Waltham Forest’s pioneering scheme to improve the borough’s roads for pedestrians and cyclists has been voted the best in London in a public vote.
The Enjoy Waltham Forest programme won the People’s Choice award at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) London Civil Engineering Awards 2018 on Thursday 24 May, securing more votes than the likes of Crossrail and the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter project in the competition.
The project had already been shortlisted for the Community Benefit award when ICE London last month announced the scheme was also being pitted against nine other major ground breaking civil engineering schemes in a public vote.
Reacting to the award, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment Clyde Loakes said: “It was an honour to be nominated in the first place, but it is brilliant that we have won. It is a testament to the council’s hard work over the last five years that despite some vocal criticism when we first began proposing radical new road layouts, public realm interventions and modal filters to improve the safety and priority of pedestrians and cyclists, that actually now the public are behind us and have voted for us to win this highly prestigious award.”
The scheme secured a double victory as it also scooped the Community Benefit award for not only improving the borough’s infrastructure but also helping to boost the local economy, along with supporting and encouraging those who live and work in the borough to walk and cycle more.
Since securing £27million from Transport for London in 2013 the Enjoy Waltham Forest scheme has installed more than 22km of segregated and semi-segregated cycle lanes, trained more than 5,000 adults and children to cycle safely, created pedestrianised routes and timed road closures, reduced congestion in local town centres, supported the launch of a zero emissions deliver service, seen thousands of new trees and plants installed in new pocket parks and planter beds, and contributed to better road safety and air quality for all residents and road users.
Cllr Loakes added: “Thank you to everyone who voted for the scheme and especially a big thank you to our staff who have had the passion, vision and put in the hard work to push this scheme forward to a stage where our residents, businesses and local economy are now really starting to reap the rewards.”