Redbridge to trial its own ‘Mini Holland’ scheme

Redbridge Council will begin trialling its version of Waltham Forest’s ‘Mini Holland’ scheme this month after learning from the neighbouring council that it “does work”.

People living on residential streets in Barkingside South and Cranbrook West will see temporary traffic barriers installed from September 14 until roughly the end of the year.

The council will make adjustments based on feedback from residents throughout and will formally consult them when the trial ends on whether the change should be permanent.

The trials, the first of five ‘Quiet Streets’ trials to begin this year, aim to reduce traffic, pollution and accidents, while encouraging residents to walk or cycle more.

Waltham Forest’s controversial Mini Holland scheme celebrated its fifth year anniversary in March last year.

Cllr John Howard (Lab, Aldborough), responsible for civic pride, said: “The big thing we have learnt (from Waltham Forest’s Mini-Holland scheme) is that it does work.

“We have got a design we think will work to make the streets quieter, safer and less polluted and will encourage residents to walk and cycle a bit more.

“All the roads in all the areas will still be accessible by car and residents who generally get around by car will still be able to do that.

“They will just have to change the last bit of the journey, it might take fractionally longer, perhaps another few minutes.”

Roads involved in the scheme will be accessible from one point, meaning delivery vehicles and emergency services will still be able to access all homes.

It is hoped the scheme will encourage residents to avoid using cars for non-essential journeys, reducing air pollution and improving their health.

Cllr Howard added: “Most of our streets are residential, they are not designed for large amounts of traffic.

“When I grew up in Ilford, we played out on the street but people feel less safe now. We want to create a nice environment for residents to bring their kids up in.

“We do not want our residents to walk down the road feeling like they live on the motorway.”

Regarding the length of the trial, he added that “it needs to be a long enough time” for people to “get used” to the changes to their streets before making a decision on if it should be permanent.

The council has secured £500,000 in funding from Transport for London to go towards paying for the schemes and will fund the remaining cost from its own budget.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter