There has been mixed reactions over today’s announcement Enfield will be given up to £30million as part of a major cycling scheme in the borough.
Enfield Borough Council successfully bid for the money as part of the Mayor Of London’s £100million Mini Holland initiative to encourage more people to get on their bikes in the capital.
As part of their bid, the authority proposed to make cycling safer and more attractive for residents by creating cycle tracks along the A1010 (Hertford Road) and the A105 (Green Lanes) and changing traffic routing in Enfield Town to create a "cycle hub".
They also planned to redesign Edmonton Green roundabout so that bicycles and motor vehicles are kept separate, introduce cycle routes on less busy roads, and areas for commuters to store their bikes securely.
Adrian Lauchlan, a Southgate Cycling Club member and borough co-ordinator for the London Cycling Campaign in Enfield, is championing the scheme.
Speaking to the Enfield Independent, he said: “I think this is brilliant news for Enfield. I hope it will encourage more non cyclists to take to the road as well as those of us who are regular cyclists.
“The biggest problem is the fear of being knocked over, but to have more segregated cycling routes will hopefully help eliminate this.”
Mr Lauchlan also believes the scheme will encourage Enfield residents to get fit and live a healthier lifestyle.
He said: “It would be great for people’s health - we have a major obesity problem in Enfield in certain areas. If we can encourage children to cycle to school it would be brilliant for their future.
“It would also reduce traffic congestion if more people considered cycling short journeys up to five miles, which could take up to 20 minutes on a bike.”
Councillor Joanne Laban agreed: “We want to get more people on their bikes because it will get people out of their cars and help reduce congestion, cut competition for parking spaces, improve air quality and help people keep fit and healthy."
But many shopkeepers and residents have spoken out about the plans which could result in only buses and cyclists being allowed to use Church Street between 7am and 7pm, with Cecil Road become a two-way street as opposed to the current one-way system.
Chris Patel, who has owned Grays Newsagents in Enfield Town high street for the last 30 years, said: “A lot of shopkeepers in Church Street objected to the scheme because they were concerned about things like traffic, parking and delivery issues.
“I just hope it’s not going to drive customers away from here. That’s very concerning for me and my staff. I hope the council will address our concerns.”
Meanwhile Vanessa Khadjeh, who lives in Cecil Road, has collected approximately 300 signatures on a petition against the Mini Holland scheme in Enfield.
She said: “I’m really, really upset. I love cycling, but turning Cecil Road into a two way street will be a disaster. It’s a residential road in a conservation area that will be turned into a danger zone.
“The road is the main entry and exit route to the park where children play, so increasing the traffic flow around this area will be dangerous."
The council will now carry out public consultations on their plans, before implementing them.