Time running out for cycling ‘experiment’

Cycle lanes in Palmers Green
Cycle lanes in Palmers Green

Last chance to voice views on road changes, writes Helen Osman on behalf of Save Our Green Lanes

Many people in Enfield may not be aware that the costly and disruptive A105 Green Lanes cycle lane scheme is an ‘experiment’.

Specifically, it is the changes that Enfield Council had to make to parking spaces and loading bays to build the cycle lanes that are subject to ‘experimental traffic orders’ between Enfield Town and Palmers Green. This includes the removal of loading bays for businesses in Winchmore Hill and Palmers Green; reduced disabled bays and on-street parking; the ‘floating parking bays’ outside of the cycle lanes; and uncontrolled parking along residential stretches of the road.

How can such radical, expensive and disruptive changes to the A105 constitute an experiment? Because in 2016 there were so many objections in the statutory consultation to this cycle lane scheme that the only way for the council to push ahead with building the cycle lanes without holding a public inquiry was to state that it was being constructed using Experimental Traffic Management Orders (ETMOs) under Section 9 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

This highways legislation is intended for experimental changes as a pilot – not an entire road scheme constructed using permanent materials. So is this a misuse of highways law? Maybe, but the law does require that ETMOs can only stay in force for 18 months before the local authority must consult local residents on whether or not to make the changes permanent.

The next question, then, is whether the people of Enfield want these changes to delivery bays, loading, parking and waiting on the A105 made permanent. You only have until Thursday 13th June 2019 to tell the council what you think.

Meanwhile, people living near Hertford Road in the east of the borough (the A1010) have also been adversely affected by ETMO changes and will be encouraged to participate later this year in a consultation about the changes being made permanent. You might be thinking the cycle lanes have already been built, so why bother? We believe it’s important because many people have been badly affected – and there are important democratic principles at stake. Last summer the council tried to make these road changes permanent without holding a public consultation.

If these changes have had an adverse impact on your business, your home life or – if you are a blue badge holder – your ability to get around Enfield, please make your views known.

Take part in the A105 Experimental Traffic Orders consultation before the deadline on Thursday 13th June:
Visit tinyurl.com/A105-parking-loading-consult

Read the Save Our Green Lanes leaflet on the consultation:
Visit tinyurl.com/SOGL-A105-leaflet