The year has started messily from a political perspective both locally and nationally. Yet the sun has broken through to brighten up gloomy January and the Covid infection rates seem to be coming down.
This week a miscellany of local stuff, as well as a welcome to a new 'baby' in N21.
Bowes LTN under scrutiny
The decision by the Leader of Enfield Enfield Council Nesil Caliskan to quietly made the Traffic Management Orders for the Bowes LTN permanent on New Year's Eve has been called in by the Overview & Scrutiny Committee and will be heard in a public meeting next Thursday January 20th at 7pm.
The call-in is being led by Cllr Maria Alexandrou.
Here are the reasons she and other opposition councillors have put forward as to why the decision needs to be sent back to the Leader Cllr Nesil Caliskan for further consideration - especially as she has given a public undertaking to scrap the LTN if it has not fulfilled its objectives:
REASONS FOR BOWES LTN CALL-IN
Main purpose of the trial was to reduce the motor traffic within the Bowes area and improve healthy physical activity like walking and cycling- this has failed to materialise.
1.The Council must provide its reasons for an experimental traffic order (ETO) and those reasons must be set out in the Statement of Reasons and not use the Mayor’s Transport Strategy to support this.
Amendments to an ETO can only be made within the first 12 months of its 18-month cycle to enable the statutory 6-month statutory objection period to run. No further amendments can be added to this traffic order.
2. Enfield Healthy Streets Framework policy post-dates the implementation of the Bowes QN ETO and cannot be applied to support the scheme retrospectively.
3. Lack of comprehensive training for officers attending those focus groups with disabled people in relation to the Public Service Equality Duty which meant they could not fully understand the consequences of this scheme for the disabled.
4. Blue Badge Holders - not everyone received a letter/survey to complete-of those that did participate in the survey, 76% claimed they suffered negatively from the scheme.
5.Contradictory reports on bus delays – Bowes report says bus journey times improved yet the Green Lanes Priority Scheme shows buses are operating with significant delays. This point has not been explored in the report.
6. Active travel shows no increase – only 3 sites were monitored for pedestrian activity- this is a very small sample to make any comment that would be taken into account for making a decision.
7. Cycling data is misleading- some roads recorded a large increase in cycling due to the abnormally low traffic flow before the scheme. If you exclude these 3 roads, the 15 roads show a decrease.
8. Traffic data is not representative. The report has been selective on traffic data -traffic data is missing from 8 of the 29 roads monitored.
9. Inaccuracy of traffic counters – The report references that traffic counters measured between 16th-28th September. However, this was during the petrol
shortage period and therefore is not representative.
10. Pollution and Noise Modelling- the report data is misleading as traffic data is missing and therefore an accurate analysis cannot be made- limited time modelling carried out.
11. Bias against car owners- car owners have mostly reported negative responses and make up a large number of respondents. However, these views appear to have been disregarded by the decision maker despite them being the biggest group. The report does not give the same weight to responses from car owners as it does to non-motorists otherwise the decision would not be to make the scheme permanent.
12. Residents rejecting the LTNs- the report ignores the survey participants’ views -there were overwhelming reasons opposing scheme.
13.Crime offences have increased 8% across Bowes. Crime figures are higher compared to the rest of Enfield showing a clear link of higher crime levels with the implementation of the QN scheme.
14. Poor street lighting in Bowes. The report fails to take into account the poor street lighting in Bowes which in addition to the scheme compounds the safety of residents especially women who have reported that they have felt vulnerable since the QN was implemented.
15. The impact on mental health has been ignored – the report fails to mention the scheme's impact on mental health due to the isolation and anxiety of people living within the QN.
16. Traffic volumes have not been significantly reduced but have been displaced. The report fails to state why the decision maker is confident that the traffic volumes have not been just displaced.
17. Impact of Covid pandemic - the report does not thoroughly address the impact that COVID-19 has had on traffic flows during different times of the pandemic.
18. Ignored warnings from the London Ambulance Service. The report ignores warnings from London Ambulance Service about patient safety from traffic delays.
19. Ignores the benefits of electric cars. The report fails to take into consideration the role of electric cars as a part solution to reducing emissions which is one of the reasons for the scheme.
20. Residents overwhelmingly reject the Bowes QN - three quarters oppose the scheme, yet the council concludes that there are more benefits than disbenefits and no solutions provided to the traffic volumes on the main roads.
For those who may have missed it last week, here is what the Leader of the Council Nesil Caliskan has 'promised'.
To quote "Our commitment as the Labour group is to improve air quality, is to reduce the number of cars that are being used for short journeys and into tap into active travel. It is not to the LTN, the LTN is just a vehicle to achieve all of that stuff. If the evidence shows that the LTN achieves the complete opposite I don't care we will scrap it. This is an idea, a model that might be used to achieve these things.
The LTN is just a vehicle to achieve all of that stuff. If the evidence shows that the LTN achieves the complete opposite I don't care we will scrap it. This is an idea, a model that might be used to achieve these things".
The Fox LTN consultation has now closed. Statutory objections must be considered, anything else is discretionary, but there is no doubt that congestion is not going away and public sentiment is firmly behind this LTN being removed.
Bourne Hill today, (14.1.22)
the congestion and pollution filmed by a local cyclist. More pollution, more congestion for longer hours. buses not moving, people walking along highly polluted roads
Enfield Council CANNOT use government policy as an excuse to push through these schemes against the will of residents. Here is a letter sent by Grant Shapps to all Local Authority Transport Leaders reminding them that:
"the crucial test is does the active travel scheme deliver for the community it serves and has it been done with their consultation"
Enfield Metropolitan Police Service are encourage more streets to
set up their own Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.
They want to encourage people to use schemes to get to know neighbours and discuss various issues surrounding the area and how to deal with them.
For rmore information go to: http://www.ourwatch.org.uk
The Friends of Firs Farm have launched two community appeals:
1. They are seeking a volunteer to help with Firs Farm's social media for the next exciting phase of our award winning wetlands - the building of a community hub.
2. The Friends want to build up the local history archive for the site, especially pre 1950s, through interviews and photographs. Firs Farm has a rich history, which includes being a working farm, prisoner of war camp and tennis pavilions, but there is a lot of hidden history to uncover!
To get involved, please contact the Friends of Firs Farm: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone remember the swimming pool at Barrowell Green?
The Fonliners Bookclub set up by Kevin Henry is now six years old. It is gratifying to hear that lots of people have joined via n21online and this newsletter!
At the beginning of each year Kevin produces a newsletter rating the books that the club have read and other reading suggestions.
Some of you may have noticed the balloons outside N21's newest business which opened this week, Hey Baby, 840 Green Lanes.
Owners Krish and Mousumi, (who also run a CQC ‘Outstanding’ rated healthcare business in Enfield), decided to open Hey Baby after Mousumi had several private scans due to complications with her health and pregnancy. They concluded that more could be done to make the experience better for mums and parents-to-be, so began researching Hey Baby, an established franchise offering expectant mothers baby scan packages to suit all stages of pregnancy, from eight weeks. They have links to local NHS providers to ensure a smooth transition of care should you need it.
Bookings can be made online through the website, and the friendly team are on hand to answer any questions you may have.
For the month of January SAVE 15% on selected scans Visit the Hey Baby 4D website https://heybaby4d.co.uk/enfield/ and enter the coupon code '15NY2022' at checkout.
Applications for the next Inspiring Women programme close on February 14th.
All support is FREE of charge as the scheme is sponsored by local charity, The RSA Trust.
Thursday 27th January, 2.00pm - 3.15pm
North London Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise (NLCCE) invite local businesses to their webinar Digital Marketing Strategy, presented byfrom Melissa Ellis, founder of Influence Digital Agency.
The talk will cover: Benefits of Digital Marketing to any business
Is it better to promote a personal brand or a business brand?
Which digital platforms will suit your business?
Digital Marketing in the Covid-19 era