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Cyclists in Sheffield to learn how Mini Holland could transform their city

Paul Gasson of Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign will speak to CycleSheffield AGM about London borough's scheme...

Cyclists in Sheffield will next week learn how Mini Holland schemes similar to those introduced in three London boroughs could help transform their city for people on bikes.

Enfield, Kingston upon Thames and Waltham Forest shared around £100 million awarded by Transport for London in 2014 following a competition open to outer London boroughs.

Since then, each has been implementing its schemes and on Wednesday, Paul Gasson of the Waltham Forest branch of the London Cycling Campaign will be telling members of CycleSheffield about developments in the borough at the campaign group’s AGM.

The event takes place at the Showroom Cinema’s café bar at 7pm on Thursday 15 June.

Dexter Johnstone of CycleSheffield told the Star: "The success of liveable neighbourhood transformations like ‘Mini Holland’ in the London Borough of Waltham Forest has created safer, healthier streets and more vibrant local economies for everyone living in them.

"It’s not about dividing people up into drivers or walkers or cyclists – it’s about enabling active travel and making our streets pleasant and enjoyable places to be in, not places of congestion, stress, pollution and danger."

He added: "The changes are quite modest and driving is actually better with less congestion, traffic has come down by 50 per cent in the residential streets and down by 16 per cent across the area including main roads.

"More vulnerable people like those elderly and disabled are benefiting from less traffic and better pavements, making it easier and safer to cross roads and get around the area.

"Cycle paths are also ideal for people using wheelchairs and mobility scooters."

Gasson will also be telling the meeting how the local council and cycling campaigners managed to overcome a ‘Bikelash’ from a small but vocal minority who objected to Waltham Forest’s Mini Holland.

Opponents of the scheme formed a group, E17streetsforall, to try and have the consultation process ruled unlawful, but the case was thrown out by a High Court judge who labelled their objections “absurd.”

> 'Absurd' opposition to Waltham Forest mini-Holland revealed in court documents

Besides claims that the changes would be unfair on motorists, they also asserted that businesses would suffer, but the opposite has happened, as CycleSheffield’s Dexter pointed out.

"The shops and cafes are now in a much more attractive environment to walk around and spend time and money in,” he explained.

"Some shopkeepers were worried that if people didn’t drive to the door of their shops it would kill trade but a year on and businesses are thriving, and people enjoy supporting their local economy.

He added: "We need this kind of change in Sheffield too. It doesn’t have to take much money to achieve these improvements, just some imagination and courage from our leaders to look for real solutions to the traffic problems in our communities."

> Cycle Sheffield joins dozens of other groups to urge South Yorkshire Police to adopt close pass initiative

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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emishi55 | 6 years ago

Gasson will also be telling the meeting how the local council and cycling campaigners managed to overcome a ‘Bikelash’ from a small but vocal minority who objected to Waltham Forest’s Mini Holland

It was hoped before the London mayoral election that there might be some actual and robust, heading off of the trumpetting, petrol addled, child haters and tack spreading saboteurs in such places as Regents Park, but after a year spent waiting for the appointment of a cycling commissioner who looks increasingly unlikely to ever fulfil even a fraction of the achievement of a former NY counterpart (Janette Sadique Khan), it may be necessary for campaigners to consider alternative strategies.



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