A traffic reduction scheme has sparked uproar among residents who fear it will lead to longer journeys and more pollution.

Neighbours launched a petition calling for a halt to the quieter neighbourhood scheme in Bowes while a full consultation is carried out with residents, Transport for London and neighbouring Haringey Council – and it gained more than 1,600 signatures in a matter of days.

Designed to cut ‘rat-running’ between Bowes Road and the North Circular, the scheme will see residential streets blocked to through traffic.

It is one of several projects allocated money from the Department for Transport’s emergency active travel fund, which was launched during the coronavirus pandemic to boost walking and cycling.

But neighbours claimed the scheme is being rolled out without a proper consultation, could worsen existing traffic problems and may have a negative impact on vulnerable and disabled residents.

Bowes resident Roland Hewes said: “What it means is, the only way in and out of the area will be via the North Circular. We will essentially be cut off from going via the south.

“It could push more traffic on to surrounding roads and eventually landlock us a number of times a day. It is a very busy section of the North Circular, so we are going to be stopped from coming in and out.”

Enfield Independent: Bowes resident Roland HewesBowes resident Roland Hewes

Another resident, Carly Martin-Gammon, added: “To get out of our house and road we will have to go all the way to the north of Maidstone Road and over the North Circular – even to get to Muswell Hill.

“It is forcing everyone to do longer journeys in their car, and more around Bowes Primary School.”

Ms Martin-Gammon added that one resident who uses a private ambulance service is worried it may not be able to access her road in an emergency. Another elderly resident uses her car to get to the doctor but does not feel confident driving on the North Circular.

Local resident Jenny Phillips commented: “There are a lot of residents in my area who are quite outraged with the way this has been dealt with. It is the lack of consultation.

“My main concern as a mother is the air quality around Bowes Primary School. We are concerned about pollution from idling cars.”

Bowes resident Dick Bartram said many schemes of this nature are designed to create a village environment for cyclists and pedestrians.

“But the problem here is there is not any centre, apart from a few shops in Bounds Green and on the edge of the border with Haringey,” he explained. “Walking or biking to the nearest shops involves going to Muswell Hill – two miles away.”

Mr Bartram said the scheme seemed to involve “punishing motorists” in the hope that they would walk or cycle. “As everybody knows, that’s not the way it works,” he added.

A letter sent from the council to residents states work on the scheme will begin on Monday (August 17).

An Enfield Council spokesperson said: “Every year more than one in 20 deaths (5.4 per cent) in Enfield can be attributed to air pollution.

“Enfield Council is doing everything in its power to tackle this issue, protect our residents and improve the respiratory health of our children.

“The low-traffic neighbourhood in Bowes is funded by the Department for Transport, not the council.

“The £100,000 funding from the DfT comes with the expected short timescale for implementation, which is set by Government, not the council, and so a consultation will run when the scheme has gone live and will allow for amendments.”

More information on the low-traffic scheme is available here.