“ I think Enfield Council's proposed measures and schemes are very courageous. They want to transform the borough into an environment where children can grow up. ”
I cycle from Stoke Newington to the hospital which is about 5 miles.
It takes about half an hour, in the morning rush hour it takes 5 minutes longer. These are the only half-hour windows where I won’t look at e-mails.
I cycle to work because it gives me an hour of exercise each day so I don’t need to go to a boring gym. I am in control and I don’t feel like cattle, in contrast to commuting on the train or car. Cycling allows me to let my thoughts wander aimlessly; it is almost like a form of meditation. When I arrive home I have left work and all it’s worries behind. I have commuted the same way for 14 years. I have seen kids growing up, fellow cyclists greet me who I see every day, and I am, for a fleeting second, a participant all the different communities between Stoke Newingotn, Stamford Hill, West Green, Tottenham and Edmonton.
I think Enfield Council’s proposed measures and schemes are very courageous. They want to transform the borough into an environment where children can grow up experiencing the bicycle as the most natural, affordable pleasant way of getting from A to B. The schemes are well chosen and strike a good balance for all street users. It would be good to make more use of back roads too and have a very obvious and visible connection to all the green spaces around.
“ Think global, act local. Everyone can contribute, everything starts from the home, you can link it to everyone. ”
Enfield is a diverse borough, so it is important that cycling is not seen as the privilege of white middle class young men but as an attractive transport option for people from all walk of life, ages cultures and genders. I think more needs to be done to overcome prejudice against cycling amongst our immigrant populations where car ownership (we’re talking big cars here) is still being seen a the outer sign of wealth and wellbeing, and cycling as a sign of poverty.
I can envisage a future Enfield where cycling is the default to get from home to school and work, to and from local shops, to meet friends and into the surrounding parks. Once Enfield Citizens have realised this is a more pleasant way to get around, they will enjoy living here more than before.
Karen attends the Bush Hill Park Inclusive Cycling Scheme
Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration & Business