The 'Mini Holland' scheme in east London: 'traffic evaporation' and more space for cyclists

The first London pilot scheme for a more cycling friendly urban environment with less cars and more space for pedestrians and cyclists has produced positive results that might be introduced in other cities across Britain.

© Evening Standard

The programme - denominated Mini Holland and adopted in the area of Walthamstow - aims at removing traffic in residential areas, delivering a more cycle-permeable place, and addressing rat-running traffic.

Despite the strong oppositions coming from the residents towards this east London suburban cycling scheme, new results concerning congestion reduction are particularly encouraging. "Traffic levels in 12 key roads in the 'village' area of Walthamstow fell by 56 per cent, or 10,000 fewer vehicles a day, Waltham Forest council has told residents", the Evening Standard reported.

The Mini Holland scheme is part of the then mayor Boris Johnson's plan to make London's suburbs better places for cycling. Waltham Forest council was one of three boroughs to win about £30 million each to introduce this scheme.

The overall traffic reduction is of 16 per cent with a slight increase in traffic on two roads bordering the area. Final results are expected next year. Simon Munk, infrastructure campaigner for the London Cycling Campaign, highlighted the replicability of this scheme and has referred to as 'traffic evaporation' in action.