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This post inciting drivers to break the law was posted on Enfield Voices FB page on 19th May and was subsequently deleted by the moderators, but only after it had been brought to their attention

Intervention by police officers last Wednesday prevented opponents of the Fox Lane low-traffic neighbourhood (LTN) from mounting a protest deliberatedly timed so that it presented a danger to children returning home from school during National Walk to School Week.

Winchmore Hill police intervened between 3pm and 4pm on 19th May when a number of motorists arrived with the intention of driving repeatedly through a camera-controlled road closure point as a gesture of protest against the Fox Lane LTN scheme. The protest had been organised on social media by Paul Mandel, a leading opponent of the LTN, who deliberately chose the time when children would be returning home from school. Deterred by the presence of three police officers, who had been alerted by the Better Streets for Enfield campaign, drivers who had arrived to participate departed. Paul Mandel afterwards used social media to disparage Better Streets and claim that police time had been wasted.

Paul Mandel in his Facebook post announcing the planned protest argued that, on a technicality (a typo), the prohibition on vehicles driving into or out of Conway Road at the Fox Lane junction is invalid and also inferred that the council has introduced the prohibition in order to raise revenue from fines on drivers who ignore it:

THE TRAFFIC ORDER APPEARS TO BE INVALID. THE CASH COW AT THE TOO OF CONWAY ROAD IS ADJACENT TO 111 FOX LANE, NOT 11 FOX LANE. I PLAN TO DRIVE TROUGH THE CONWAY ROAD(CLOSURE) POINT REPEATEDLY BETWEEN 3 and 4 PM today. ALL WELCOME TO JOIN, IN THEIR CARS OR JUST CHEERING FROM THE SIDELINES. TIME CHOSEN TO COINCIDE WITH SCHOOL RUN.

COUNCIL MUST REFUND EVERYONE IT HAS FLEECED.

After police had dispersed the protest and spoken to Paul Mandel, he posted a tweet accusing Better Streets for Enfield of being "curtain twitchers" and suggesting that they should be prosecuted for wasting police time.

On the PGC forums Andy Barker, a past chair of the Fox Lane & District Residents' Association (FLDRA), has pointed out that the planned protest would have occurred during National Walk to School Week, when more children than ever would be walking or riding bikes back from school. He has also queried the failure of the current FLDRA committee to denounce the planned protest.

Forum comment by Andy Barker

The past week has been 'National Walk to School Week', when more child11ren than ever have been seen walking and/or cycling to school.

On Wednesday the 19th a member of the One Community faction posted the following (of which this is a verbatim extract): “THE TRAFFIC ORDER APPEARS TO BE INVALID. THE CASH COW AT THE TOO OF CONWAY ROAD IS ADJACENT TO 111 FOX LANE, NOT 11 FOX LANE. I PLAN TO DRIVE THROUGH THE CONWAY ROAD (CLOSURE) POINT REPEATEDLY BETWEEN 3 AND 4PM today. ALL WELCOME TO JOIN, IN THEIR CARS OR JUST CHEERING FROM THE SIDELINES. TIME CHOSEN TO COINCIDE WITH SCHOOL RUN.”

This is one of the most thoughtless and boneheadedly stupid ideas so far from the anti-LTN faction. I understand that the Head Teacher of St Monicas had to send out an urgent message to warn parents of the proposal, and that the Police were eventually involved.

Do I take it that the anti's have now decided to move away from mere vitriol and vandalism towards the much more dangerous scenario of targeting children?

As of yet, I have seen no denouncements or apologies for the proposed actions from anyone, including the Residents' Association .

A sorry state of affairs indeed.

(Originally posted to the forums at 11.08 am on 22nd May 2021.)

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PGC Webmaster posted a reply #5993 23 May 2021 01:03
It's no coindence that Paul Mandel is one of a tiny number of people who have been banned from posting on the PGC forums. He was banned because of his abusive attitude towards people who disagreed with his views.

Though it's possible that technically he could not have been fined for driving through the prohibition, the intention of the traffic order is absolutely clear, as are the signs prohibiting cars from passing, and he understands them perfectly.

The point about the cameras being a "cash cow" is clearly deceitful. Paul Mandel is intelligent enough to know full well that the council's intention is not to collect fines but to deter people from driving past the signs in order to stop traffic cutting through the area. What is more distressing is that at least one councillor has made the same point and they too know full well what the intention of the cameras is and are being deliberately deceitful, something which is incompatible with the duties of a councillor. The same deceitful allegation has been made repeatedly on another local community website, which is disgraceful.

There are legitimate arguments against the Fox Lane LTN as well as legitimate arguments for it and individuals are entitled to reach their own conclusions as to which outweigh the other. However, it is never legitimate to incite or participate in potentially dangerous breaches of traffic law or to use deceitful arguments.
Adrian Day posted a reply #5994 23 May 2021 10:14
Credit to Winchmore Hill police for reacting quickly to deal with the threat. How reporting a plan to drive through a closed road near a school at a time when primary school children are walking, cycling and scooting by is 'a waste of police time' beggars belief. A huge Jaguar SUV was leading the protest www.indiatimes.com/auto/current/it-took-13-kids-in-line-for-an-suv-driver-to-spot-them-and-this-highlights-a-disturbing-issue-504387.html
And the comment about 'curtain twitchers' is laughable - Mandel put the post on Enfield Voices - a publicly visible facebook group with over 3000 members. It's disappointing inflammatory posts are allowed in the first place (a fair few people engaged with it) - although thankfully it was removed quickly after I reported it.
Adrian Day posted a reply #5995 23 May 2021 10:20
Like Andy, I would hope to see an unequivocal condemnation from FLDRA soon - the new committee has (sensibly) vowed to remain neutral on the LTN . The actions detailed above are just the sort of anti-social behaviour (along with pulling out plants from planters, defacing signs with slogans and stickers and harassing people on the street) that divide a community.
Emma Maloney posted a reply #5996 23 May 2021 10:47
Ultimately the proposed action, that was thankfully stopped, was selfish beyond the extreme. Cars cannot and should not rule the road. We need to make them safe for everyone to use. People may not like the LTN but what proposals are they coming up with to reduce congestion and pollution caused by cars, and make alternative methods of travel safe and appealing? Speed bumps and speed limits have been shown not to work. Reducing traffic on minor residential roads works.
Karl Brown posted a reply #5997 24 May 2021 08:37
I’m reading Andy Barker’s revelations with complete astonishment. Large campaigns do appear to draw in extremists but we can do without the targeted fear so evident in parents whats app’s across my street last Wednesday afternoon: a known focus on schoolchildren, at school closing time, in walk to school week has rightly been deplored. There’s a need to move forward from this with haste and I’d suggest three things to clear the air:
1. Those in the convoy before dispersing come forward and explain themselves;
2. The officers of the One Community organisation explain itself;
3. Andy Barker, a widely respected decade long chair of the residents association, implies a tainting from its current action / inaction. A clarifying response is needed for members asap
Philip Sheffield posted a reply #5998 24 May 2021 11:09
I can confirm that the new FLDRA committee does condemn this incendiary and divisive action by an individual and we call on opponents of LTNs to refrain from such rhetoric and irresponsible incitement.
Neil Littman posted a reply #6007 27 May 2021 09:03
I don't really want to get into the pro's and cons of the story itself (which I think was a bit of a non-story) but I find it odd that whenever an article is published dealing with traffic issues or LTNs the feedback is nearly always from the same two or three individuals. Am beginning to wonder; 1. How many people actually read this newsletter every week? 2. Why nobody else engages with it? Just curious.
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PGC Webmaster posted a reply #6026 27 May 2021 12:28

Neil Littman wrote: I don't really want to get into the pro's and cons of the story itself (which I think was a bit of a non-story) but I find it odd that whenever an article is published dealing with traffic issues or LTNs the feedback is nearly always from the same two or three individuals. Am beginning to wonder; 1. How many people actually read this newsletter every week? 2. Why nobody else engages with it? Just curious.


Because it's not Facebook or Twitter. People read and only post if they have something useful to say that hasn't already been said a million times. Every week around 650 people open the newsletter, the website is visited by eight or nine thousand people a week.

In this case, there's nothing useful to add, the action has been roundly condemned by everyone except you. Would you want your kids or grandchildren to be at the mercy of SUV drivers deliberatedly driving along a stretch of road where they have the right to assume that there won't be any cars?

By the way, this is the third or fourth time you've asked the same question - no more, please.

As for "pro's and con's", do you really think that there are any pro's to this outrageous and dangerous call for people to break the law? If so, please keep away from these forums and see aa doctor.