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Cyclists in Palmers Green: 'We'll spend money here too'
Cyclists took a defiant stance against traders who fear their shops will suffer if new bike-friendly paths are installed outside their shops.
A group of around 20 cyclists took to Palmers Green to spend hundreds of pounds, quashing rumours shops will suffer if parking spaces are replaced with a “mini-Holland” cycle path.
Enfield Borough Council successfully bid for £30m under the Mayor Of London’s £100million Mini Holland initiative to encourage more people to get on their bikes in the capital.
As part of their bid, the authority proposed to make cycling safer and more attractive for residents by creating cycle tracks along the A1010 (Hertford Road) and the A105 (Green Lanes) and changing traffic routing in Enfield Town to create a "cycle hub".
But there have been mixed reactions to the scheme as traders fear they mainly rely on people coming by car.
Yesterday, (June 5) cyclists formed a cash mob by spending money in shops in the area to reassure shopkeepers their trade will continue to boom.
Adrian Lauchlan, a Southgate Cycling Club member and borough co-ordinator for the London Cycling Campaign in Enfield, is championing the scheme.
Mr Lachlan, who lives in Ulleswater Road, organised the cash mob event. He said: “People panicked when they announced they could remove the parking spaces.
“But we want to show – we’re here to buy things. We spend money too.
“Cyclists aren’t just lycra-clad people going out on their bikes just for a bike ride – we want to show them that we actually will be cycling to the shops of these plans go ahead.”
Claire Rogers, of Devonshire Road, encourages her ten-year-old daughter Zoe and seven-year-old daughter Ffion to cycle at least once a week to school.
But Zoe is often too afraid to use the road so insists on cycling on the pavements instead.
Mrs Rogers, 42, said: “Safety measures would help her get over her fear. She wouldn’t have to worry about speeding cars coming from every direction – it’s a no brainer.
“We would still spend as much money as people who come by car do. It makes so much sense to me.
A consultation on how to improve cycling in the area will be launched in the autumn. Until then, the cyclists are keen to highlight the benefits of the sport to everyone in the area.
David Hughes, 77, of Conway Road, said: “Anything that improves the environment is worth it. This would stop people from using their cars and help keep the roads a little bit greener.”