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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

Published and promoted by Bill Linton for Enfield Green Party, both at 39A Fox Lane, London N13 4AJ