Boost for cycling after £1.5m government grant

Cycleway 1 extends through most of Edmonton
Cycleway 1 extends through most of Edmonton but has yet to be completed in Ponders End

Money will be spent on low-traffic neighbourhoods and new cycle routes, reports James Cracknell

Enfield Council has won a second tranche of funding from the government to develop ‘active travel’ schemes during the pandemic – ten times larger than its award last year.

A grant of £1.55million from the Department for Transport is set to be spent on completing the last section of the Cycle Enfield A1010 scheme in Ponders End, as well as on a brand new cycle route between Ponders End and Enfield Town.

The last part of the grant from the government’s Active Travel Fund will be spent on installing a ‘bus gate’ and other new features within the council’s low-traffic neighbourhood currently being trialled in Bowes Park – itself funded using the council’s previous £100,000 grant from the same fund last summer. Bus gates are designed to block all motor traffic except buses, and the council is proposing to put one in Brownlow Road.

The Active Travel Fund was launched in spring last year as a way to boost cycling and walking during the pandemic, with people being advised to avoid using public transport whenever possible.

Deputy leader Ian Barnes said on Twitter: “Absolutely delighted that Enfield Council has been awarded over £1.5m from the government’s emergency Active Travel Fund for further schemes to encourage walking and cycling across our borough, particularly in these socially-distanced Covid times

“This is a huge vote of confidence from both the government and TfL [Transport for London] in our low-traffic neighbourhood, school streets and Cycle Enfield schemes.

“We will continue to make the borough a cleaner, greener, safer place for residents.”

The first tranche of funding awarded to the council last summer caused controversy when it came with an eight-week implementation deadline, leading the council to skip public consultation prior to installing the Bowes Park Quieter Neighbourhood scheme.

This time, DfT has ditched any time constraints. A council spokesperson said: “This is welcomed and will allow us to apply our normal process of engagement with the community before any implementation.

“The Bowes [Park] project will progress in conjunction with Haringey Council and their own low-traffic neighbourhood plans, along with TfL

“The council anticipates further funding from TfL at the start of the new financial year. This funding will be prioritised for the [newly proposed] Connaught Gardens Quieter Neighbourhood. Also, early community engagement on two new quieter neighbourhood projects in Upper Edmonton will begin later in the year.”

For more information on the council’s low-traffic neighbourhoods programme:
Visit letstalk.enfield.gov.uk/neighbourhoods