Plans to close off roads as part of a scheme to reduce traffic have provoked an angry backlash from residents and councillors.

A ‘quieter neighbourhood’ scheme in Palmers Green could see 16 road entrances surrounding Fox Lane closed to cars and buses, with only cyclists allowed through.

Under plans revealed by Enfield Council, just two access points for motorists would be provided at either end of Fox Lane, which runs between Green Lanes and Bourne Hill.

The council says the scheme would lead to calmer and quieter streets, safer neighbourhoods and cleaner air.

But some residents have attacked the plans, claiming they would effectively block traffic from travelling on a major east-west route across the borough – and this would push congestion and pollution onto other roads.

Jon Zlotnick, who lives in Fernleigh Road, said: “The main theme is that roads linking the east of the borough with the west and the North Circular Road will be permanently closed to all traffic.

“This will result in traffic chaos – mainly in Green Lanes, where cars will sit idle for hours right next to the cycle lane.

“It will also mean that even more traffic will be pushed into roads around Winchmore Hill to avoid the chaos in Green Lanes.

“This will not only have a devastating effect in Fernleigh, Woodberry and Compton Roads but Winchmore Hill in general.”

Cllr Maria Alexandrou (Conservative, Winchmore Hill) and Cllr Daniel Anderson (Labour, Southgate Green) both said they had been “inundated” with complaints about the proposed scheme.

Cllr Alexandrou said: “Councillors were not consulted beforehand. We were not aware – even though we know the area very well.

“Residents feel it will create congestion, traffic jams around Southgate Circus, and gridlock. People will have to make longer journeys and it will create a ‘maze effect’ with vehicles driving endlessly around.

“It could severely impact the elderly, families with young children and families that drive.”

Cllr Alexandrou suggested 20mph zones, speed cameras and speed humps would have been a better solution to existing traffic problems.

Cllr Anderson – who championed green initiatives like Cycle Enfield when he was cabinet member for environment – said the consultation period was originally due to end on November 17, giving people “next to no time” to respond.

The consultation was extended to December 22 following the backlash.

Cllr Anderson added: “Walthamstow Village is the model often held up, but then there is the Crouch End trial, which as I understand it is proving less successful.

“My concern is that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach needs to be treated with caution, as you have to consider the geography, topography and transport links among other things.

“You also need resident buy-in not just from the roads within, but from those in the roads outside who will be impacted.”

The Fox Lane scheme is one of eight quieter neighbourhood projects being planned across Enfield.

A trial of the scheme is not expected to take place until spring at the earliest, and deputy council leader Cllr Ian Barnes (Labour, Winchmore Hill) said it would only be made permanent “if it improves the situation for local people and works for local business”.

In an update addressed to residents, Cllr Barnes added: “The council is committed to addressing ‘rat-running’ and reducing pollution levels in the long-term, but any proposal must be the right solution for your area, one that works for the local community.

“A future trial should ensure that traffic is not just moved from one local residential street within the area to another.

“All comments will be carefully considered before we decide on the next steps and any scheme would be introduced as a ‘live trial’, allowing us to make changes in light of feedback from residents.”

A council spokesperson said: "There has been a lot of interest in the Quieter Neighbourhood proposals for the Fox Lane area. We are grateful for the feedback we have already received. The engagement period is ongoing until 22 December 2019.

“Once the engagement period closes we will review the comments and produce a report that captures the feedback we have received. This will then help inform how the ideas for the area are developed."

People can give their views on the scheme at: