An open letter from Helen Osman, an Enfield resident who promotes Winchmore Hill, to Professor Tom Pike’s emails and Tweets in which he counters what local traders say has happened to shops, cafes and restaurants as a result of the Enfield mini-Holland scheme.
Dear Professor Pike,
I have been forwarded several emails and tweets relating to your analysis of trading patterns in Winchmore Hill.
Rather than rely on Google images, perhaps you should have taken the trouble to validate your facts, surely the first rule in any research?
If you had bothered to come up to Winchmore Hill you would have seen very clearly the severe negative impact that the A105 cycle lanes have had on both Winchmore Hill and Palmers Green. Please take the time to look at these photographs taken a couple of weeks ago
This sudden reversal in trading is not merely down to macro structural retail shopping changes; local retailing is predicated on convenience, people being able to access goods and services easily from local businesses, either walking, driving or by bike.
If you make it harder for people to walk along narrow pavements, board buses and cross a busy A road because zebra crossings & central reservations have been removed or moved away from desire lines; put orcas and concrete obstacles in the road – they don’t bother, but spend their money somewhere else.
Busy families are a key local spending group and this scheme has made it harder for them to navigate around the local area. Please try getting around the A105 with a buggy; come and experience the perennial congestion problems that have ensued because of new signalised crossings, bus stops located in the carriageway, when people are behind a vehicle turning right, as they can no longer undertake. If you work full time, run a household, are responsible for feeding your family, taking them places often within a tight timescale you often need a car. What’s more, we have a large population of older people, many with more limited mobility.
Finally cyclists and their spending power – almost non existent. Indeed many people think there are fewer cyclists using the A105 cycle lanes this summer than last, now that the novelty has worn off.
Enfield Council is putting together an action plan for our local high streets – which is largely going to have to address problems of their own making.
Whilst we need to get people out of their cars, good public transport and safe routes for people to walk are surely pivotal? If you would actually like to come up to Winchmore Hill I would be pleased to show you around, point out where the scheme has failed TfL’s own safety audits and introduce you to business owners who are desperate to get out.