Leave our street alone

Lorries frequently use Cecil Road
Lorries frequently use Cecil Road to make deliveries to the Palace Exchange and Palace Gardens shopping centres

We oppose idea to divert more traffic down Cecil Road, write Claudia Carter and Luke Neville

In the last issue of the Dispatch Better Streets for Enfield set out a ‘vision’ for Enfield Town where traffic is routed off Church Street, removing the one-way system and making Cecil Road two-way.

This is the same as the Cycle Enfield proposal that 70% of residents voted against in the 2015 consultation. Why was it rejected? One reason is because many residents can remember when Cecil Road and Church Street were previously two-way. Both roads were frequently at a standstill.

As one resident said: “We recall how congested Cecil Road was and how difficult it was to try and cross the road. The family never opened the front windows because of the traffic noise and fumes. Enfield Town used to frequently come to a standstill even in those days when a lot of families didn’t have cars.”

Cecil Road and Church Street are part of the main route between Enfield and the M25. Where do Better Streets envisage these vehicles going, with little by way of an alternative route? This part of their ‘vision’ will inevitably lead to more tailbacks along Windmill Hill. Many residents live along that road, too. Does this constitute ‘better streets’?

Delivery access to the shops in Palace Gardens and Palace Exchange is via Cecil Road. At the moment there is usually space for cars to manoeuvre around them, but imagine the resulting gridlock if Cecil Road is condemned to two-way traffic. Nighttime deliveries are not the cure to this – local residents have had to fight several battles in recent years when some shops started nighttime deliveries, leading to sleepless nights for residents opposite.

Let’s not forget, either, that the 2015 consultation revealed serious knock-on effects for residents in Raleigh, Sydney and Essex roads, which would become rat runs through to London Road for drivers seeking to avoid the major snarl ups the two-way system would create.

At this point, before any further suggestions are made to fix the flaws in this particular plan, can we repeat that as this is a major route between the M25 and Enfield, in reality traffic volumes are unlikely to reduce?

During the 2015 consultation, a resident was stopped by a Cycle Enfield representative on Church Street. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was none of this traffic?” the official asked. “Yes,” said the resident, “but where would all the cars go?”

“Oh,” the Cycle Enfield representative said, looking baffled. “I don’t know.”

It transpired the official had been recruited from south London to help with the Cycle Enfield scheme and had no idea of the area’s geography. It is hard to avoid concluding that Better Streets for Enfield too has little knowledge of our local area.

Please, spare us this ‘vision’.

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