This is a marshalled group walk and wheel and cycle ride for everyone, including families with children. We will set off from Chestnuts Park cafe, going around St Ann’s and West Green, finishing by The Hub cafe in Lordship Rec.
On the Tuesday after Christmas eighty plus people, young and not so young, responded to an invitation to “work off the Christmas pud” by taking part in a community bike ride around traffic calmed streets in Bounds Green and Bowes.
The quiet streets in the Bowes and Bounds Green LTNs make it safe for kids to take to their bikes.
The festive bike ride criss-crossed the boundary between Haringey and Enfield, two boroughs that have been taking measures to encourage their residents to adopt healthier ways of getting around – walking and cycling – by preventing cars, vans and lorries from cutting through residential side streets.
A vision of safe, healthy and people friendly streets
The ride was also a great success for two local bike-friendly businesses. The Prince in Trinity Road opened early for pre-ride coffees and post-ride lunch, and Hot Milk Café, near Bounds Green station, opened specially for the half-way break – both did a roaring trade.
Adrian Day, co-ordinator of the two Enfield groups, was struck by the diversity of the people who turned out for the ride:
“There was a good mix of ages, including many young people and a couple of people in their seventies, and we had Turkish-speakers from Edmonton-based Londra Bisiklet Kulübü, members of women’s bike group JoyRiders, and a cute dachsund. We had a good reception too from people along the route, who smiled and waved as we rode past.”
“I can see why you like cycling now!”
Film-maker Carla Francome’s young son thoroughly enjoyed his first group ride (on a balance bike):
“It was so nice being part of a big gang, I felt like people cared about me. And it was fun. I see why you like cycling now.”
Help shape the future of the Bounds Green low traffic neighbourhood area by completing Haringey Council’s survey and by adding your feedback to the consultation’s interactive map which closes on Tuesday 31st January 2023.
Haringey Cycling Campaign has provided feedback supporting the proposed LTN measures and school streets with key points listed below and would encourage local residents and cyclists to do the same:
1) Myddleton Rd should be made 2-way for cycles to facilitate access to the local shops and the station
2) The one-way streets at the North of area B (LB Enfield) should all revert to 2-way. If keeping them one way is essential to avoid a mini rat run, cycle contra-flow should be permitted. (n.b. The LTN “exit” arrow is pointing the wrong way at Melbourne Avenue). Cycles should be exempted from the existing right turn ban in to Kelvin Avenue.
3) TfL should change the lane designations at the Bounds Green Rd junction to the A406. The two left turn traffic lanes on the N bound approach are extremely dangerous, as cycles have to cross two lanes of traffic to go straight ahead. Many drivers in fact use the second lane to go ahead, so on a bike you risk being overtaken by fast moving traffic on both sides. The Toucan crossings do not have cycle entries to shared use pavement and do not work.
4) There should be protected cycle lanes on Bounds Green Rd, with priority maintained at all junctions.
5) HCC would support a bus gate on Brownlow Rd (LB Enfield).
6) There should be a protected cycle route on Durnsford Rd, at least from the Library up to Bounds Green Station, possibly a 2-way track to replace parking on the N side of the road.
We understand you have received complaints about the new low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in Haringey.
We hope you have also had letters of support?
This is a letter of support from all the groups listed below, representing several thousand members in Haringey, who have been campaigning long and hard for these measures to make it safer to walk and cycle across the borough.
We can understand your concerns about the temporary displacement of traffic. Hopefully the recent Imperial report will reassure you that in time traffic and pollution will decrease. Also we urge you to keep in mind that the majority of Haringey residents do not own a car, especially those from lower income families in the east of the borough as compared with the west, yet areas like Tottenham are blighted with traffic and road casualties as seen in TFLs Strategic Network Analysis.
We know you have been strongly committed to action on reducing traffic as you stated at the climate rally (COP26) LTNs are one of the very few proven methods to achieve the necessary decarbonisation of transport. Our neighbours (Islington, Hackney and Camden) are ahead of us on measures to reduce car use and enable modal shift – so this is a long awaited action from Haringey Council. It is a change that must occur.
We urge you to support the fact that:
It takes 9 months for the schemes to bed in and for behaviours to transition towards healthier ones – our council need all the support they can get to hold their nerve during this time. We support adjustments to the schemes based on the data/evidence once it is in.
People will threaten to not vote for you and a small minority might not but in the long term, all will benefit and will not want a return to what was there before and the silent majority will applaud you for backing green measures.
We need 24/7 bus lanes (Green Lanes, West Green Road, Tottenham High Road) as the most immediate intervention. We need to support more return to public transport over private car use. Enabling sustainable, cheap travel for all does mean rebalancing road space.
‘Traffic flow’ is not the measure by which we must measure success. Modal shift is the real measure of meaningful change – politicians need to be brave enough to say this.
We need a local regeneration, place-making movement that focuses on 15 min cities (whereby public transport, shops and services are reachable within 15 mins of walking or cycling). We want vibrant local communities, but these need designing and funding. Your help to bring energy and a sense of purpose to this business transformation would be of great and long term benefit.
Our coalition for safer streets made a recent press statement. You can read more about our vision here.
We are concerned that amongst genuine concerns, there are some ‘bad faith actors’, working across boroughs, attacking any measures to reduce car use and tackle climate change and air pollution in our city.
We invite you to walk or ride with us in 2023 across the three new connected LTN areas, so we can show you that it is now possible to commute from Enfield to Haringey on a bike – this previously felt too dangerous for most people.
Finally, through the LTNs, our council is – at long last – acting on the pressing and urgent issues of our time: climate change, nature loss, toxic air pollution, road user reprioritization, and road safety.
Haringey Living Streets, Haringey Cycling Campaign, Haringey Clean Air Group, Haringey Climate Forum, Tottenham and Wood Green Friends of the Earth, Muswell Hill and Hornsey Friends of the Earth, Extinction Rebellion Haringey, Haringey Labour Climate Action
‘For many years Haringey residents have been calling on Haringey Council to take action on climate change, air pollution and road danger. We live in a borough where the majority of residents don’t have access to a car, yet our streets have been blighted by high levels of through traffic.’ Haringey Living Streets
‘The new low traffic schemes are a big change for some and it will take time to adjust. But Rachel Aldred’s report on Waltham Forest (2020) highlights that these schemes work, and they will play an important role in creating healthier streets in our community.’ Haringey Cycling Campaign
Haringey is taking action on the things that should concern us all – road safety, air pollution, carbon emissions, community severance and regeneration, health outcomes, inactivity and retail vibrancy. Trialling measures to reduce through traffic in our communities is the right thing to do if we are to tackle the sources of road danger and poor air quality that impacts all of us but most especially our children’s current and future health. These trials were put in after public consultation, and with the support of successful candidates at the last local elections. Similar schemes have demonstrated successful outcomes in our neighbouring boroughs, with less traffic, better air quality and safer streets. But change is hard, and changing habits can take time. The strength of feeling around this issue is such that Haringey’s trials are attracting opposition from people who have already been unsuccessful in opposing such measures in our neighbouring boroughs.
It’s important that reasonable objections are heard, and adjustments made if necessary. That is the point of a trial. Long-term trials also allow for the proper collection of monitoring data that will give us real insight into traffic and other impacts. Trials in other boroughs have been vindicated by the data. We all know that traffic has blighted Haringey’s streets for many years and is not a new thing. But the other point of a trial is to see the positives. This is why scheme opponents don’t want trials to continue, so the schemes don’t settle down and we don’t all have the opportunity to experience whether we are prepared to live with some of the downsides in order to have neighbourhood streets that are cleaner, healthier and safer. Positive change takes time, but we are already seeing positive impacts of the trials. An increasing number of residents are taking to social media to explain the positives they’re experiencing – including seeing thronging local markets and kids cycling on roads where it would have been unthinkable before. Others have posted on social media their experiences of the benefits of the trials. Decisions on trial schemes should be made on the basis of community engagement and the evidence of their effectiveness. If this trial scheme works like it has done elsewhere, we will have cleaner air, safer streets and better opportunities for healthy travel without a car. And we all want more of that, don’t we?
A response to concerns raised:
Recently, Haringey’s Council meeting was disrupted by groups opposed to new and proposed Streets for People. Opposing groups are marching to a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, 6 December. The main findings of similar schemes and studies need reiterating:
Local businesses benefit from increased pedestrianisation and low traffic neighbourhoods, all businesses can access neighbourhoods See TFL economic report See the study by Small99 Note, we support the need for local regeneration funding to be coupled with the introduction of new filtered neighbourhoods.
Haringey Council are focusing on the East of the borough first to address social inequalitiesLow traffic neighbourhoods seek to address social inequality issues. Using the bus and cycling is cheaper than owning a car and 60% of people in social housing in Haringey do not own a vehicle. We need to do much more to enable safe and efficient travel by foot, bus, cycle and train. Last year, 27 450 people were killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads.1… Children in the most deprived 20% of areas are six times more likely to be injured than those in the least deprived 20%3
Bus efficiency We need cheap travel for more people. Walkers need buses. Bus efficiency is also impacted by too many cars on the road or parking in bus lanes (some of it illegal). Bus lanes need to be 24/7 and red routes are needed to reduce parking in bus lanes. This is an urgent issue as walkers and people unable to cycle need buses to be efficient and this will enable more to make the choice of bus over private car.
Road transport is the biggest carbon emitting sector and councils are mandated to decarbonise our roads. There is now cross party support for this vital change see Gear Change and the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy. Filtering neighbourhoods is the most cost effective and efficient way of creating a network of routes to enable active travel and encourage modal shift. The combined effect of Bounds Green, Bruce Grove and St Ann’s ‘Streets for People’ means safer travel from Enfield into Haringey and beyond – this is a breakthrough for transport in North London. Residents of outer boroughs can also use the new ULEZ scrappage scheme to trade in old cars (up to £2000) for e-bikes. They also open up new routes for walkers. All can be part of a positive change that must occur. Francesca from St Ann’s said: ‘My neighbours often see us on #bikes. When chatting, they said they’d love to ride to work, but haven’t yet taken the plunge. I spoke to them today & they said once the #LTNs were implemented and they decided to give it a go! And even though it’s winter, they love it!’
Main roads also need cycle lanes, separate bus lanes and wide unobstructed pavements; this is the eventual goal to improve road safety. This week alone there have been two cyclists injured in serious collisions in the roads around Finsbury Park illustrating the need for segregated cycle lanes. Vision Zero is a different way of approaching traffic safety – it means planners must now try to eliminate road deaths and life changing injuries whilst also increasing safe and clean mobility for all. Safety concerns deter 66% of people from cycling (71% of women) and make it very difficult for children and young people to walk and to learn to ride and commute to school by cycling. In the absence of segregated lanes on main roads, filtered neighbourhoods provide safe routes as stated by a father from Haringey: ‘I’m a local dad with 7 year old twins. On Saturday, I cycled with them through the St Ann’s and Bruce Grove/West Green LTNs. I don’t own a car, but I’ve never been able to cycle easily with them before – I’m on the road, but it’s not safe for them to be. We normally just cycle in parks or on the pavement, but it’s really difficult as you either have to be on the pavement with them (which annoys people) or be on the road and have a really stressful journey with parked cars in between you. I’ve been dreading them getting to the age when they have to go on the busy roads – as an experienced cyclist I find it really scary in Haringey. So the LTNs have created a space where they feel confident and happy to cycle, and we can all travel together.’ Many residents have waited a long time for these changes and are hugely relieved. They have suffered for many years with excessive cut-through traffic. Given 90% of people live in neighbourhood roads this is a significant improvement that will help revitalise communities. The streets increasingly provide a more peaceful refuge where children can walk and cycle to school safely, communities can more comfortably gather out on the street and where local residents can jog or skate without feeling threatened. With these long awaited interventions our borough has made a big step in progressing to carbon net zero. Active travel will lead to better health for people and our living environment. Walking and cycling develop better heart, lung, overall physical and mental health to the extent that GPs are now prescribing active travel. It’s a vital and urgent change that will, in the long term, benefit all. And is already underway with new data showing a 40% increase in cycling on pre-pandemic levels and 90% at weekends. Walking up, with the proportion of journeys on foot up from 35%. A resident of Bounds Green said: ‘I am beginning to find I feel safer walking to and from jobs without having to worry about someone speeding down the roads when in one of the LTNs.’ And Ranger Duke, a local small business owner, said ‘I am starting to feel more confident in obtaining a small fleet of suitable and hard wearing cargo bikes to get the team around Haringey!’
We have written a joint letter, together with Haringey Living Streets and Haringey Clean Air, requesting that Haringey Council has a clear policy of car-free housing developments. Read the full letter here.
Monica Chakraverty, one of Haringey Cycling Campaign’s Climate Safe Streets Champions, reports on our recent ride
Haringey Cycling Campaign group were delighted to be joined on 27th April by five key candidates in the coming local elections on 5th May. Mike Hakata represented Labour and is Haringey Council cabinet member for environment, transport and the climate emergency, as well as deputy leader of the council. He was joined by Scott Emery from the Liberal Democrats, Pamela Harling and Tom Hoyland from the Green Party and Claudia Matthews from the Conservative Party.
Together, they took a somewhat chilly tour around local streets, beginning on Wood Green High Road, that took in the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of traffic and cycle safety. The town centre proved a fairly hostile start, with multiple vehicle lanes and parking, yet no space for cycling, and difficulties for pedestrians to boot. They cycled on to see how some cut-through, rat-run side streets had been transformed into safer, cleaner spaces for residents, pedestrians and cyclists alike. These included well thought out, ‘quick wins’ such as spaced bollards that allowed accessibility whilst limiting traffic, as well as school streets such as the new one at Belmont Junior School.
Some of the changes would still benefit from tweaking, such as the dangerous cycle contraflow down Broadwater Road, or staggered barriers that could still let mopeds through but which might impede those with accessibility issues. There was one tense moment when a bus came a little too close to one candidate whilst they were trying to use a designated cycle crossing, and this demonstrated the journey ahead in terms of cycle safety for those who wish to use cleaner, active transport in the future.
Much is being promised in the future by candidates through London and some exciting commitments have been made. In Haringey, we’re delighted that Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party have all pledged to commit to key Climate Safe Streets asks. These include protected cycle routes and Vision Zero, with the aim of eliminating all serious cycle injuries caused by motor vehicles.
Other boroughs have also focused on inspiring action plans so, for example, all four main candidates in Hackney have committed to making it safe for every child in that borough to cycle to school by 2026 – this would entail more than school streets, ensuring safe routes along their entire journeys. Imagine a borough with limited school-run traffic, where kids get fresh air and safe exercise before they sit at their desks for the day…
Climate change and overcrowded streets are two issues that won’t go away and won’t be solved overnight. The cycle tour allowed key Haringey candidates to witness at first hand the reality for people who want to cycle in Haringey and to, hopefully, acknowledge that such a healthy, sustainable form of transport deserves focus, funding and a future.
Haringey Council’s draft Walking and Cycling Action Plan consultation closed on 10 January 2022. Together with several local organisations, Haringey Cycling Campaign submitted a detailed joint response to the plan and below is a brief summary of our key points:
We encourage Haringey Council to reallocate road space, creating quality cycle routes and safe junctions as standard throughout the borough. Our aim is to help create a network where cycling is a safe and enjoyable form of day-to-day travel for all.
Other London boroughs are taking up the challenge to create safe cycle networks and Haringey is currently being left behind, particularly when compared to neighbours Islington and Camden. Both these boroughs have brought forward their safe network targets in the light of changed transport use during the pandemic. Haringey has declared bold aims but we’d like to ensure that these become a reality.
Connectivity, where routes are safe, segregated where possible and continuous, particularly at junctions, is key to making Haringey’s streets open for cyclists of all ages. This will enable children who could cycle to school and also mobility-impaired users. It will also encourage women to cycle more, reducing the gender gap – research shows that 79% of women favour more protected cycle routes.
We urge Haringey to look at a united action plan for different forms of transport so that upgrades include road safety for all as a priority. We’d like to see assessment of projects requiring reallocation of road space and clear target completion dates that the council will work towards.
We encourage all communities to explore a safe cycle network, allowing us to reach our full cycling potential. We look forward to working with Haringey to create a cleaner, greener borough.