Last September the construction of the first Enfield Mini Holland cycle lane
and our local area is already suffering.
Congestion and worsening air quality
Businesses are suffering serious loss of trade
Our roads have become more dangerous for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists.
It now looks like Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has woken up to the problems that cycle lanes are causing – congestion and a worsening of air quality.
Sadiq Khan has made the following statements on LBC
“We are making sure we speak to the councils and try and divert cyclists away from main roads onto what I call quiet ways in order to encourage people particularly in outer London to cycle rather than have all our eggs in the Embankment cycle superhighway previous generation basket…. the bad news is that as a consequence of the congestion not only is it leading to worse air quality but people are stopping using certain buses because they can’t rely on getting from A to B, so it is in everyone’s interest to sort out congestion in London”. (SADIQ KHAN, LBC December 2016).
“Congestion is one of the major issues facing us, with the best of intentions you can inadvertently cause additional problems so the construction of a permanent segregated cycle lane in itself causes pollution. I’ve got no powers over construction but what we can do is learn the lessons from previous constructions of segregated superhighways, we’re got to make sure that we divert cyclists to quiet roads so that they are not breathing in poisonous fumes but also it leads to less congestion so you are absolutely right we’ve got to learn the lessons from mistakes made in the past”.
(SADIQ KHAN LBC January 2017).
Sadiq Khan has been invited to come to Enfield to see for himself how narrow our roads are and the massive congestion that the cycle lanes are causing. When the building work has finished we will still have narrow lanes, more congestion and massive problems navigating around our local area.
SOGL launches Save OUR Enfield from Enfield Council
If you do not support what the council is doing you must continue to object.
Save Our Green Lanes (SOGL) will be demanding that the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visits Enfield before it is too late.
Sadiq Khan has admitted that there are problems with the outer London cycle lanes. To quote:
“I would criticise the previous mayor and his team for the way they administered the previous cycle superhighway, the construction work took too long, it shouldn’t have been permanent to cause these problems, and some of the routes they chose weren’t tried and tested. If you look at segregated cycle lanes in other parts of the world they suck it and see first, they’re not permanent structures because sometimes they want to move them around”
Congestion is a serious issue, particularly diesel vehicles causing huge problems with air quality, so this is why I have appointed a cycling and walking commissioner and one of the things he is going to be doing is to make sure that we learn the lessons from cycle superhighway. We are making sure we speak to the councils and try and divert cyclist away from main roads onto what I call quiet ways in order to encourage people particularly in outer London to cycle rather than have all our eggs in the Embankment cycle superhighway previous generation basket. By the way speaking to those who dig up our roads, the utility companies this can cause congestion, the bad news is that as a consequence of the congestion not only is it leading to worse air quality but people are stopping using certain buses because they can’t rely on getting from A to B, so it is in everyone’s interest to sort out congestion in London”.
Construction work is due to begin on the Station Road/Fords Grove junction
in early January.
When are the diggers planning to start coning off the Broadway and the centre of Palmers Green?
The construction team won’t comment.
Little consideration shown to public safety
Save Our Green Lanes fail to win an injunction but expose the consultation on the A105 scheme as a ‘sham’
The following press statement was released on Tuesday 20th September
Yesterday (Monday 19th September) Save Our Green Lanes (SOGL) were in the High Court seeking an injunction to stop the work which has begun on the cycle lanes in Ridge Avenue.
Three hours of highways acts, TMOs (traffic management orders), references to ‘Bob the bus’ and the concerns of Arriva, the bus company and the emergency services. The judge Mr Justice Dove was told that Enfield Council had actually signed contracts with its contractors to start the construction work on the cycle lane scheme whilst the Statutory Consultation was running; that the current cycle lane scheme contravenes London Cycle Design Standards best practice and that Enfield Council has tried to avoid a public inquiry on a scheme because they know it is so massively unpopular.
In the summing up the judge praised Constantinos Regas, a public policy expert and SOGL member, representing Save Our Green Lanes for his “focused and coherent arguments” in representing SOGL against Mr James Goudie QC and legal entourage. However Mr justice Dove said he was not empowered by law to grant an injunction, because although it was initially unclear, the Traffic Management Orders have not yet been implemented.
Enfield Council said that they are doing the works under the Highways Act 1980 and that the public inquiry provisions under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 aren’t yet live. The judge said the two seemed closely integrated and described it as a chicken and egg situation. Because of “ouster” provisions in the legislation Enfield Council can start the work without the Traffic Management Orders that they said were the subject of the Statutory Consultation and will only invoke them when the scheme is built – by which time it is a fait accomplis!
So when is the right time to challenge this scheme? Last year a statutory review of the Waltham Forest Mini Holland scheme failed partly because a judicial review hadn’t been brought sooner”
Spokesman for SOGL Helen Osman says “this is a true David and Goliath legal fight. The scheme is massively unpopular with local residents and businesses all over the borough but the Council continues regardless. The Enfield Mini Holland scheme is in a real mess. The Statutory Consultation was exposed as a complete farce when LBE ignored the 1600 objections it received. The millions of pounds already spent on exhibitions, consultations, publicity etc has been an elaborate smokescreen to kid the people of Enfield that they were being consulted. Is it right that a Council can act in such an undemocratic way? Shops and residents want this scheme redesigned to take our concerns into account. We will consider our next steps.”
Issued on behalf of Save Our Green Lanes
Building work starts on the A105
On Friday afternoon 9th September a day after the Conservative opposition failed to persuade Enfield Council’s Scrutiny Panel to return the A105 plans to the decision maker, Cllr Daniel Anderson, signs began appearing on lamp posts along the southern section of Ridge Avenue about the removal of parking as the construction of the cycle lane was about to begin.
Curt letters were sent to residents and businesses informing them that the construction work was about to start, with no detail on what the arrangements would be post build.
On Monday 12th September Save Our Green Lanes applied for an injunction to stop the works on the grounds that this scheme was still subject to pending legal action.
Over 1600 people submitted objections in the A105 Statutory Consultation consultation but Cllr Daniel has IGNORED THEM!
On Friday August 26th when most people were preparing for August Bank Holiday, Cllr Anderson ‘approved’ the plans.
Not only that, but Enfield Council placed works order during consultation. They had no intention of listening to local people!
Here is the report Enfield Council still maintains that this is good for the people of Enfield
DOES THIS MEAN THAT THE A105 CYCLE LANE WILL NOW BE BUILT?
This decision has been called in by the Conservative opposition, on the grounds that this response to a Statutory Consultation is almost unprecedented and this decision requires careful consideration.
Judge rejects SOGL’s Judicial Review
– an appeal to be submitted shortly
The Save Our Green Lanes campaign group has been refused permission to apply for judicial review – on the grounds that Enfield Council does NOT have to listen to the views of its residents. In his judgment, Mr Justice Ouseley stated that the council can make assertions about safety, traffic congestion, improved local economy, etc., without evidence, even if those claims later turn out not to be true.
Secondly in his judgment, the council has given us a second opportunity to make comments at the statutory consultation.
SAVE OUR GREEN LANES (SOGL) IS IN THE PROCESS OF APPEALING ON THIS DECISION.
The judge concluded that it is acceptable for a local authority to make claims for which there are no grounds, and to then not tell residents the truth when later analyses show those claims to be false.
THERE WERE A LARGE NUMBER OF OBJECTIONS SUBMITTED
TO THE A105 STATUTORY CONSULTATION
Click on the image below to read the SOGL objection leaflet which was circulated to 15,000 households and businesses in proximity to the A105
The Save Our Green Lanes public meeting at the Intimate Theatre (June 28th) was packed to capacity. People were shocked when they were told exactly what Enfield Council is planning to do along Green Lanes and their failure to carry out a safety audit; ignored the needs of people with disabilities, the advice from the police; as well as the fudged economic risk and pollution data that has been used in the vain attempt to ‘sell’ this unpopular scheme to local residents.
On Friday May 27th Save Our Green Lanes served court papers on Enfield Council, at the start of a formal legal challenge to the A105 (Green Lanes) cycle lane scheme, from Enfield Town to Palmers Green.
The papers were served by Costas Georgiou, chairman of the Green Lanes Business Association. Here is a statement from Mr Georgiou:
“Save Our Green Lanes has repeatedly raised concerns about the negatives impacts of the proposed Cycle Enfield scheme for the A105. Enfield Council’s own consultants have stated that the proposals will have adverse effects on residents’ parking, the viability of businesses, air quality, traffic congestion, bus journey times, bus passenger and disabled pedestrian safety, as well as emergency services response times.
Enfield Council did not provide key documents during the consultation, which would have demonstrated these adverse impacts. After these documents were published, the Council has not engaged with people in any meaningful way.
We have been left with no option but to start judicial review proceedings in the High Court. We thank our supporters for their continued support and will be calling a public meeting in due course”.
Click on the image to read the Save Our Green Lanes Guide to the Revised cycle lane proposals for the A105
In February 2016, Enfield Council’s Cabinet approved the cycle lane proposals for Green Lanes.
This is despite there being overwhelming opposition from local residents, businesses, churches and community groups.
This is despite there being no evidence that these cycle lanes will be beneficial to our local economy. On the contrary, Enfield Council’s own consultants Regeneris have warned that the scheme that
“The lack of UK precedents makes it difficult to predict the extent to which the scheme will have the transformational effect on town centre attractiveness and liveability which scheme planners seek”. (4.110). You can read a response to the report here
Traffic modelling by Enfield Council’s own consultants has predicted that there will be more congestion and a worsening of air pollution.
So why are the Council not calling a halt to these proposals which could be detrimental to the lives of majority of local residents?
This comment, made by a local resident, Peter Johns sums the situation up:
There has previously been a torrent of adverse criticism about such things as effects on air pollution, convenience (both getting around and standing still),local business, the manner that surveys have been engineered in justification of a faulty scheme, etc. etc, all falling on the deaf ears of certain LBE councillors more interested in Boris Johnson’s money than the lives of their own constituents, that a further expounding of what is wrong with the scheme would be a waste of time. What we need now is an acceptable way forward. Why should we be cooperating with those that we elected if they will not listen to us?
A FULL CAMPAIGN UPDATE, INCLUDING PROPOSED NEXT STEPS WILL BE ADDED SHORTLY
Here is an open letter to Boris Johnson from Save Our Green Lanes which should help you to understand why we believe that we are fighting to SAVE OUR GREEN LANES
Read the letter here
THE PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE GREEN LANES CONSULTATION CLOSED OCTOBER 9TH 2015.
Cycle Enfield report that 1646 people completed the public consultation.
Here is how Cycle Enfield have tried to present the consultation results as a “demonstrating that the silent majority support the scheme”. Click on the image below to download
Please bear in mind when looking at these results that the consultation was open to anyone living any where in the world, regardless of whether they have actually ever visited Green Lanes.
Closer inspection will show you that “a majority support figure” for people who actually provided an Enfield postcode is obtained by adding together people who stated that they support the scheme (45%) with those “who partially supported the scheme” (9%).
Please note that the consultation has not at this stage taken into account submissions from residents associations and other important community groups, such as the Over 50s Forum. To quote Cycle Enfield:
We now wait to see whether the views of local residents regarding the Green Lanes proposals have been listened to. We believe that Enfield Council has been told via consultation questionnaires from local people, postcards sent to Cllr Daniel Anderson, public meetings, social media and letters to the press that these proposals are deeply unpopular.
The information about the scheme was unbalanced – putting forward benefits that could not backed up by evidence that this scheme will benefit our local community. The impact of the cycle lanes has not been fully evaluated as there has been no economic risk assessment, detailed traffic modelling, environmental or equalities assessment
The consultation process was open to abuse – anyone could participate – without having any connection to the local area.
The next steps will be presented at the Cycle Enfield Partnership Board (West Enfield) on January 21st 2016. The details of the final consultation have been put back two months, as the consultation has not taken into account submissions from residents associations and other key community groups.
Following Freedom of Information requests (FOI) it has become apparent that Enfield Council has not conducted environmental or economic impact studies, nor has the scheme been scrutinised for how it complies with equalities guidelines, designed to make roads accessible for people with disabilities.
DAVID BURROWES MP REFERENDUM
In December 2015, David Burrowes MP, delivered a referendum pack to every households in wards in the Enfield Southgate constituency which are in close proximity to Green Lanes (Palmers Green, Winchmore Hill, Grange and some roads in Southgate Green). The pack included statements for and against the proposals, so it was more balanced that the information put out by Enfield Council, which have downplayed any problems that the cycle lanes might cause.
2828 people replied, within a two week window, a much higher level of response than the official Cycle Enfield consultation, Each submission was cross checked against the electoral record to ensure that these were ‘real’ local people.
The results show conclusively that there is no popular support for these proposals.
More details can be found on David Burrowes’ website