Video: 'Mini Holland' Comes To Walthamstow

Geoff Marshall
By Geoff Marshall Last edited 39 months ago
Video: 'Mini Holland' Comes To Walthamstow

It's not every day that a part of London is twinned with a communist state, but in Walthamstow — and in the residential backstreets and local shops of Walthamstow village — that's what's happened. "Twinned with North Korea", says a makeshift poster in the window of one local business.

The poster's talking about a new scheme, taking place in three London boroughs — Kingston, Enfield and Waltham Forest — which takes £30m of investment from Transport for London to create 'mini Hollands'. This is where roads are cut off to prevent drivers using them as 'rat run' shortcuts and arguably making them safer places for people to be, opening up these same roads and pavements to cyclists, families with children and generally creating a calmer atmosphere on the streets.

So what does mini Holland look like in E17? We went and spoke to Simon Munk, a local campaigner who's very much in favour of the scheme, but who was also even handed enough to acknowledge that there are those who aren't happy with it either.

Sixty people turned out to protest last week at the official unveiling on completion of the works, and then paraded down the village with a coffin and the sign "In loving memory of our village 1815-2015". And while we were out making this video, we were interuppted by a gentleman who complained that there have been "more car accidents" since the works were carried out. Simon tells us he thinks he just meant a few more clipped wing-mirrors, where cars have yet to get used to the new dead-ends and they've had to reverse their way out of a tight spot.

Last Updated 23 September 2015