Walthamstow Town Centre Improvements, The European Way

 

In 2013, all 18 outer London boroughs were able to apply for funding from the Mayor of London's Mini Holland programme. Waltham Forest together with Enfield and Kingston were the selected three chosen to share £100million that was reserved for cycling infrastructure. Waltham Forest secured £30million of this figure, which is is being used for changes to the layout of roads and pathways.

 

Walthamstow is currently undergoing more transformation. Initially introduced in Clapham back in June 2014, blended 'Copenhagen' crossings are now popping up all over E17! To make walking and cycling safer, these new junctions will slow down vehicles when entering or exiting side roads, giving priority to pedestrians when crossing roads. The concept has its roots in mainland Europe where you can see plenty 'Copenhagen' crossings in cities that are populated with cyclists.

 

The priority at blended 'Copenhagen' crossings is governed by highway law, as any other side road. If you find yourself driving and turning into side roads (e.g. from Hoe Street into Granville Road) be sure to give way to people who have started to cross as they have priority as described in the Highway code.

 

As with anything new, these crossings will require a period of adjustment. If we think about to May 2016, when approximately 300 protesters gathered outside the town hall in a mass protest about Mini Holland, it would be an understatement to say that the scheme was controversial amongst locals. Nevertheless, the borough are confident that these changes will make the roads safer or all, reduce traffic and consequently reduce emissions. The masterminds behind the schemes are hoping to see an increase in the number of 'Stow residents choosing to make their journeys by bike or foot.

 

Outside our office in Hoe Street, Waltham Forest are working closely with Transport for London (Tfl) to transform the 'Walthamstow gyratory'. Both Hoe Street and Selborne Road are currently undergoing works to widen the bus station exit and create a new taxi and loading bay outside Tesco Express. A new area of public space will make movement between the tube and bus stations safer and easier for pedestrians. The construction of a new bridge over the railway line will reinforce the message of generation with the plants and trees that will be planted in the later stages of the works.

 

With the council pushing buzzwords like 'Mini Holland' and 'Copenhagen' crossings, Waltham Forest seems to be taking inspiration from European towns where cycling is a major mode of transport. In the Netherlands for example, 27 per cent of all trips are taken by bike. Consequently, the implementation of bike-friendly infrastructure through law, public policy and roadworks, the Netherlands have allowed the work commute and other journeys so easy to cycle for many.

 

A cycling culture is developing. Bike surgeries, family bike club for new riders and other events for calendar this March can be found here .

Published on 01 March 2017

Source Wonderlease

Written by Marc Cohen

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