied to Justin Mason | 7 years ago
1 like
Justin Mason wrote:

Thank you for ....

I live on the proposed cycle route and understand that Enfield needs it badly, the standard of driving is atrocious, roughly one in four drivers are too impatient and will tailgate or pass too close or both.

Enfield's level of cycling rounded to the nearest % is 0%, not surprising given how stressful it is to cycle around Enfield. Enfield needs these cycle routes. I don't think you have good enough reason to be against the scheme, Cecil road is a horrible road to cycle down and one side of it is a complete waste of space, you can't even cycle down it (the left side) on a road bike because the surface is so bad. Your wish to stop the scheme is out of proportion and entirely selfish.

The works that will go on outside my house will likely cause months of more noise, pollution, dust and  rat running, but I recognise the huge difference that it will make to cycling, not so much for me but for the rest of the population of Enfield.

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ron611087 | 7 years ago
3 likes

His objections are based on the premise of increased congestion on other routes. That's an assumption (see Occam's razor on assumptions).  Where dedicated cycle facilities have been introduced they have shown to reduce congestion because they are a more effective way of moving people to their destination.

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burtthebike replied to ron611087 | 7 years ago
1 like
ron611087 wrote:

His objections are based on the premise of increased congestion on other routes. That's an assumption (see Occam's razor on assumptions).  Where dedicated cycle facilities have been introduced they have shown to reduce congestion because they are a more effective way of moving people to their destination.

There is also the phenomenon of traffic evaporating when restrictions are introduced.  There are a number of cases where high traffic routes have been closed and gridlock and chaos predicted as a result, but it never happens.  People either change their mode of transport or don't make the journey, and traffic on other roads only increases marginally if at all.

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ianrobo replied to burtthebike | 7 years ago
1 like
burtthebike wrote:
ron611087 wrote:

His objections are based on the premise of increased congestion on other routes. That's an assumption (see Occam's razor on assumptions).  Where dedicated cycle facilities have been introduced they have shown to reduce congestion because they are a more effective way of moving people to their destination.

There is also the phenomenon of traffic evaporating when restrictions are introduced.  There are a number of cases where high traffic routes have been closed and gridlock and chaos predicted as a result, but it never happens.  People either change their mode of transport or don't make the journey, and traffic on other roads only increases marginally if at all.

just as an example from years ago.

In Birmingham New Street was pedestrianised, the car lobby said disaster as trade would be driven away, of course the complete opposite.

Same as why Oxford Street should have the same treatment. Most of these routes are used as alazy short cuts, remove them and they go tot he roads designed for them.

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Leviathan | 7 years ago
1 like

Hodor!

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wycombewheeler | 7 years ago
1 like

Twice the vehicle numbers does not equal twice the risk if traffic increase results in a speed decrease.

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musicalmarc | 7 years ago
4 likes

As far as I can tell traffic will be routed down Cecil road. Traffic will increase buts it's hardly a safe and quiet road as it is.  Most of the road runs along side a park and a supermarket so the number of people living in close proximity is relatively low for a town centre road.  The benefits to the high street should far outweigh the problems.  Currently one side of Cecil road is just wasted.

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Housecathst | 7 years ago
6 likes

Surely his efforts would be better spent campaigning to have his local road closed too, if motorists are going to make his life so dreadful. 

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bikebot | 7 years ago
4 likes

Has the route been published? For anyone that wants to turn up and clap very slowly as he passes.

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A2thaJ | 7 years ago
1 like

I would agree that not enough modelling or info has been made public about traffic displacement, and i can see it being difficult for residents not to view this as anything other than a gamble in the absence of more technical details. But alot of the opposition around here is illogical anyway, so no matter how this is pitched, they'll still have the same NIMBY's pedalling the same unfounded anti cycling claims.

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A2thaJ | 7 years ago
2 likes

At the moment the high street is a rat run for through traffic that does not stop in the town. By pedestrianising the centre, not only does the town centre be handed back to residents, there will be a chance we'll have cafes you can sit outside and not all the shops (currently detached from the shopping centre by a main road) will not be closed or rubbish.

 

The risk is, traffic displacement. The plan for tfl is clearly to make driving so poor that people stop, because they cant accomodate everyone driving as our population increases.

 

I also live near the town centre, so i would risk more traffic on my side roads.... but then again, would those people using us as a rat run just avoid the area totally instead. Its a risk, but one i'm backing as at the moment the town centre is awful. Its like going shopping next to a motorway.

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davel | 7 years ago
5 likes

Me, me, me, me, me. Yet another whining nimby opposing a London cycling scheme. The only thing vaguely 'newsworthy' is that this one has a bike.

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jollygoodvelo | 7 years ago
8 likes

While I sympathise if the chap in question lives on a route that has been identified as a through route by the new proposals, the point here is "the greater good".  To an extent, this is democracy... benefit the majority and unfortunately this means that a minority will experience a downside.

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