Last Friday saw the long-awaited completion of the most significant junction in the Cycle Enfield A105 scheme – the Ridge Avenue/Church Street intersection, next to Ridge Avenue Library. It’s not completely finished in every detail, but it’s operational – and that means waving goodbye to those temporary traffic lights with their inevitable queues of cars. Plus, it looks great.
The first main cycle route of Enfield’s Mini Holland is taking shape on Green Lanes (A105)! I had the privilege of showing a couple of cycle campaigners around today who had travelled from Guildford to get inspired by what’s happening in Enfield and in Waltham Forest next door.
About a third of the A105 route is completed or close to completion, and we can already see bus boarders, bus bypasses, complete stretches of semi-segregated cycle lanes, cycle crossings, and some fully segregated tracks in the three town centres along the route. Many of these facilities are now ready to use. See the blog post below on Better Streets for Enfield for more detail and some photos.
The A105 route is due to be completed in September. Work is also just about to start on the Hertford Road (A1010) southern section, between Southbury Road and the North Circular. For the full construction schedule, see the details on the Cycle Enfield website.
It’s hard to imagine the impact these lanes are going to have on Enfield’s car-centric culture – but it can only be good. Today I noticed a teenage lad in a hoody cycling on the pavement of Green Lanes. This is a common sight which many people find exasperating. But the fact is, the A105 – like so many roads in Enfield – is a hostile environment for all but the most confident adult cyclist. And while pavements are less likely to get you killed, bikes are not welcome there either. So where is this young lad supposed to ride his bike? Well, as I watched, he approached a section where the lanes are complete. He simply dropped off the pavement into the cycle lane and carried on pedalling. That bit of semi-protected tarmac was all he needed to encourage him to ride on the road.
I’m looking forward to seeing more types of people from all backgrounds – lads in hoodies, girls in skirts, parents with toddlers, elderly people on e-bikes or trikes – using those lanes. It’s taking a bit of road from motor traffic and giving it back to everyone else.
The debate about Enfield’s Mini Holland rages on via social media and the local press – will there be gridlocked roads? Vacant businesses? Cyclists mowing down the elderly at bus stops? Meanwhile, some of us from Better Streets for Enfield and Enfield Cycling Campaign decided it would be easiest just to go and look at a Mini Holland that’s already in progress. Waltham Forest is, after all, next door to us, and ahead of Enfield in completing the work.