An open to Cycle Enfield from Malcolm McGrath of Keymakers
I write as a director of Keymakers (London) Ltd, the locksmiths business situated in Green Lanes, Winchmore Hill, near the junction with Compton Road.
We have been established for many years and currently have ten people on the payroll. I am most concerned that the proposed scheme would have a very detrimental effect on businesses and residents in the area.
The proposed segregated cycle lanes would so drastically reduce the road space available to motor vehicles that the flow of vehicular traffic would become unacceptably slow. I believe that Green Lanes Winchmore Hill and Palmers Green would become a permanent feature of our city's traffic reports. The surrounding residential roads would become "rat runs". On the West side of the A105, Bush Hill, Green Moor Link etc., Hoppers Road and the roads through the Lakes Estate would be used by motorists to avoid the congestion. On the East side- Wellington Road, Firs Lane etc. and Wolves Lane would be used to the same end.
The removal of valuable parking spaces would render many businesses unviable and our high streets would deteriorate accordingly. In short, the scheme would make this stretch of Green Lanes unfit for commerce and the nearby residential roads unpleasant to live in. These might even become dangerous places to live and work when one considers the much impeded response of emergency vehicles to fire, accident, sudden illness and crime.
Many of our local churches are sited along the main road and parishioners take advantage of the Sunday parking rules. The replacement of roadway with single yellow lines by cycle lanes will make life more difficult for worshippers, particularly the elderly. Nothing in the proposals would seem to address the needs of the growing number of wheelchair and mobility vehicle users. Would some of these people be allowed to use the cycle lanes or would the scheme discriminate against them?
Generally, this ill-considered scheme would jeopardise thousands of jobs and cause much unpleasantness, or worse, to many residents – all for the sake of adding a modicum of convenience to a few cycle journeys. Most local people like the area as it is and the notion that tens of millions of pounds of public money might be squandered on spoiling it is beyond comprehension.
Consideration should be given to using the relevant part of the New River as a cycle route. This, I am sure, would provide much more enjoyable cycling than the main road (with which it intersects at several points). I have walked along its banks and have seen no obstacles that could not be overcome and I believe a better outcome could be achieved with considerably less expenditure. Otherwise, why not spend the money available in other parts of the borough which are run down to the extent that they might actually benefit from such a scheme. Whilst running a busy shop, I talk to dozens of people every day and find that these proposals are deeply unpopular with all that might be affected by them.
Tel. 0208 360 6464
Malcolm McGrath, Director of Keymakers, explains his concerns about the cycle lanes proposals