Save Our Green Lanes by Paul Mandel
22nd August 2015
22nd August 2015
Paul is part of a community action group called ‘Save our Green Lanes’, he is a Chartered Accountant working in the property sector, who has is lived in Palmers Green for the past 10 years. Paul outlines below why he is opposed to the proposed Cycle Enfield Scheme.
In the Spring of 2014 I was first asked my opinion, as a cyclist, of the Enfield Mini-Holland, as it was then called. The objective of increasing cycling from 1 in every 150 journeys made in the borough to seven times that level, seemed laudable.
Being aware that our borough has some of the highest levels of obesity in the country, I suggested that ANYTHING to help people burn off a few more calories must be a good thing.
But it was that word "anything" that I now realise was a mistake. We are now being presented with a scheme that to all intents and purposes is a cycle superhighway that runs roughshod over the interests of everyone other than the committed commuting cyclist.
As one of 5 major cycling schemes within the borough, the A105 Green Lanes will be narrowed by two car widths to accommodate semi segregated cycle lanes on both sides of the road running from Enfield Town almost as far as the North Circular Road.
This will mean:
* Longer and more unpredictable journey times for drivers and their passengers, including those using buses.
* In some areas, the total loss of on street parking. This will place more pressure on nearby residential roads.
* Many businesses are concerned about losing trade because of reduced on street parking in the centres of Palmers Green and Winchmore Hill. The Council points to the availability of Lodge Drive car park and Fords Grove car parks, but these do not help people with mobility problems. Nor can the chronically underfunded Council give any undertaking that these will not be sold off for housing at a future date.
* Bus passengers will, at most stops, have to step out straight into a cycle lane, a real issue of concern for the elderly, disabled and parents or carers with young children.
* Increased congestion will result in worsened air quality and displacement of traffic on to adjacent and parallel roads.
* More front gardens will be paved over to compensate for the loss of on street parking.
In Palmers Green:
* Like a plot straight from an episode of "Yes Minister" there is a threat that the iconic Triangle may make way for a roundabout whilst, a little further up the road, an inoffensive mini roundabout that works well at the bottom of Fox Lane, will be replaced by a less than convenient set of traffic lights.
* You will no longer be able to turn out of Hazelwood Lane, whilst more congestion further down Green Lanes, will tempt drivers to use that road as a cut through to the North Circular Road.
* The Junction with Hedge Lane will be made even worse than it already is, by the closure of the left turn slip road. Long vehicles will have difficulty with a very tight left turn opposite Yasar Halim. At the same location a segregated cycle stage will mean even worse congestion at busy times.
All this is a great shame, because we have an almost perfect route for an improved cycle path between Palmers Green and Enfield, one that follows beside the New River.