We Support Mini Holland in Waltham Forest, a group of more than 600 residents who back the scheme to get more people walking and cycling, has released a statement in response to the E17Streets4All protest outside the Town Hall:
“We urge our Councillors to remember the results of the extensive consultations they have undertaken, which show a clear majority of residents who respond are actually in favour of Mini Holland. We hope they ignore the misinformation and myths propagated by the E17Streets4All group.
“As our population booms, we desperately need more journeys made on foot and by bicycle to help ease congestion and reduce pollution. We want to save the NHS money as more people exercise and reap the health benefits. We want the streets we live on to be quieter, safer places where we and our families can walk and cycle with less fear of motor traffic.”
Campaign material from E17Streets4All has claimed that there are 70 streets closed due to Mini Holland – the true number is 26 which all received majority support from residents who responded to consultations.
A local Facebook group with over 500 members gathered to meet, chat and enjoy the community spirit that is building following the implementation of Mini Holland areas around the borough at family-focussed community event at Walthamstow’s Wildcard Brewery on Sunday afternoon (15th May).
Membership of the group which supports changes to make the streets of Waltham Forest safer, quieter and more pleasant for residents has snowballed in the last few months.
“We had a sense that many people in the borough were generally supportive of the Mini-Holland but their voice was not being heard. So a handful of us set up a Facebook group and membership has gone through the roof. There were so many positive stories of people learning to cycle in their forties, walking to work and children playing in the filtered streets that we decided to hold an event so we could to meet in person,” said Fiona Stevens, local resident and member of We Support Waltham Forest Mini Holland.
“It was short-notice and informal on a nice Sunday so we were expecting a small gathering. But there were hundreds of people at the Wildcard Brewery – families and neighbours from all over the borough turned up to share thoughts about the common goal of a better and safer local environment, along with a commitment to improve air quality. We were amazed to see so many people from all walks of life, from babies to pensioners, all speaking so positively about the changes being made to the borough.”
Sadiq Kahn has already made addressing air quality a key issue and he made pre-election commitment to Mini-Holland schemes across London. It would be great to see other Londoners benefit from the positive outcomes we are already seeing in Walthamstow and other parts of the borough.”
Following yesterday’s successful event, We Support Waltham Forest Mini Holland is planning further events and activities in the next few months.