Hundreds of business owners have signed a petition calling on the council cabinet member in charge of Cycle Enfield to resign.
Construction work on the £42million series of cycle lanes began last week on the A105 section, which will link Palmers Green and Enfield Town.
The project has been subject to months of criticism by local businesses, and yesterday (September 19), a petition signed by 225 owners was handed in to Enfield Council asking for the removal of the man in charge of the project, Cllr Daniel Anderson, from his position as cabinet member for environment.
Malcolm McGrath, owner of Keymakers locksmiths on Green Lanes, said in a letter attached to the petition that Cllr Anderson had “ignored” their concerns and is unfit to carry on in his role.
Deputy leader of the Enfield Labour group Cllr Achilleas Georgiou said Cllr Anderson had the “full backing” of the authority.
The letter, written by Mr McGrath on behalf of the business owners, says: “For the past two years the businesses of Palmers Green and Winchmore Hill have been asking for the cabinet member for the environment and other councillors to meet with us so that you could hear our concerns about the impact that the cycle lane scheme on us, our customers and our clients.
“Our requests for a meeting have been ignored. If the cycle lane scheme is allowed to pass through our local high streets it will cause massive problems and loss of trade. Many businesses along Green Lanes may not even survive the highly disruptive construction period.
“The speed with which the road works are now being started without any attempt to acknowledge our concerns is nothing short of an insult to the hard working A105 business community.
“Palmers Green and Winchmore Hill businesses employ thousands of people, generate millions in turnover and pay millions of pounds in business rates and other taxes. We have a right to be listened to and treated with respect and consideration.
“We see that Cllr Anderson lists his career as ‘life entrepreneur’ – has he ever run a business and had responsibility for paying staff?
“The way that Cllr Anderson has responded to the objections, by dismissing them as not worthy of consideration, is the final straw. We urgently need to find solutions to the massive problems this scheme will inflict on our local area. We do not believe this can be achieved under Cllr Anderson’s leadership.”
The consultation process for the A105 lanes lasted over 18 months, resulting in significant changes to the initial proposals.
A judicial review taken against the project by community group Save Our Green Lanes was rejected.
Cllr Georgiou told the Enfield Independent: “Our position is very clear, the policy of the council is to go ahead with Cycle Enfield.
“The decision is that of the cabinet, and of the majority of councillors, because it is the view of the majority of the people in Enfield.
“We will continue with Cycle Enfield in Green Lanes as soon as possible, it is proceeding according to plan.
“Of course Daniel has our full backing, he is doing the will of the majority of people who took part in the consultation. He is entrusted with the job he started.”