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Multimillion-pound Waltham Forest transformation unveiled

Transport for London (TfL) and The Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander, have today (Oct 17) joined Waltham Forest Council and the City of London Corporation to unveil a key part of the multimillion-pound transformation of Waltham Forest.

The transformations, including safe pedestrian and cycle lanes, form part of the award-winning Enjoy Waltham Forest scheme.

£30m was awarded to Waltham Forest by TfL in 2014. The money provided three boroughs; Waltham Forest, Engfield and Kingston, the potential to reduce the use of cars, creating a safer, greener and healthier place for Londoners to live.

This forms a key chunk of the Mayor’s £2.3bn investment in creating Healthy Streets throughout the capital city.

Whipps Cross roundabout, a once daunting experience has been transformed into a new public space, with safer crossings, cycle lanes and dedicated bus lanes.

Originally part of Epping Forest, the land took a more intimidating and congested turn in June 1939 when it became a roundabout and road junction.

This comes shortly after the regeneration of another traffic-dominated roundabout,  Highbury Corner, also a part of the Mayor’s Healthy Street campaign.

Today’s opening has seen the return of 1,800 square metres of road space back to the protection of Epping Forest. Locally harvested seeds and wild-flowers have been sown to encourage a meadow for essential, pollinating insects.

A fully protected cycle route along Lead Bridge Road, known as cycleway 23, has also been completed and is already proving very popular, with a 120% increase in cycling trips on the route from July 2016 to July 2019.

Thanks to the success, the segregated cycleway will be further extended with work due to begin before Christmas.

Heidi Alexander, London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, said:

 “It is essential that we get more Londoners walking and cycling as part of their everyday routine, and overhauling our roads to make them safer is a key part of this. I’m delighted that the transformation across Waltham Forest is already having a big impact – reducing car use, increasing walking and cycling, and improving air quality and life expectancy. Our Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme is enabling boroughs across the capital to build on this success, by offering grants of up to £10m.”

whipps cross, oct 2019 1

Above the railway has also had a makeover, with the construction of a new bridge that doubles as a public space, providing better access to the bus station and the cycle lanes.

Other green developments include pedestrian crossings, a new pocket park at Whitney Road and 194 trees currently being planted.

The hope is that millions more journeys can be made on foot or bicycle every week, improving air quality and the health of the population.


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