Enfield Council leader, Doug Taylor, has his say on why he thinks Cycle Enfield is a good thing.
London is a big city but land space is highly used. Density is generally low compared with some other major cities and population is increasing.
We are at a point where we need to consider how we can prevent total gridlock; Enfield roads are often highly congested.
One way is to get a shift in how we move about. That means better public transport and encouragement to us all to use alternatives to the car. Better opportunities to walk and cycle are part of that solution.
I think we can all agree that the alternative of building new roads to get cars moving through residential areas is impractical and would be unwelcome.
Enfield was one of eighteen outer London boroughs that bid to the Mayor of London to use his funds to improve cycling.
This is important to remember as these funds cannot be transferred for other purposes. We don't have to use the money but it cannot be used for other things. A confusion about that appears to exist.
There has been much coverage of the proposals in Enfield and alterations to the original proposals. But there is a fundamental principled point. Should cyclists get safe space on roads? If the answer is yes then the rest of the space gets squeezed.
The reason is simple; most of us rationally are afraid of mixing it with cars, vans and lorries. We read about injuries and deaths and this puts us off. So creating safe space for the cyclist, as we do with pavements for the pedestrian, is a feature.
But what this does is to reduce road space for the vehicle.
Undoubtedly there are concerns ranging from economic impact, bus stop safety and junction congestion.
Inevitably construction of routes creates an impact as does all construction or changes to place. It is incumbent on the council to do all it can to reduce inconvenience and impact.
The city of the future will need to place healthy lifestyles at their heart. Enfield has institutionalised illness.
Diabetes, Obesity, coronary disease, cognitive impairment, respiratory conditions can all be improved by more activity. Getting more activity has the capacity to improve our health and that must be a good thing.
The council is sometimes accused of not consulting on Cycle Enfield nor adhering to its promises to listen to feedback on the proposed schemes. I think this is a mistaken view.
Consultation has been extensive over many months. In many forms - leaflets, open day drop ins, design sessions, website, not to mention extensive debate in the council, press and social media.
The fact is however that not all views have been accepted and agreed, but that is qualitatively different to not having consulted.
Cycle Enfield isn’t about any one part of Enfield, or indeed and importantly, just about cycling.
It is rather about a joined up approach to tackling lots of different problems all over the borough simultaneously, while also physically linking different parts of Enfield through dedicated routes.
It is trying to future proof us against a series of real problems and crises inevitable and round the corner as population rises by 50,000 over the next 15 years. It is for all of our benefits not just the cyclist to offer new ways to travel.