Originally Published in The Evening Standard:
by Andrew Gilligan
One of the things about the people who oppose making London less dominated by cars is that they believe, often quite sincerely, that they speak for the majority.
The main group against the “mini-Holland” street closures, cycle lanes and pavement-widening in the borough of Waltham Forest calls itself “E17 Streets For All”. The opponents of a similar scheme in Palmers Green, Enfield, claim that it will benefit only “one per cent of the population” and is “deeply unpopular”.
Well, the consultation results for that scheme are in — and it turns out that it’s not “deeply unpopular” at all. Almost 1,650 people responded, incredibly high for a local consultation.
Of these, 39 per cent opposed the plans and 60 per cent supported them. Given the level of misinformation and playing on people’s fears deployed against the scheme, it’s a fantastic result.