Saturday, 9 October 2010

Walthamstow as a pedestrian paradise!

An expensive technicolour ‘Newsletter’ recently came through the Freewheeler letterbox, filled with glorious news for pedestrians and cyclists.

Yes, there are proposals to ‘regenerate’ the south side of Walthamstow Central station, including ‘a larger number of cycle spaces’ (no precise figure is supplied - and will they be public cycle stands and will usage be free?) and ‘facilitating a new pedestrian link to Queens Road Station’ (even though this route was supposed to open ten years ago and has absolutely nothing to do with the current development proposal).

This glossy publication invites readers to ‘Register your support’ but naturally offers no option of registering dissent. It’s a clear attempt to marginalise those local residents who are opposed to the scheme:

“There are Victorian houses here and there will be towers overshadowing us.

“The massive hotel and blocks of flats will absolutely dwarf the neighbouring streets.

“It will create a massive problem with parking.

Surely not! The ‘Newsletter’ (above) portrays an empty parking lot with just one car (so typical of central Walthamstow, wouldn’t you say?) surrounded by hordes of happy pedestrians.

This ‘Newsletter’ is financed by the three bodies involved in this scheme, Solum Regeneration, Network Rail and Kier.

Ah, yes, Kier. Their contribution to the ‘Revitalisation of Walthamstow Town Square and gardens’ is proudly recorded on this blog here.

More on this development proposal over at Fight the Height.

And away from the futuristic fantasy scenes of the developers, I expect if this scheme goes ahead the area in front of the station will, in the real world, end up resembling the attractive, pedestrian-friendly, car-free frontage of Chingford station (below).