Comment - Streets for Living / Road Safety
Cycling in Enfield by David Hughes
In a bi-partisan agreement between the Labour administration and the Conservative opposition Enfield Council
has adopted a new cycling-friendly policy, citing benefits ranging from a 10% reduction in traffic to better
air quality and various health benefits. The policy will build on the existing Green Ways policy of quiet and
pleasant routes supported by promotional activity such as training. It will seek to make existing streets
more cycling friendly, provide more storage for bikes in social areas such as high streets, provide secure
storage in association with key railway stations, and extend support services. In addition, several significant
schemes based on Dutch practice are planned, including cycle paths along the length of the Hertford Road
(A1010) and Green Lanes (A105), a revamp of the roads around Enfield Town and Enfield Town railway station, the
roundabout at Edmonton Green and others.
As part of these plans the council has made a bid for funds from Boris Johnson's £100M 'Mini-Holland Fund'
which was set up to foster cycling in the outer-London boroughs. So far the bid has been successful to the extent
that Enfield is part of a shortlist of councils selected for further consideration, and now hopes to secure an
estimated £25M from the fund. If successful, much progress could be made within months, if unsuccessful the
time span will stretch to several years.
On 5th November the council held a successful 'Mini-Holland Event'. It invited local cycling groups and others
who are knowledgeable about improving the cycling environment or making it easier for people to cycle with the
idea of strengthening the local knowledge base and gathering ideas for the final bid for funds.
When the big push to encourage cycling begins attention will be paid to the fact that currently many fewer women
than men cycle. Researching and overcoming the barriers which have brought this about will be especially important,
not least because women are believed to have an important influence on whether children cycle. Perceptions of safety
and convenience will be key, and the council acknowledges that there is much to be done.
First published in the EGP members newsletter, December 2013