Do you support the Walthamstow Village Mini Holland scheme? Then PLEASE WRITE IN to tell the relevant Councillors!
Here’s the final report to Cabinet, meeting Tuesday, recommending the village scheme go in: http://democracy.walthamforest.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=3519&x=1
Please send an email to the list of Councillors below – you can send just one email to all of them.
Ask them to approve the Walthamstow Village Mini Holland scheme – item 9 at cabinet meeting on 10 February. Please put your own reasons for why you think the scheme is important. But we’ve listed what we consider to be key ones. If you want to use some of ours, do modify, edit, and generally add to them to make each email sent personal!
Dear Cabinet, Forest, Hoe Street and Wood Street ward Councillors,
I’m asking you to approve Item 9 on Tuesday’s cabinet meeting – the mini-Holland village scheme – because:
- A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
We won’t have so much to spend on improving the quality of life for Walthamstow residents again in the foreseeable future, probably not in our lifetimes. So it’s vital we move forward with this scheme. Be bold, be brave, and stand up for the genuine needs & wellbeing of residents.
- First phase of an ambitious but robust plan.
When all of the mini-Holland schemes are completed, most residents in central Walthamstow will be able to walk or cycle from their front door to most key destinations – the tube, the hospital, the shops, even central London – without facing aggressive traffic. Road danger is the overwhelming reason why most of our residents who would like to cycle say they currently don’t. With half of local households not having access to a car, we need to ensure they are well catered for (and so we don’t all end up with more congestion, pollution etc.).
- A healthier, better, more productive Walthamstow.
If the mini-Holland plans are implemented, residents who can walk or cycle will be able to get around with less congestion; for those that can’t, fewer other cars will mean less delays. There’ll be less pollution – a massive killer of children and adults across our borough; less obesity; lower emissions; healthier, happier and more productive residents. The alternative is to hand the money back (as it can only be spent on radical cycling and walking schemes) and be responsible for another generation stunted by pollution, obesity, diabetes etc.
- The world is watching.
Kingston council has already been rightly pilloried for its attempt to water down its mini-Holland plans. And the Mayor, London Cycling Czar Andrew Gilligan and TfL have all intervened there. In comparison, Waltham Forest’s mini-Holland plans are based on internationally well-established principles. The “villagisation” element you’re voting on on Tuesday is already tried-and-tested as close to home as Hackney. Waltham Forest’s plans are widely well accepted to be class-leading – most transport experts are full of praise for them. So we can win awards for the borough… if you approve item 9.
- Ill-informed opposition.
Much of the sentiment against this scheme has been based on myths:
– It doesn’t force anyone out of a car – people can still drive into, park and leave the area. It’s the substantial number of non-residents speeding through who will be discouraged. During the very short trial, the benefits were already evident – streets where kids played outside and a sense of community returning.
– The mini-Holland funding covers far more than just the village – it includes main road schemes and other “villages” covering most residential areas in central Walthamstow.
– The scheme is not about the current 5 percent of confident residents who already cycle. It’s about the majority of local people who say they’d start cycling, or cycle more, if we tackle intimidating road conditions. It’s about making more efficient use of road space, about parents and kids on the school run, about the half of all households with no car; it’s about using international best practice of what’s been shown to drive up cycling numbers and drive down car use – without forcing anyone out of their car.
– The trial did not cause chaos on main roads – see the engineers’ report on this, but also note that “Home Zone” or “Wonerf” road closure schemes are common across Europe, the UK, and as close as Hackney and even Higham Hill, and haven’t been found to cause traffic chaos.
– The scheme wasn’t forced in against residents’ wishes – the biggest consultation the Highways Department has ever mounted saw the scheme modified extensively as a result of the trial and further feedback. And despite the ambitious nature of the scheme, which understandably was a cause of concern from residents, the eventual vote shows most are in favour of the scheme overall.
For all these reasons, I ask you to approve item 9.