Waltham Forest is changing and we want you to be part of it. Thanks to a funding pot of £27 million from Transport for London, we’re delivering the Mini-Holland Programme to make our streets fit for everyone to use, whether you walk, cycle, use public transport or drive.
Over the last three years, there have been 40 collisions on Markhouse Road and air pollution in Waltham Forest is on the increase. At peak times of the day, we have up to 6,000 extra cars on our roads due to the school run making our roads more congested than ever before. We need to do something about this so that everyone can get from A to B easily and safely.
The Mini-Holland Programme is about making our streets work for everyone and our borough a better place to live, work and travel. By creating designated space for cycling, creating routes that better connect our town centres, and redesigning some of our public areas, we want to cut down unnecessary traffic outside your home, and provide safer and healthier travel options so that people enjoy living and spending time in the borough.
What’s planned for Markhouse Road?
The Mini-Holland Programme is made up of a network of walking and cycling routes, one of which is Markhouse Road. These routes aim to better connect areas within the borough such as our town centres and residential areas, making it easier for people to walk and cycle for local journeys. The routes also help connect Waltham Forest to our neighbouring boroughs, attracting visitors to the borough and boosting business for our local economy.
Markhouse Road forms part of the Leyton to Blackhorse Road walking and cycling route, which connects Forest Road and Leyton High Road. Running from St James Street to Lea Bridge Road, this part of the route is heavily used with over 19,000 vehicles and around 600 cyclists using it every day. We’re now looking to modernise this part of the route to make travelling in the borough by bike and on foot easier and safer.
We know that Markhouse Road is popular for people cycling from Leyton to Walthamstow, so we want to improve it by creating segregated areas where possible, making it safer and easier for all road users to share the road.
We’re also planning to put blended ‘Copenhagen’ crossings in on a number of side streets, which extend the pavement across the road, helping to enforce the Highway Code by encouraging vehicles to give way to pedestrians and people on cycles. We recognise that there is a place for cars in our borough, but want to make our roads safer by creating junctions that encourage drivers to slow down and take extra care at key points. We’ll also be investing in junctions, pedestrians crossings and bus stops, and will create attractive public spaces with more trees, making the area a more enjoyable place that people will want to use.
What has happened so far?
In October 2015, we looked at traffic and collision numbers on Markhouse Road to understand what changes need to be made to make the route safer. This information - along with the plans proposed in the Mini-Holland bid document which we submitted to TfL to win the funding for the programme - have been used to develop a set of proposals to improve the area.
We want to involve the local community in shaping the plans and are now seeking feedback on the proposed improvements from residents and businesses, so that we can develop a scheme that meets the needs of the local community as a whole.
As well as seeking your views, we will be in contact with key stakeholders including the emergency services to make sure the design enables them to do their important work day to day, and we will continue to engage with them as the scheme progresses.
What happens next?
All of the feedback received will be grouped, carefully analysed and used to shape the final design.
Where there are elements of the scheme that are not well supported by residents and businesses, we will look at these again. Where it’s possible to make changes based on your comments and suggestions we will, and where we can’t we will explain why. A summary of the results and feedback will be sent to everyone who took part after the public consultation stage has ended. This will set out the results and how they have been used to help shape the final design. This will also be available on the website for everyone to see.
Before we get to the design stage, Transport for London (TfL) will also need to approve all of our plans as the funders of the Mini-Holland Programme.