An anti-Cycle Enfield group have been criticised for saying “verbal abuse is allowable” during the £42m scheme’s public survey.

The comments were made in an e-mail sent out to business owners by Save Our Green Lanes member Helen Osman during the A105 Cycle Enfield consultation, which the group vehemently opposed.

Referring to an exhibition of the planned route, the email says: “Please try to go along, because it will help you to understand the potential impact on your business and what to tell your customers and clients. No violence please but a spot of verbal abuse is allowable.”

When asked about her comments, Ms Osman said it was “just a bit of banter sent to business owners, to get them off their backsides.”

However, Enfield Council spokesperson Andrew Golder said it “spoke volumes about their character and lack of respect” for the consultation.

He said: "It is clearly unacceptable for any campaign group, let alone one purporting to promote the views of responsible businesses, to encourage its supporters to verbally abuse elected representatives or council officers simply because they oppose a scheme that they have had more than 18 months to help shape through formal and well established consultation channels.

“We are aware that some people are vehemently opposed to the Cycle Enfield scheme, but this sort of irresponsible behaviour simply heightens tensions and puts the personal safety of public servants at risk.

“We have now moved into the implementation phase for the A105 scheme and our contractor will work with local businesses to minimise disruption during the construction works. However there is still further engagement and consultation to follow for the other schemes.

"Moving forward, we ask that residents and businesses alike engage with us in a constructive way, working together to help maximise the benefits of this investment.”

Save Our Green Lanes have taken the council to court in judicial review and injunction hearings to try and stop the lanes from being built.

They lost, and face having to pay the Council £10,000 in costs. Construction began on the A105 section on September 12.