The Mini-Holland scheme has split Walthamstow in two. Last year, Waltham Forest won £33million from Transport for London and it was their idea to put this money into a sophisticated cycling network which is completely changing the entire feel of the village. While some residents are enjoying the perks of quitter streets, the improvement in air quality and the health benefits of cycling, the protesters at the grand opening (on September 14th) were carrying signs which read 'R.I.P Walthamstow'. The 'E17 Streets 4 all' campaign and many local businesses were in outrage over the road closures. Other protestors also complained of Police, Ambulance and Firefighter access which will increase their response times.

However, the Mini-Holland initiative has been awarded 'Best Innovation- Use of Technology of new technique' at the National Cycling Planning Awards. Waltham Forest councillor/Deputy leader Clyde Loakes who accepted the award said "Our mini Holland Programme is at the forefront of championing safe and accessible cycling and pedestrian options and it’s great to be recognised for our hard work to date." He recently cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony and said "There are clearly people who don’t like the scheme. But we spent six months on consultation which had a high response rate and addressed a lot of people's concerns." He also believes that "…these schemes are happening everywhere across Europe and America and I appreciate it is a big change for everyone."

Published on 01 October 2015

Source Wonderlease

Written by Marc Cohen

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