The current edition of the Enfield Independent newspaper carries four letters from residents over in the Green Lanes area of London, regards the negative impact of the A105 cycle scheme on their community and businesses. The anger is palpable.
We cannot post the actual page here for copyright reasons, but one resident, Helen Osman, who runs the community portal N21 online, has written the following which she has given us permission to publish here.
Residents and business owners in Chiswick are right to worry about the prospect of having a cycle superhighway foisted on them. The A105 cycle lane from Enfield Town, through Winchmore Hill to Palmers Green, is part of the Mini Holland outer London boroughs programme, not a cycle superhighway; but has suffered all the problems envisaged by Stephen Curtis and Charlotte Kasner, just as our local residents and business owners also predicted.
We have worse traffic congestion, where traffic used to flow relatively freely; due to the construction of new signalised crossings and the narrowing of the carriageway. Every time a bus stops all the following traffic has to stop; the same is true when a driver is turning right as there is no longer any room for vehicles to undertake. The deterioration in air quality is noticeable. Businesses have suffered, because of loss of parking and because many residents are avoiding the area.
Most alarming is that a road which previously had a good safety record is now dangerous. Dozens of people have required hospital treatment as a direct result of accidents and incidents related to the new cycle lanes.
Pedestrians have been overlooked, in a scheme designed purely to meet the needs of cyclists. Central islands have been removed and zebra crossings moved to locations away from where people actually want to cross the road, including our local high streets. People are tripping over orcas (the rubber cycle lane dividers), as well as other obstacles; are being hit by cyclists on the new bus borders and on the sections where the cycle track is at pavement level.
Driving along the A105 is now like negotiating an obstacle course. Vehicles are hitting the cycle lane dividers, protruding kerbs and bus boarders, damaging tyres and worse. Many residents have to drive over these solid lumps to get in and out of their homes, as well as garages, GPs surgeries and other public places.
Meanwhile most local cyclists are sticking to the main road, they say it is faster and safer. To quote one local cyclist on Facebook “Conclusion as a pedestrian, cyclist and motorist it is utterly catastrophic”.
The A105 is too narrow to accommodate two segregated cycle lanes. Meanwhile, we are waiting for Will Norman the walking and cycling ‘czar’ to visit. Many people believe it is only a matter of time before we have a fatality, but too late then to say we told you so.
The best way to illustrate what has happened to our road would be to come and have a look. Here is just one example; the new bus stop/bus boarder in the heart of Palmers Green, which stretches for seven shops.
What cyclist in his/her right mind is going to use this? You can see how narrow the pavement is, not surprisingly pedestrians often walk along the cycle track at pavement level, seemingly totally oblivious of its intended function. Mobility scooters, ladies pushing walking trollies, kids on skate boards, mummies with buggies and small tots are a daily sight. The whole scheme is shambolic.