Facts & Evidence

Mini Holland has suffered from a lot of wild assertions and claims which are not backed up. Below we list some facts and links which we think make a strong case for the Mini Holland principles and public realm measures being planned and implemented.

Journeys by car

Road safety charity Brake released a report (“Safety concerns are barrier to delivering walking and cycling benefits”, 10th Feb 2015) clearly showing that safety fears are preventing more young people walking or cycling –  parents fears topped the list, following by speeding traffic, and a lack of safe routes.

The private car represents a hugely inefficient use of road space. Our roads are clogged despite only half of households in the central Walthamstow area having access to a car (see ‘Census data’ below), and only a small proportion of them driving regularly. Using residential streets to improve through traffic capacity is no solution.

And its often most disadvantaged in our community who do not have use of a car yet suffer from the resultant pollution, danger and ill health. Encouraging more space efficient walking and cycling is key to healthier communities.


We’re struggling in the UK to reverse sedentary lifestyles. Children are particularly at risk, with obesity representing a long term threats to their futures, and further stretching health services. Vehicle emissions in residential areas damages children’s lungs which prevents them reaching their maximum growth potential, and risks a range of respiratory disorders in childhood, and disease in later life.

Local economy

It is likely your business is already visited by far more people on bikes and on foot than you realise.  Public realm improvements, protected space for bikes on main roads and other cycling measures have been repeatedly shown to increase sales in nearby shops.

  • Click here for TfL reports, studies and evidence to present the economic benefits of investment in walking and cycling.
    • TfL’s ‘Street Appeal’ report includes evidence to show the positive impact of walking and cycling on high streets, town centres and other shopping areas:
      • A one third uplift in the physical quality of the street as a whole from interventions in the publically owned street space.
      • An uplift in office rental values equivalent to an ‘additional’ 4% per annum. This helps to support investment in business space in the face of pressures to convert to more profitable residential uses.
      • A larger uplift in retail rental values equivalent to an ‘additional’ 7.5% per annum. This results from the more attractive retail environment that has been created and the encouragement this is giving to investment in these locations despite competition from on-line retail and ’out-of-town’ shopping centres.
      • A strongly related decline in retail vacancy leading to a sizable 17% per annum difference in vacancy rates between improved and unimproved street environments.
      • A growth in leisure uses, and a greater resilience in the improved streets of traditional (A1) and comparison retail; all bucking the common trend of decline in such uses that is often seen elsewhere.
      • An almost negligible impact on residential values, helping to counter concerns that street improvements, by themselves, will further inflate house prices and encourage gentrification.
      • Inconsequential impacts, from the street improvements alone, on traffic flows or the modal choices made by individuals when travelling (unless road capacity is deliberately removed as part of an improvement scheme), but a reduction in serious or fatal accidents on those streets with higher pre-existing levels of collisions.
      • A large 96% boost in static (e.g. standing, waiting, and sitting) and 93% boost in active (e.g. walking) street behaviours in improved over unimproved areas, with strong potential health benefits in the resulting more active lifestyles.
      • A particularly large 216% hike in the sorts of leisure based static activities (e.g. stopping at a café or sitting at a bench) that only happen when the quality of the environment is sufficiently conducive to make people wish to stay.
      • Very strong perceptions amongst both everyday street users and local property occupiers that street improvement schemes significantly enhance street character, walkability, ease of crossing, opportunities for sitting, and general street vibrancy.
    • TfL’s Walking & cycling economic benefits pack (which you can download from the link above) identifies that investment:
      • Boosts the high street and local town centres: walking and cycling improvements can increase retail spend by up to 30%.
      • Reduces absences and increases productivity: People who are physically active take 27% fewer sick days each year than their colleagues.
      • Attracts employees and businesses: Businesses see walking and cycling as
        key to attracting and retaining the staff they need to thrive
      • Keeps the city moving for business: New cycle lanes in London have helped some streets carry up to 5% more people at the busiest times.
      • Delivers wider Economic Benefits: Investing in walking and cycling can prevent billions of pounds worth of health and environmental damage.
      • Helps everyone share the benefits: Active travel is accessible and inclusive. Making it easier to walk and cycle means that more Londoners can enjoy the benefits
  • Cyclists visit local shops more regularly, spending more than users of most other modes of transport. Per square metre, cycle parking delivers 5 times higher retail spend than the same area of car parking. A compact town optimised for walking and cycling can have a “retail density” (spend per square metre) 2.5 times higher than a typical urban centre. Value of Cycling, University of Birmingham and Phil Jones Associates, March 2016.
  • Research shows that making places better for walking can boost footfall and trading by up to 40%
  • Good urban design can raise retail rents by up to 20%
  • International and UK studies have shown that pedestrians spend more than people arriving by car. Comparisons of spending by transport mode in Canada and New Zealand revealed that pedestrians spent up to six-times more than people arriving by car. In London town centres in 2011, walkers spent £147 more per month than those travelling by car
  • All the above from The Pedestrian Pound – the business case for better streets and places, Living Streets
  • Retailers often overate the importance of the car. A survey conducted in spring 2015 in Lea Bridge Road Waltham Forest showed that businesses believed that 63% of their customers arrived by car; a survey of visitors to the street revealed that only 20% had arrived by car. A study in Graz, Austria, subsequently repeated in Bristol found that retailers overestimated the number of customers arriving by car by almost 100%.

More reports and articles:

Cycle infrastructure

  • Danish levels of cycling in the UK would save the NHS £17bn within 20 years … and increase mobility of the nation’s poorest families by 25%.
  • Bike lanes can increase retail sales by 25%
  • Bike parking takes up 8 times less space than cars, helping to free up space
  • Adopting Dutch safety standards could reduce cycling casualties by two thirds
  • Cycling saves a third of road space compared to driving, to help cut congestion

All the above from Benefits of Investing in Cycling (Dr Rachel Aldred, Oct 2014)

  • In Seville, an 80-mile network of protected bike lanes boosted biking from 0.6 percent to 7 percent of trips in six years.
  • The average protected bike lane sees bike counts increase 75 percent in its first year alone.
  • Streets with protected bike lanes saw 90 percent fewer injuries per mile than those with no bike infrastructure.
  • Making biking comfortable, safe and dignified has made expensive car ownership optional for low-income Denmark residents.
  • Only 41 percent of trips by Denmark’s poorest residents happen in cars, compared to 72 percent by the poorest Americans.

All the above from People for Bikes.

Census data

Perception surveys – what Waltham Forest residents think about their local areas

As well as using conventional survey techniques, Waltham Forest council embarked on a series of surveys using the innovative online commonplace tool, in order to establish how local people felt about the key areas earmarked for improvement as part of the Mini Holland programme.  The results can be found by clicking here, and some of the infographics are listed below.


In total 1527 people responded

  • 687 respondents would like to see better pavements
  • 591 respondents would like to see more plants and trees
  • 498 respondents would like less traffic on the roads
  • 486 respondents would like more attractive streets
  • 472 respondents would like slower traffic
  • 455 respondent would like more local shops
  • 437 respondents would like safer crossing points
  • 430 respondents would like more places to sit
  • 402 respondents would like improved public spaces
  • Click here to see more of the perception survey results.

Highams Park

In total 628 people responded

  • 319 respondents would like to see better pavements
  • 246 respondents would like to see more plants and trees
  • 239 respondents would like safer crossing points
  • 222 respondents would like more attractive streets
  • 207 respondents would like slower traffic
  • 201 respondent would like more local shops
  • Click here to see more of the perception survey results.

Leytonstone Town Centre

Leyton Town Centre

Blackhorse Village

Hoe Street & Wood Street

Lea Bridge Road

  • How respondents travel on Lea Bridge Road: Walk 75%, Public Transport 61%, Car 47%,  Cycle 36%. Click here for the infographic.
  • 13% said business and shops are good, 69% feel that some places on Lea Bridge Road are not safe. More information here.
  • Business perception of Lea Bridge Road: It is attractive 19%, It is unattractive 33%. Business is flourishing 11%, business could be better 33%. More information here.
  • Business think 63% of their customers traveled to the area by car; however only 20% of visitors reported travelling by car. More information here.

Church Road

  • How respondents travel on Church Road: Walk 65%, Public Transport 52%, Car 38%,  Cycle 27%. More information here.
  • 40% of businesses said they would like to see a better retail, business and service mix. More information here.

Forest Road

Click below for more of the perception survey results.

  • 60% of businesses said business could be better, and 50% said its difficult to get around. More information here.
  • 75% of respondents would like protected cycle lanes, 74% slower traffic, nd 74% safer crossing points. More information here.

10 indicators of a healthy street

Healthy Street Indicators

The healthy street indicators above are from the TfL report “Improving the health of Londoners”.

Further reading