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Surveying "every street in Palmers Green"

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in Conservation

If you're not a regular visitor to Palmers Green Jewel in the North (and if not, why not?) you may have missed Sue Beard's series of reports on work done by her and others to identify "built heritage" that merits Local Listing (see this earlier report).

shopping parade by arthur sykes in palmers greenPart of The Market shopping parade in Green Lanes, built by Arthur SykesAs part of this grand effort to document interesting buildings, Sue has been allocated a pretty large area to survey - east of the railway line, including central Palmers Green on Green Lanes and the triangle of roads inside the boundaries of Hedge Lane and the North Circular Road.

Two other local residents - Andy Barker and Fran Carman, both of Fox Lane and District Residents' Association - have been allocated an area west of the railway line that includes the Lakes Estate).

Sue has so far published three articles in a series she calls "Every Street in Palmers Green":

  • An introductory article, with information about how you can help and what features have already been recorded
  • "Very ‘Voyseyish’, Mr Sykes" - about the architect behind the Natwest Bank building and the extraordinary parade of shops on the opposite side of Green Lanes (Sue has published the photographs sideways, presumably to help you look at these buildings from a new viewpoint)
  • "A Warning to Heavy Traffic" - about Deadmans Bridge and the warning to "owners and persons in charge of locomotive traction engines".

To keep up to date with Palmers Green Jewel in the North you can check out the latest articles list on our home page - just go to

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New/old railings officially inaugurated

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in Parks & Open Space

The new (but actually old) railings in front of Broomfield Conservatory were officially inaugurated on 29th September.  A ceremonial "ribbon"  holding the new gates together was cut (using secateurs, of course) by Tony Dey of the Enfield Society. 

broomfield conservatory railings opening ceremonyTony Dey cuts the "ribbon" with help from David Burrowes MP.  Looking on are Elizabeth Dobbie, Chair of the Friends of Broomfield Park's Conservatory Group, and Alison Trew from the Enfield Council, who administers the Enfield Residents' Priority FundA grant from the Enfield Society helped towards the £9000 cost of adapting the railings, which date from 1926, when they were built as part of a post WWI "land fit for heroes" public realm improvement programme. They survived the WWII nationwide cull of similar metalwork only because they prevented people falling into the subterranean toilets during the blackouts..  Other sources of funding were a grant from the Enfield Residents' Priority Fund and money raised by the Friends of Broomfield Park, whose volunteers maintain the plants in the Conservatory and open it to the public twice a week.  The adaptaton and installation were carried out by two local firms.

broomfield conservatory railings opening ceremony 2Tony Dey and Elizabeth Dobbie in front of Broomfield Conservatory. The decorations on the railings are a reminder of their original location!The Triangle toilets have long been closed, but it was only a couple of years ago that the toilets were covered over by a reinforced concrete slab and the railings removed (they were actually just hacked off at ground level).  This was part of a "decluttering" exercise that has left the Triangle looking bare and uninviting.  The toilet railings were in fact one of the Triangle's attractions, unlike the modern railings that surround the traffic island - many people would have liked to see the modern railings removed and the old railings retained.

former palmers green triangle railings in builders yardThe Friends of Broomfield Park tracked the Triangle toilet railings down in a builders yardThe Friends of Broomfield Park were keen for the old decorative railings to be reused.  They eventually tracked them down in a builders yard in Broxbourne and managed to persuade the Council to bring them back to Palmers Green.  Now, with the aid of the Enfield Society and with public backing for the use of Residents' Priority Fund money, they are back in use, providing a suitably handsome boundary for the beautiful Broomfield Conservatory.


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Cycle Enfield A105 scheme: only a few days left to comment

Written by Basil Clarke on . Posted in Cycle Enfield (Mini-Holland)

The deadline for letting the Council have your views about the A105 component of Cycle Enfield is fast approaching - the online questionnaire must be completed by 9th October.  If you want to comment on every stretch of road, the process could take a while, so don't leave it to the last minute.  There is plenty of information available on the Cycle Enfield website, and we have published several articles with information in easily digested form.

cycle enfield a105 overviewThe approaching deadline has prompted the already hysterical campaigning group "Save Our Green Lanes" to completely abandon all pretence of providing an accurate picture of the thinking behind and intended consequences of the cycle lanes scheme. The campaign has used exaggerated and emotional language to stir up opposition, culminating in the shameful scenes at some of the recent public meetings where people speaking in favour of cycle lanes - including their guest, the Mayor of London's Cycling Commissioner - were heckled and shouted down.

"They don't care..."

The most unfair allegation is that "they" don't care about pedestrians, bus passengers, elderly people etc etc, and that the scheme would only benefit the 1 per cent of the population who currently cycle. 

Well, even if that last point were true, don't cyclists deserve safe conditions when they lawfully use the borough's roads?

But it's simply not true - the scheme is designed to help 100 per cent of residents.  It is the Council's duty to do its best to reduce the harmful effects of excessive car usage - as clearly set out in an official report that was published this week.  Health Impacts of Cars in London, published by the Mayor of London, states in no uncertain terms "Most people in London do not use cars regularly but car use impacts on everybody’s health"  (my emphasis) and calls for 4 million short car journeys per day to be transferred to the healthiest and most benign transport modes - walking or cycling. The authors calculate that if this happened "the population of London would gain over 60,000 years of healthy life every year, which would deliver an economic health benefit of over £2 billion annually" This shift will never occur without infrastructure which will allow cyclists to reach town centres in safety.

So it's precisely because the Council does care that they have signed up to a proposal which potentially could mean that councillors will lose votes - they would have known all along that a backlash was likely, but chose not to take the easy option of "leaving well alone" - because all is not well.

Who is it really who "doesn't care"?

"Save our Green Lanes" sudden conversion to concerns about pedestrians, bus passengers, pollution etc is dubious, to say the least.  Previously they only worried about the effects on roadside businesses and car drivers.

If the campaign were genuinely concerned about pedestrians, why do they oppose various significant safety improvements that are included in the Cycle Enfield proposals?

  • They oppose traffic lights at the entrance to Sainsbury's in Winchmore Hill.  Pedestrians walking northwards on the left hand side of the road have to negotiate the supermarket car park entrance, which is very wide and is designed to allow cars to drive into it without slowing sufficiently.
  • They oppose replacing the Green Lanes/Fox Lanes mini-roundabout - a distinct hazard for pedestrians crossing here - with traffic lights with a pedestrian phase.
  • They oppose changes to the Triangle which would provide traffic light control for all crossings made by pedestrians, including those who currently use the dangerous zebra crossing or dangerous "courtesy" crossings across Green Lanes on the south side.
  • They oppose replacement of the Green Lanes/Station Road/Fords Grove roundabout by traffic lights.  Currently there is no safe way for pedestrians to cross Green Lanes to the north of this roundabout.

Just four examples, I could probably find more.  The reason is that these changes that benefit pedestrians would inconvenience drivers, who might have to slow down or even stop.

If they really cared about air pollution, they would be coming up with positive proposals for how to reduce car usage, not just complaining about anything that might slow cars down.

But in fact, if you read everything the campaign has published, you'll find that they haven't expressed agreement with a single proposed change or made any proposals of their own other than suggestions to take the route away from Green Lanes, which totally missed the whole point.  The whole anti campaign just boils down to negativity, lack of imagination about how things could be better, and fear of change.

"Flawed consultation"

"Save our Green Lanes" have repeatedly alleged that there has not been proper consultation about the A105 proposals.  This is absolute nonsense.  Increasingly detailed information has been available for more than 18 months.  The exhibitions at the Fox were extensively advertised, at the exhibitions people had ample opportunities to talk to the planners and all their comments have subsequently been published.  On the basis of these comments and those by members of the Partnership Board, various changes have been made to the proposals, and no doubt there will be many more changes made in response to the current consultation phase.

It's very disappointing to hear that our MP, David Burrowes, is planning to organise his own "referendum".  He must be aware that the consultation process has been run properly.  In contrast, his consultation by maildrop to constituents will lack any validity.  For one thing, the current (unfair) prejudice against MPs means that a large proportion of his letters would go into the bin unopened.  To provide for fairness and prevent accusations of rigging, a body such the Electoral Reform Society would need to be involved. And who will draw up the boundaries for the referendum?

This is not how local democracy works.  Referendums on controversial proposals would result in people voting in favour of ideas that conflict with one another, leading to anarchy.

And in any case, there is no need for a referendum - people have already been given plenty of opportunities to express their views and the council will have to publish all the responses before deciding what to do.

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Posted: Yesterday 10:08 by Adrian Day #1681
Adrian Day's Avatar

A terrific piece in today's Guardian on the scheme
Posted: Yesterday 11:39 by Maire Harris #1682
Maire Harris's Avatar
Brilliant article. Urge everyone to read, consider, take part in the consultation, approve the scheme and reap the benefits of a huge investment in our area and community. This may never come round again...
Posted: Yesterday 14:04 by Karl Brown #1685
Karl Brown's Avatar
Well Maire you may think it brilliant but then along comes James Corden the other day showing just how serious a challenge the 300,000+ residents of Enfield scheduled to benefit from this one-off investment opportunity could be facing.

Posted: Yesterday 14:29 by Paul Mandel #1686
Paul Mandel's Avatar
It's a predictably pathetic article. And of course completely misleading. He doesn't tell you where that all that traffic on the congested Church Street is going to go. On to Cecil Road, a largely residential Road, which is going to have to carry twice as much traffic in half the amount of space. It will cause gridlock around the Town as vehicles try to get through.

I bet if this guy lived on Cecil Road he would be singing from a different hymn book

The printer who gave the world Sans Serif and helped build a church for Southgate

Written by Garry Humphreys on . Posted in Local History

The first of a new series of lectures organized by the Friends of Christ Church, Southgate, takes place next Wednesday, 7 October, at the church on The Green, N14 7EG. These talks are intended to mark the 400th anniversary of Christian worship on the site by featuring people associated with Southgate in general and the church in particular.

figgins typefacesA page from an 1815 Figgins specimen bookOn Wednesday the church is extremely privileged to have secured the services of Professor James Mosley, one of the foremost historians of printing and letterforms, to talk about the Figgins family, residents of Southgate and benefactors of the building of the present church in 1862, and world-famous as type-founders from 1792 until 1933 when the Figgins foundry merged with P. M. Shanks to become the Stevens, Shanks Foundry. When this ceased operations in the 1980s all the materials, including Figgins’s punches and matrices from which the type was cast, went to the St Bride Printing Library where at the time James Mosley was Librarian. Figgins coined the term 'sans-serif' and some of his designs formed the basis of modern newspaper types.

professor james mosleyProfessor James MosleyIn the course of preparing this illustrated talk, Professor Mosley has unearthed new information and uncovered at least one unresolved puzzle relating to Figgins – who is commemorated in the great Clayton & Bell east window of Christ Church – which he will share with his audience at what promises to be an enthralling evening for everyone interested in the history of Southgate. Not to be missed!


Vincent Figgins: a talk by Professor James Mosley. Christ Church, The Green, N14 7EG; Wednesday 7 October 2015 at 7.30 p.m. Tickets £2.00 on the door.

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MarketN13 going monthly and introducing more local suppliers

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in News

Palmers Green's own community market, MarketN13, has now been operating for six months.  Starting this month, it will be introducing some new and notable local suppliers, collecting for North Enfield Foodbank and switching to monthly operation.

marketn13 oct dec 15

MarketN13 founder Annita Correia describes the changes:

"We hope everyone is enjoying the revamped, renewed Sunday Market in Palmers Green N13, which launched in March this year.

"We want to let everyone know that from October, we will be trading monthly, on the 3rd Sunday of the month - to dovetail with a couple of other local markets. This makes our future dates for 2015,  the 18th October, 15th November and 20th December. 

"From the outset one of the aims of the team was to prioritise local producers, while still covering the basics; so we are delighted to have award winning Enfield bakers, Holtwhites; Forty Hall Farm Shop; and N13 based Nella Catering (Caribbean street food) amongst our traders for these future dates.

"As a community market we also want to involve ourselves in the wider Enfield community. We’re pleased to be partnering with North Enfield Foodbank and anyone who would like to donate can do so at any one of our markets. We have lists of what is most needed, and can advise on appropriate donations of fresh foods if you are unsure. 

"So please come, bring your enthusiasm and support; if we want local markets we need to vote with our feet and our custom! Come and do your household food shop – fresh fruit and veg, breads and pastries, garden plants and cut flowers, marvellous meats and sausages; browse the craft stall, savour some home made cake, or sample the street food. 

"Everyone gets a friendly welcome."

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Tags:   Markets
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Campaign launched to save Enfield Museum and Archive Services

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in Local History

A campaign has been launched in opposition to Enfield Council's plan to make money-saving changes to the operation of the Museum and Archive Services (see this earlier article). 

'Enfield 229' or the "Unofficial Friends of Museum and Archive Services" have issued a four-page bulletin outlining their fears about the impact of the proposed changes.  They accuse the Council of a lack of frankness about the proposals, in particular the failure to mention that four and a half experienced personnel would be replaced by two new and more junior staff.

They summarise their demands as follows:

"We would like the cabinet of the Council to review the proposals to close the open archives and the main museum exhibition area. In particular to reconsider the vast % cut on staff teams currently standing at four and a half posts.

"We would like the councillors in charge to invest in more open discussions with its stakeholders, public and supporters in order to consider new ways in which the museum and archives might draw in additional support through other means. We have some suggestions and will be happy to discuss them.

"If necessary we would like to see an increase in the council tax by 56p per citizen."

56p being what they claim is the total cost of the museum and archive services per person in the borough per year.

enfield 229 front page

Click on the image to read the bulletin

Why "Enfield 229"?

"Enfield 229" comes from the reference number of one of the oldest objects in the museum's collection Bd.229 - a 10,000 year old mammoth's tooth found in 1909 and displayed in Southgate Town Hall from 1914.  It was so popular that it inspired the creation of the borough's first museum.

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Find out about a cohousing project in Muswell Hill

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in News

Cohousing Muswell Hill extend an invitation to their monthly meetings to anyone interested in this way of living - well established in some European countries, but a new concept in the UK.

visualisationWoodside Square (old St Luke's) in Muswell Hill N10 is moving on apace with hospital buildings demolished and a start made on a marketing suite and show flat. Our cohousing community's buildings are projected to be completed early 2017. Early Bird discount available.  Our cohousing group is also growing and developing, planning our future Common House, sorting out what we mean by 'being friendly neighbours'.

We are still looking for more members, though, and welcome enquirers at our monthly meetings. Take a look at our website, our FAQs and our Development Plan for details. Come and meet us!

The next monthly meeting is on Sunday 4 October from 6pm to 9pm.  For details of the location, please visit and send a message.

There will also be meetings on Sunday 1 November and Sunday 6 December.  In 2016 meetings will be on the third Sunday of every month, starting with 17 January and 21 February.

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Tags:   Co-Housing
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Cycle Enfield: Consultation under way for Enfield Town and Southbury Road schemes

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in Cycle Enfield (Mini-Holland)

The second stage of public consultation for the Enfield Town and Southbury Road elements of the Cycle Enfield scheme was launched last weekend.  Detailed drawings are available online and residents are invited to fill in an online questionnaire to provide their views about the scheme

The various options for Enfield Town have been whittled down to two - Options 1 and 6a.  Both would see through car traffic - both east-west and west-east - using Cecil Road, which would be converted to two-way working.  Only buses and bicycles would be allowed to use Church Street, though there would be provision for lorries to access Church Street to deliver to shops and to the market.

Under Option 1 buses would run along Church Street in an easterly direction only and there would be a two-way cycle lane on the south side of the street.  Under Option 6 there would be bus lanes in both directions, and the cycle lane would run down the centre of the street.

Option 6a would make Enfield Town as a whole - and Church Street and the market in particular -  a much more attractive shopping destination for people using buses.   Currently, with buses running east-west along Cecil Road, passengers have long walks to or from bus stops, involving crossing busy road junctions.

The biggest negative impact of both options would be increased traffic along the residential section of Cecil Road.  However, there would be less of the high-speed and noisy traffic which characterises one-way streets.  This is especially true of the current one-way system on weekend evenings, when "boy racers" use it as a race track.

cycle enfield town option 1

cycle enfield town option 1 key leftcycle enfield town option 1 key right

cycle enfield town option 6

 cycle enfield town option 6 key rightcycle enfield town option 6 key left

The overall thinking behind the proposals

The Cycle Enfield website presents the overall scheme as follows:

This is an excellent opportunity for Enfield Town to be transformed from a motor vehicle dominated environment to a more attractive, people-friendly destination with the ability to draw in visitors both locally and from a much wider catchment area. Under these plans, parts of the one-way system would be returned to two-way operation bringing in a wide range of benefits. These include:

  • a safer and more appealing walking environment (one-way streets tend to encourage more ‘weaving’, faster acceleration, and higher speeds)
  • a sufficiently high quality cycling environment to attract a much wider cross-section of local residents and workers than the current cycling market (mainly male commuters in their 20s, 30s and 40s)
  • In one of the options there is an easier to understand bus service (bus stops serving opposite directions can be on the same stretch of road when it’s two-way)

 In recent years as transport priorities change, many town centre one-way systems around the country have been returned to two-way operation. This helps to transform them into more attractive, people-friendly destinations, and this is Enfield Town’s opportunity to reap the benefits of such a transformation. Traffic dominated roads become thriving, people-friendly streets.

The proposed schemes would enable many of the short car journeys currently taken to the town centre to be switched to walking, bus or cycling. These forms of transport make a much more efficient use of limited highway space.

The schemes would include a combination of high quality cycle lanes and cycle paths on roads in the town centre. Opportunities will also be taken to improve public spaces to make them brighter, safer and less cluttered, in keeping with the latest thinking in transport and town planning.

The two options

Cycle Enfield presents the two shortlisted options as follows:


  • This would see Cecil Road become a two-way street. Genotin Road would remain a one-way southbound street with access to the proposed ‘Cycle Hub’. London Road would remain a one-way northbound street but with high quality, segregated cycling facilities in both directions.
  • Church Street would be closed to ‘general traffic’ to provide a shared space environment but with buses permitted eastbound and a two-way cycle lane. Loading would also be permitted at certain times of the day. Wide implied crossing will enable pedestrians to cross the road and the cycle lane without the need for traffic lights, signs and road marking.
  • Southbury Road between London Road and Genotin Road would stay as a one-way street for motor traffic (eastbound) but with two-way cycling using protected cycle paths on either side of the carriageway.
  • There would also be cycling facilities on London Road in both directions, and southbound on Genotin Road.
  • Option 1 has been shortlisted for a number of reasons: supported by GLA and TfL; delivers transformational cycling improvements; a reduced traffic flow on Church Street; significant public space improvements in the town centre; enhanced pedestrian crossing facilities on Church Street; improved bus journey times along Church Street; and loading and access provision retained on Church Street.
  • The potential negative impacts of Option 1 would be: increased amounts of motor traffic on Cecil Road; a small increase in north/south bus journey times; a slight reduction in network capacity for motor traffic (which will be offset by a switch to cycling); and a slight reduction in the pavement width east of the market on Church Street


  • This would have two-way traffic on Cecil Road and London Road. Church Street would be restricted to bus and cycle traffic, in both directions, with loading also permitted at certain times of the day.
  • Genotin Road would remain a one-way street (in the southbound direction) for general traffic, with access to the proposed ‘Cycle Hub’.
  • Cycling provision on Church Street would be a central cycle path between the two traffic lanes. There would also be cycling facilities on London Road in both directions, and southbound on Genotin Road. Wide implied crossing will enable pedestrians to cross the road and the cycle lane without the need for traffic lights, signs and road markings.
  • Option 6a has been shortlisted for the following reasons: a reduced traffic flow on Church Street; delivers transformational cycling improvements; improved town centre accessibility and journey times for bus users; access retained on Church Street; enhanced pedestrian crossing facilities on Church Street.
  • The potential negative impacts of Option 6a would be: a reduction in network capacity for motor traffic (which will be offset by a switch to cycling); increased motor traffic flow on Cecil Road; and loading to be relocated to the side streets at the western end of Church Street and relocated from London Road to Genotin Road.

Enfield Town consultation documents

Southbury Road consultation documents

 Both consultations run until 18 December 2015.

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Healthwatch Enfield writes to Government to express concern about cuts to public health

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in Health Services

Healthwatch Enfield Chair, Deborah Fowler, has written to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health, Jane Ellison MP, to convey Healthwatch Enfield’s concern over the potential impact on people in Enfield of both the overall planned cuts in funding for public health and also the intended distribution of those cuts.

The letter reads as follows:

concern over cuts to public health

Dear Ms Ellison MP,

Concern Over Cuts to Public Health

I am writing to express Healthwatch Enfield’s concern over the potential impact on people in Enfield of both the overall planned cuts in funding for public health and also the intended distribution of those cuts.

Public health has an important role to play in improving the health and wellbeing of the whole community through a range of activities. These activities include raising people’s awareness of factors affecting their physical and mental health, creating and maintaining ‘herd immunity’, planning for emergencies, etc.

We are very concerned at the possible risks to the local population of the scale of the proposed cuts, and also the proposed distribution of these cuts, as Enfield already has a very low per capita funding rate. This is for historic reasons and does not reflect the DH’s current assessment of need in Enfield, which includes considerable deprivation, presenting considerable challenges to getting public health messages across to the local population.

Healthwatch Enfield asks that decisions on funding reflect the genuine need in the local area and that you therefore do not impose the planned severe cuts on public health in Enfield.

Yours sincerely

Deborah Fowler
Chair, Healthwatch Enfield

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Posted: 27 Sep 2015 21:15 by Karl Brown #1645
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Compare the last two posts: Healthwatch Enfield appealing for funds to protect the Borough’s citizens; whereas the Mayor issues a report highlighting £2bn of health savings if we all switched the equivalent of one car journey every second day to walking or cycling. The latter report also having positive health benefits highlighted – call it roughly 2500 extra years of healthy life every year in Enfield on a basic pro rata basis – or conversely, based on the pre VW HMG figures - some 200-400 Enfield residents who die each year due to air pollution, the majority of which is caused by transport journeys.
Curious world we seek so hard to preserve in some quarters when such a small change could be so significant to so many others.

Mayor of London issues report calling on drivers to cut 4 million car journeys a day by walking or cycling

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in Traffic, Roads & Parking

The Mayor of London has issued a report, Health Impact of Cars in London, which provides the evidence base for future work by policy makers and health professionals.  A key finding is that by not driving, but walking or cycling when this is a reasonable alternative, the population of London would gain over 60,000 years of healthy life every year, which would deliver an economic health benefit of over £2 billion annually.

The report's authors point out that most people in London do not use cars regularly but car use impacts on everybody’s health - an important point seemingly lost on objectors to Cycle Enfield, who claim that the scheme would only benefit 1 per cent of the local population, ie the current cyclists.  In fact, as this report makes clear, nearly everyone would benefit from reduced car usage brought about by the cycling scheme.

The key points of the report are as follows:

cars in london coverCar Ownership in London

  • Household car ownership in Greater London is significantly lower than the average in England.
  • Household car ownership increases with household income. However, car ownership remains static at around 80% for households with an income over £75,000.
  • Household car ownership tends to be lower in areas with better access to public transport.
  • People choose to own a car for a combination of practical and emotional reasons.

Car Use in London

  • Most journeys by Londoners are not by car, only a third of journey stages in London are by private transport.
  • Car use increases as the level of household car ownership by borough increases.
  • Over one third of all the car trips made by London residents are less than 2km and could be walked in up to 25 minutes.
  • Habit strongly influences choice of travel mode.

Health Impacts of Car Use in London

  • Most people in London do not use cars regularly but car use impacts on everybody’s health.
  • Car use impacts on the health of car users through:

1. Physical Inactivity

Car ownership is linked to how much walking and cycling Londoners do. Walking levels decrease significantly as household car ownership increases.

In London children living in households without access to a vehicle are 2.3 times more likely to walk to school than children living in households with vehicle access.


Car use is associated with an increased risk of obesity while walking and public transport use are associated with not being overweight or obese.

Walking is a universal activity in London.

In London half of all walking is carried out as part of trips by public transport.

2. Air Pollution

Car drivers can be exposed to higher levels of air pollution than cyclists.

Car use impacts on the health of all Londoners through:

1. Road traffic injuries and deaths
2. Noise
3. Severance
4. Air pollution
5. Climate change

Reducing Car Use in London

There are many short car journeys made by London residents which could easily be switched to walking or cycling:

  • 1.6 million car trips per day could potentially be walked.
  • 2.7 million car trips per day could potentially be cycled.

Reducing car use in London would bring health benefits to all Londoners.

  • If Londoners swapped motorised trips that could reasonably be walked and cycled, 60% of them would meet the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week through active travel alone. The population of London would gain over 60,000 years of healthy life every year which would deliver an economic health benefit of over £2 billion annually.

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Children are traffic too

Written by Clare Rogers on . Posted in Cycle Enfield (Mini-Holland)

There was a public meeting this week about the Enfield Mini Holland plans, and days later, I’m just starting to work out what was actually being said…

It seemed that 90% of the 200-plus audience were against the scheme. I don’t know if they represent real feeling in the area or not, since this is a bit of a rogue series of meetings that are not part of the official consultation process. They are chaired by our conservative MP (we have a Labour council) who seems to have allied himself with a forceful anti-Mini Holland campaign – this campaign involves bright yellow posters in dozens of shop windows declaring, among other things, that cycle lanes will clog up the main road and make it more polluted. The council have declined to make an appearance at these meetings, on the grounds that they aren’t part of the consultation and they have no wish to validate the anti-campaign behind them.

Actually it was the yellow posters that sparked something off among the rest of us. A cycle campaigner had set up a Facebook page in support of Enfield Mini Holland, and it suddenly got populated by people who are not particularly cycly, but who are fond of our local high street and looking forward to £27 million worth of Mini Holland being spent doing it up. They also happen to be parents who would rather not be driving their kids to school. Everyone was galvanised by the anti posters urging the community to ‘Save our high street’ and ‘Send the money back!’ In the space of a week, our numbers hit fifty (and growing) and there was an exhilarating sense of something snowballing. We met twice in real life (plus of course several times a day online) to try to work out what the heck to do. A couple of us got making pro-Mini Holland posters, a designer and printer offered their services for free, and an ally from Waltham Forest’s Mini Holland joined us in the local pub to offer advice. I haven’t had so little sleep – or so much fun – since I was a student.

Last Saturday saw us on the high street handing out flyers to shoppers and a factsheet that we’d cobbled together for businesses, summarising the research that shows how cycle lanes tend to boost – not obliterate – local business. That led to some interesting conversations. Shopkeepers who were personally against the scheme were in the minority. Many had concerns, but had simply been misinformed. Most of those with anti posters had done so because ‘They told us Mini Holland would be bad for business’ or quite simply because they’d been told to put them up. A local business association and a big landlord have put their full weight behind the anti campaign, and some businesses feel they can’t say no.

Anyway, back to that public meeting. I got to speak on the panel, and made a plea to make the scheme work for the sake of the borough’s children. The statistics speak for themselves: air pollution-related deaths are at 9,500+ each year in London, with Enfield the fifth worst borough, and its rates of childhood obesity are among the worst in the country. Both of which problems would be reduced by more kids being able to do more walking and cycling – on protected bike lanes, say, possibly a bit like the ones that the Mini Holland scheme is offering…?


(This picture was not taken in the UK)

It was a plea that fell on deaf ears. After everyone on the panel had finished (5 against, 3 of us in favour) the roving mic was passed around the floor and comment after comment said the same things, each one reinforcing the last and each getting more applause: ‘Where am I going to park? How am I going to drive? Half the main road will be taken away by cycle lanes! There will be traffic jams! Congestion! More pollution! Hardly anyone cycles anyway so why give them all this space on the road?’

When I got the mic back I began to challenge the assumption that cycle lanes = congestion. The crowd began making this odd noise, a sort of rumbling sound, and I thought for a moment that I wasn’t holding the mic properly and they were saying they couldn’t hear me.

‘Just carry on,’ said the MP, and then I realised they could hear every word I said but didn’t agree with me. I WAS BEING HECKLED. How exciting!

I then tried to make the point about the phenomenon of ‘traffic evaporation’ – dozens of studies show that when road use is reallocated away from cars, the dreaded traffic apocalypse doesn’t occur after all – but I’m not sure how much sense I made and anyway by then no one was listening.

The next day I told the Cutester (age 8) all about it, since she had patiently timed my five minute talk about three times while I practised it.

‘They don’t want cycle lanes,’ I said. ‘They think they’ll just clog up the road.’

‘Oh,’ she said. ‘So they don’t care about me then?’


(If only she’d been at the meeting.)

I realise now what everyone was assuming in that meeting – due to not knowing any different, I guess: that roads are for traffic and traffic consists of cars. But what the Cutester saw straight away is that roads should be for people, and that means everyone including children, to travel on. If you build roads  with just cars in mind, all you’ll get is cars, and the children will be forced to travel inside them.** If you build roads witheveryone in mind, you’ll make space for my 8-year-old to cycle to school – plus half the school kids in the area, if you do it right.

It might be unfair to say that the objectors in that meeting loved cars more than children. Not consciously, anyway. But someone has to consciously choose children over cars. I hope Enfield has the guts to prove that it loves its children more, by making safe room for them to cycle on the road.

* the slogan for the Kiddical Mass movement. London had its first ‘Kiddical Massive’ recently – see the video above
**which is exactly where all the exhaust fumes are most concentrated.

This article was originally published on the Subversive Suburbanite blog.

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Views sought in advance of CQC inspection of Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in Health Services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), will inspect the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust in the week of the 30th November, and  would like to hear your feedback about the trust.

Please send your comments by 23rd October to   and put ‘Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust - Q3 Mental Health Inspections’ as the subject line.

We will also be in contact with the CQC during the inspection, so feel free to send your comments to us   if you prefer.


For more information visit the Healthwatch Enfield website.

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Green Dragon campaigners unhappy about proposed "ugly" additions

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in Conservation

green dragonAn application for planning permission submitted by the owners of the former Green Dragon pub in Winchmore Hill envisages some alterations to the existing building and the construction of "town houses" on the car park.  Mike and Sharon McClean, who set up the Save the Green Dragon campaign, are unhappy about the proposed changes and intend to submit formal objections.

The planning application details are available online at this link (NB the link in the McCleans's original email does not work).  The summary description of the proposals is as follows:

Redevelopment of site to provide 7 x 3-bed, 3-storey town houses with sun terraces to front and rear and off street parking at front, conversion of former public house to provide a retail unit (A1) at ground floor with ancillary storage and staff facilities at first floor and 2 x 2-bed self contained flats at second floor involving a part single, part 2-storey rear and single storey side extension, external staircase, vehicular accesses to Vicars Moor lane, car park at rear and associated plant and landscaping.

In an email to their supporters, Mike and Sharon set out their main objections.  They also say that they have not entirely given up hope of seeing the Green Dragon reopen as a pub.

The text of the email message follows.

Dear Friends
It has been some time since we last made contact with you regarding our aim to Save The Green Dragon. At that time, despite the massive support of the local residents and the unanimous support of Enfield Councillors, it seemed that all hope was lost and our beloved Green Dragon could not be saved.
In all honesty, that situation hasn't changed that much, but we haven't given up, and have over the past couple of months continued talking with Enfield Council, with various local groups and with Enfield Councillors who remain supportive. Whilst, very disappointingly, the most likely outcome remains that the developers will have their way, it is not yet impossible that The Green Dragon could be saved.
The reason that we are making contact with you now is that the developers have formally applied to Enfield Council for planning permission to turn The Green Dragon into a supermarket, 7 townhouses and 2 flats.
The application can be found by following this link -

We intend to object to this application for planning permission. We feel that the proposed buildings (other than the existing pub building) are ugly and out of keeping with the rest of the area. We think that the fact that the architect has put forward previous projects of modern 'blocky' developments in Lambeth, Brent and Tottenham High Road as 'precedents' shows an absolute failure to understand the wishes and tastes of the people of Winchmore Hill. We feel that the plan to knock down aspects of the pub building in order to replace them with a characterless double height extension is unacceptable. We feel that the area would be better served by a rejuvinated pub than by yet another supermarket and more expensive housing. We feel that aesthetically the area benefits from the reten tion of its traditional character, including a rare and welcome space between buildings rather than with every square inch being built upon. We feel that, particularly with the planned cycle lane in mind, the pub carpark would be better used as parking for the pub and for others using the local shops than for yet more new housing, and, with the shops in mind, we feel that to allow the pub building to be extended to accommodate an even bigger supermarket will have an even more devastating effect on the local shops who sell similar produce.
These are our own opinions, we strongly recommend that anybody who cares about this issue should read the details of the application above in order to make their own. If you, like us, wish to object to the planning application, you can do so by following the link above, clicking on the description of the proposed change, then click on the 'Comments' tab, then log in and make a comment.
Please, if you do comment, it is very important that you don't submit comments that are based on an incorrect understanding of the application, nor on your own personal wishes. Objections should be based on material planning considerations, for example the visual impact of the development, the impact on light or privacy for those living near enough, the effect on Green Lanes if you think there will be one. etc
Ultimately, we would like to see Enfield Council follow the precedent set by South Cambridgeshire council in the case of The Pear Tree pub. In this case, as with The Green Dragon, a developer bought the pub and converted it into a shop using permitted development rights. This, as with The Green Dragon, was a short term plan to prove change of use before applying to develop the site. When the application for planning permission was applied for however, The Council refused it and then rejected a subsequent appeal. As part of his rejection of this appeal, the Council's Planning Inspector stated that conversion of pubs to shops "could be a way to circumvent policy restrictions that seek to prevent the loss of public houses as community facilities" he also said "Given that the appeal property was a public house, and not withstanding the need for planning permission and appropriate investment, there must at least be the p otential for it to be returned to that use"
Throughout this process, the developer has pointed to the low turnover of The Green Dragon in recent times as evidence that a pub on this site is not viable. Surely, by the same logic, the negligible turnover of The Big Discount Store since its arrival must be evidence that a shop on this site is also not viable. If the developer can say that a new, better managed, better marketed shop which sells produce more suited to the local population will be successful, then surely this same argument can be made for the pub.
Please, if you wish to object to this planning application, do so as soon as possible. The application is dated 11/09/15 on the council website so we only have limited time remaining to make our voices heard.

Cheers, take courage
Mike and Sharon McClean
On behalf of the Save The Green Dragon campaign

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London People's Orchestra recruiting string players

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in Music

On 1st October London People's Orchestra are holding an open evening to recruit new string players.

All coaching received from London People's Orchestra will be from professional string players, you will also receive technique classes and a chance to play with a full orchestra.

As you will see from our Vacancies Page, we have quite a few spare seats that need filling, especially violins and violas. As mentioned we are a friendly group that welcome all levels of players.

If you have played an instrument before and have put it down for a while, why not come along?

If you wish to attend the open evening send your details to us via the Contact Us Page. Please Include with which instrument you play and whether you have any previous playing experience.

The evening will be from 7pm with the main Orchestra rehearsal starting at 8pm, which everyone attending is more than welcome to stay and watch or even join in if you feel comfortable enough.

We meet at :-

Oakwood Baptist Church

Tags:   Music
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"Parcel Delivery" scam warning

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in Crime and Policing

The following scam warning has been issued by Fox Lane & District Residents' Association.

Christmas is fast approaching, Royal Mail & The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam:

A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 661 1911 (a Premium rate number).

If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these details then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 0207 239 6655. For more information, see the Crime Stoppers website:   .

Please be aware that the premium rate number may change but nevertheless please do not call any number stated on a card from the PDS.

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Green Belt campaigners issue a call to action

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in Conservation

The campaigning group Enfield RoadWatch has issued a newsletter with updated information about their campaign to prevent construction on Green Belt land adjacent to Enfield Road, between Oakwood and Enfield Town (see this earlier report).

save our field

Urgent Call to Action!

  • Do you want developers to build homes on Green Belt land? 
  • Do we need yet another school in this area?
  • Do you think the local roads can take the additional capacity?
  • Should we forget about places for wildlife and nature to thrive?

If your answers are NO to any of these questions, then you are AGAINST the proposed development by Fairview New Homes. 


Please add your voice to the coalition of local residents, organisations and public officials who are working to prevent this development. 

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Sign the petition at [type in Protect Enfield]. 
  2. Visit our website
  3. Like us on Facebook
  4. If you can deliver leaflets for us, lend your time, expertise or wish to make a contribution to support this cause, please e-mail us at

This is what we know:

Fairview New Homes and London Diocesan Board for Schools hope to build an 8-form entry secondary school with a 4-form entry sixth-form college [approx. 1500 pupils] and 300 homes on the grazing field that lies to the South of Enfield Road towards Oakwood tube station [post code EN2 7HX]. 

This is GREEN BELT and Enfield Council publicly confirmed its status as an Area of Special Character just last November.

Wren Academy and the London Diocesan Board for Schools have been soliciting support for the secondary school at local Church of England  primary schools.  The Green Belt is not always mentioned and the site is described as ‘accessible!’

Wren Academy has indicated that it is likely to submit an application to the Department for Education for a new free school with the Green Belt field as its first choice of location. Then a planning application is expected to be submitted by Fairview Homes to the Council early next year.

Enfield RoadWatch is working in coalition with Highlands Ward Councillors Glynis Vince and Lee David-Sanders, The Enfield Society (TES), The Federation of Enfield Residents’ & Allied Associations [FERAA], the Western Enfield Residents’ Association (WERA), The Campaign for Rural England (CPRE), The London Green Belt Council, The Green Party, Friends of Trent Country Park, Trent Park Conservation Committee and YOU.



Email us at:   

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Pinkham Way campaigners issue urgent appeal to respond to consultation

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in North London Waste Plan

The Pinkham Way Alliance is asking supporters to sign an online form supporting the Alliance's response to the current consultation about the North London Waste Plan. By signing, you confirm that you are happy for the PWA to represent your views. The deadline to add your name is 5pm on Tuesday 29th September 2015.

The Alliance has been campaigning to preserve an ecologically valuable green space adjacent to the North Circular Road and prevent construction of a waste processing facility on the site.

The Pinkham Way Alliance has issued the following information:

pwa logo newsletter top


Some useful information:

NLWP – North London Waste Plan (a land use plan drawn up by the 7 N London Councils).
NLWA – North London Waste Authority (the waste disposal authority for the N London Councils).
Haringey Council is one of the 7 Councils, and is in addition the planning authority for the Pinkham Way site.
Pinkham Way is owned roughly two thirds by NLWA and one third by Barnet Council.

  • The Pinkham Way site was included in the North London Waste Plan (NLWP) by Haringey Council before it had completed the site review recommended by the Local Plan Inspector in December 2012
  • The available evidence from the Council’s own consultants indicated that the site was unsuitable for employment.
  • The NLWP’s assessment of the site lacks objectivity, as insufficient weight is given to the nature conservation and open space value. There is no evidence that either Haringey Council or the NLWP has considered alternative uses.
  • A flood risk assessment is required at Pinkham Way. The NLWP has failed to conduct one.
  • The chronic A406 Pinkham Way congestion and its effect on the local secondary road system is now so acute as to demand detailed assessment by the NLWP; an assessment should not be left to be conducted by a potential developer as part of a planning application.
  • The site is the only Site for Nature Conservation (SINC) in the NLWP. The NLWP must conform with the Local Plans of all member Councils. All member Councils state that SINCs, green infrastructure, priority habitats and endangered species should be protected. The site’s inclusion in the plan appears therefore to be an anomaly.
  • The NLWP Sustainability Appraisal states that ‘the site is unlikely to be considered as previously developed land’. The London Plan says that land regarded as such ‘cannot be regarded as requiring development’.
  • Were the land to be regarded by the Inspector examining the NLWP as brownfield, National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that development should be avoided on brownfield land ‘of high environmental value’.
  • The NLWP assessment of North London’s existing waste management capacity is inadequate and lacks detail compared to other plans.
  • The NLWP’s estimate of the amount of waste that can be treated on a given area of land (‘throughput’, expressed in 000s of tons per hectare per year) is very low compared with other plans, especially other plans in London. The lower the throughput on a given area of land, the more land would be needed for management of a given amount of waste.
  • The NLWP’s waste projections rely on a 30-year study conducted for the NLWA for its proposed new Edmonton plant. The consultants conducting the NLWA study expressed the strongest concerns on the amount of historical data available and the accuracy and worth of any forecast they might make, saying that ‘We would not normally advise forecasting for more than a very small number of years into the future on this basis’.
  • They also point out, importantly, that ‘the analysis of a number of alternative scenarios show that waste arisings could vary significantly depending on the assumption made’
  • The NLWA describes the study, surprisingly, as ‘a robust analysis of historical trends, and robust ... assumptions of what will happen to these trends in the future’. It made its decision based on a single scenario.
  • The NLWP (which runs for 15 years until 2013) makes no mention of the uncertainty expressed by the consultants. Such uncertainty should mean , as the consultants suggest, that a comprehensive plan should develop a range of scenarios, including one of a long term decline in waste
  • The NLWP neither mentions nor takes account of statistics from the previous several years, which show a steady decline in waste (12.8% since 2006/7) although the population of N London was rising (12.9% increase over the same period). Not to develop a projection from the existing context seems illogical and, in PWA’s view, unsound.
  • The single scenario which the NLWP uses is the wrong one, and, in PWA’s view, the NLWP furthermore shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what it is trying to achieve in using it.

For more information see this page on the PWA website.

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These are our spookiest young writers

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in News


These six kids are the spookiest writers in Walker and Hazelwood Schools - and that's official. Their stories were selected by an expert panel from 200 entries in the Palmers Scream Spooky Stories Competition.

You can read all six stories at (but you might find it difficult to sleep afterwards!)

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Posted: 23 Sep 2015 23:14 by Karl Brown #1633
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And six winners chosen by a really top-drawer judging panel who were enormously complementary of what they had read. A panel good enough to make The Booker weep: 3 well published authors, a national newspaper sub editor, a past Chair of the National Literacy Association, an ex-schools Inspector and a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing.

Part of the winning experience was to hear from a Professor who specialises in the belief in witchcraft, magic and ghosts; the very same professor who is currently editing the Oxford Illustrated History of Witchcraft and Magic.

Does anyone know why we hear of ghosts and witches in London but not fairies? These winners do. Well done to them all.

The new-Halloween, Treats without the Tricks; a Halloween based on Fun, Light and Giving. Remember, if it does go worldwide then it started right here in Palmers Green with the Palmers Scream.

A chance to see inside the former Town Hall

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in News


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Posted: 21 Sep 2015 15:08 by David March #1617
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Interesting name for this building.

Many people will no doubt be pleased to know that this is where the 'sacred fire, representing the unity and vitality of the community' of Palmers Green is going to be kept alight (see Wikipedia).
Posted: 28 Sep 2015 00:28 by Colin Younger #1648
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The photographs show the Southgate Town Hall council chamber in 2011. The panelling and stained glass has gone, but the safe door remains set in the wall of one of the smaller flats. Prices of flats rise to £625,000.

A Palmers Green opticians is focusing on raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s Society

Written by PGC Webmaster on . Posted in News

A Palmers Green opticians is focusing on raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s Society and supporting World Alzheimer’s Day by holding a cake sale on 21 and 22 September.

Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care at 328-330 Green Lanes, is looking to raise as much money and awareness as possible as part of its ongoing support for Alzheimer’s Society, its chosen charity for this year.

There is growing evidence of a link between uncorrected hearing loss and dementia, including Alzheimer’s.  As part of its partnership, Palmers Green branch employees have been trained as Dementia Friends in a drive to change people’s perceptions of the condition.

Branch manager, Ashoo Sood, said: “Dementia touches so many families and World Alzheimer’s Day gives us a chance to raise awareness of the charity and the need for funds for research and support.”

As part of its fundraising activities the branch has also pledged to donate £1 for every hearing screening during 21 to 26 September. 

“Our hearing screenings are free of charge and we want to encourage people over 40 years of age to have regular hearing checks as they do eye tests.  So we thought this would be a great way to do both and fundraise for our chosen charity.”

Alzheimer’s Society is the leading support and research charity in the UK for people with dementia and those who care for them. In the UK, 225,000 people will develop dementia this year, with 850,000 people already affected. The Society estimate 23 million people have a close friend or family with dementia.  

World Alzheimer’s Day, supported by Alzheimer’s Society, is an opportunity to focus on the great work going on all over the world to fight dementia and to raise awareness.

Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care was established 76 years ago and has 178 stores in England and Wales, with 1,000 employees.

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