Liveable London

“A Liveable London is a city where it’s enjoyable and safe to walk and cycle for all your local trips, where there are relaxing places outside where you can watch the world go by or chat with your neighbours, and where children can safely roam and walk or cycle to school. It’s a London where our families, friends and communities are put first on our streets, and where motor traffic, pollution and congestion don’t dominate our public spaces.”

So says a campaign leaflet produced by Living Streets* and the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) (leaflets here) in the runup to the local elections. Haringey was one of seven London boroughs that won funding in 2017 from the Greater London Authority and the TfL Liveable Neighbourhoods programme. The campaigners want to convince candidates from all major political parties of the desirability of such a policy, while also allowing for the extensive discussions that would be needed with local residents to take into consideration the concerns of all of them, and produce a plan that overall they consider a positive development for their neighbourhood. TfL provides detailed guidance about what is required on its website. *See also London Living Streets.

Pic. is from Enfield cycling campaign in 2016, and a contributor to their site says:

Orford Road, in the award-winnig 'mini-Holland' scheme in Waltham Forest, "used to have heavy car traffic but is now restricted to buses and bikes only between 10am and 10pm. Closing it to car traffic caused huge controversy at the time, with local shop owners claiming that it would be the death of their businesses. (Some of them even disrupted the opening ceremony last year by carrying a coffin down the street.)"

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  • Hop on the train to Palmers Green (only two stops from Ally Pally!), turn left out of the station and see our cycle lanes up the Green Lanes plus our now much lovelier Palmers Green Triangle with a new road layout and much miserable street furniture removed. Turn right out of the station and admire our continuous pavements on the turnings along Aldermans Hill - part of the Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood.

    • Thanks very much, Julia, for the info!  I will check it out. I've heard friends (living in Wood Green) who are drivers complaining about the layout of the cycle lanes in Green Lanes (while others really like it) - do you have any concerns about what has been done?

      I did have a look at the Orford Road scheme - it looks great, and I understand that the local business that complained most bitterly about the scheme when it was being planned, fearing loss of custom, is now having to hire new staff because of the increase in footfall! So your common sense is probably right, Susie. Have the businesses affected by the scheme in Palmers Green done ok, Julia?

      With the Orford Road scheme, it looks like the amount of traffic in streets surrounding the scheme has increased a bit after it was introduced, because there is not much in the way of a natural boundary around the scheme. Though the overall amount of traffic has decreased. I think the Palace Gates area has better boundaries, so any traffic filtering would have less of a knock-on effect - the boundaries being the railway, the park, and Durnsford road and Albert Road Rec.


    • I don't cycle but I go on foot, car and public transport. There were traffic jams during the roadworks, but traffic moves smoothly now they're gone. My commute is up to Enfield Town by bus and it's the same length of time, even though there are three extra zebra crossings and lights have been adjusted in favour of pedestrians. Businesses are struggling on the Green Lanes like everywhere, but I don't think the bike lanes can be blamed. We shall have to see if business perks up now.

    • Ah, I see, it's still being completed!  There's masses of info. on the Palmers Green Community website:

      I guess it's basically a cycle network, without attempts to control rat-running or reduce traffic generally? Except that of course if people are better able to cycle and walk (and also take public transport) they will hopefully be less likely to use their cars.


      Cycle Enfield (Mini-Holland) - Palmers Green Community
      News and views about the Cycle Enfield project
      Cycle Enfield (Mini-Holland) - Palmers Green Community
      News and views about the Cycle Enfield project
    • Also, it appears to be a very large cycle network.


  • This sounds excellent. I’d be interested in visiting Orford Road in Waltham Forest to see how it is working. I know local businesses in Palmers Green fought the mini-Holland scheme there, saying that any restrictions on drivers would reduce business. I’ve never really understood how making an environment better and more pedestrian friendly would have a negative impact on local shops-I thought it would be the opposite. 

    • Yes, I was intending to visit the Orford Road area sometime - perhaps we should organise a group visit, and then discuss relevance to the AP area in a cafe/pub afterwards?


    • Annabel, Orford Road is delightful. I've often cycled there - it's a very short pedestrianised section with bike racks and a fabulous cheese shop, wonderful tapas bar and the most upmarket Co-op in London. The pedestrianisation certainly does not seem to affect the shops, but there again it is a quite short stretch of shops, easily accessible by all.. Have a look at the lovely old church if you go and Vinegar Alley, just around the corner from Orford. 


    • This is quite interesting re: the mini Holland scheme there. It's a very cycle friendly area.

      Mini Holland has been shortlisted for another design award
      The controversial pedestrianisation of Orford Road has been shortlisted for a national planning award.
    • Thanks very much for these, Annie!  You've inspired me to go and visit the area.


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