A celebration of cycling in Waltham Forest's Mini-Holland

The opening of the London Cycling Award-winning Walthamstow Mini-Holland was celebrated today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and festival on Orford Road, hosted by Waltham Forest Council and London Cycling Campaign and sponsored by the Dutch Embassy and Royal HaskoningDVH.

 

Local residents gathered for the ceremony on Orford Road to enjoy stalls from local traders, music and trial a variety of bikes in the new cycling spaces.

 

As part of the programme, two new public areas have been created in Walthamstow Village providing local residents with the perfect place to congregate. Traffic closures are now in place along the two East and West Avenue bridges, converting them into public spaces that allow for safe pedestrian and cycling access.

Back in 2012, LCC’s Love London, Go Dutch campaign saw 40,000 Londoners petition the mayor for Dutch-style infrastructure and secured commitment for £100m of government funding as a result.

Now three years later Waltham Forest is the first of three London boroughs to officially open its own Dutch-style Mini-Holland, which has transformed Walthamstow Village into a safe and inviting space for cyclists and pedestrians.

 

The Dutch Ambassador, Simon Smits, and Andrew Gilligan visited Orford Road before attending the UK Cycle Planning Awards

 

£30m was awarded to Waltham Forest from the Mayor of London’s Mini-Hollands programme, with Enfield and Kingston also successful recipients. Each Mini-Holland programme is designed to improve conditions for people who walk, cycle and drive by enlarging public spaces and reducing overcrowding on public transport, traffic congestion, air pollution and parking pressure.

“Three years ago, our Love London, Go Dutch campaign saw 10,000 Londoners cycle through the city centre to call on the Mayor to make our streets as safe and inviting for cycling as they are in Holland,” said Ashok Sinha, CEO of London Cycling Campaign.

“We are delighted to be here in Waltham Forest three years later to enjoy the fantastic changes that have taken place as a result of the Mayor’s Mini-Holland funding. With these improvements local residents will have the confidence to leave their cars at home, safe in the knowledge that they can ride or walk from their home to work, to the tube, to work, to school, to the shops and to friends without facing dangerous road conditions.”

“Today is major milestone in our award winning Mini-Holland Programme which is all about encouraging people to walk, cycle and most importantly enjoy living life in Waltham Forest,” remarked Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment. 

“The programme has already made notable differences for residents in Waltham Forest. It is now easier for people to choose to cycle or walk, we have more infrastructure in place including new cycle hubs at train stations and cycle parking stands and bike hangers being installed across town centres and residential streets across the borough.”

 

Local residents mentioned that they were now able to cycle with their children to school on a regular basis because of the implementation of the mini-Holland measures

LCC would like to thank the Dutch Embassy and Royal HaskoningDHV for their sponsorship of the Waltham Forest Mini-Holland Festival and helping to make this celebration of cycling possible.