MORE than 5,000 people have signed a petition calling for all the roads closed by Mini Holland to be re-opened.

The petition on was started by Christine Greig six months ago.

She said she plans to present it to the mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

A statement on the petition page said: “Since the road closures, the traffic congestion and pollution on the roads that haven’t been closed have increased massively.

“Road closures have greatly increased journey time for all of us.

“People particularly affected include people with disabilities and carers, emergency vehicles, delivery lorries, refuse collectors, women needing to trip-chain and bus users.

READ MORE: Sadiq Khan says Mini Holland benefits shops and restaurants in Walthamstow

“Closing roads has absolutely nothing to do with encouraging cycling.”

The mayor visited Central Parade in Walthamstow earlier this month and told the Guardian that Mini Holland had introduced a “Mediterranean café style” to Waltham Forest, which he said benefits businesses.

But cycle campaigners say opening the roads would be “unsafe” for walkers, cyclists and old people.

David Hamilton, co-ordinator of Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign, lives in Sybourn Street in Walthamstow.

He dismissed the claim that closing side roads resulted in more congestion on the main roads.

He said: “I live in a road that was closed before Mini Holland and to re-open that road would be unsafe because there is a primary school there.

“The road closures have helped calm the streets and this has encouraged lots of people to get out and walk around.

“People are saying there is congestion on the main roads but there has always been congestion in Waltham Forest.

“I cycle along Lea Bridge Road and it is a lot calmer now than it was five years ago.”

Paul Gasson, who runs Walthamstow Family Bike Club, said more parents need to walk their children to school to reduce morning rush hour traffic.

He said: “Many parents say they cannot walk their kids to school on busy roads because it is not safe so they drive them.

“But by driving them they are making the roads less safe because there are more cars so it is a vicious circle.

“The benefits of closing the roads are massive.

“They have improved the quality of life for so many people.

“You see kids out playing, cats sleeping in the middle of the street and old people out with zimmer frames and walking sticks.

“We have communities coming from other parts of the UK to look at Mini Holland and see what we have done and they are very inspired by it.”

Orford Road is closed to cars during the day and allows only buses and cyclists through.

Alberto Barros, manager of Orford Saloon in Orford Road, Walthamstow, said business has increased 10 to 15 per cent since the introduction of Mini Holland.

He said: “It is safer for people just to walk on the street but I understand that delivery times make be longer because of the road closures.

“I would like to see the road to stay closed but it is very difficult to keep everyone happy.

“If it stays like this it is not too bad at all.”

To sign the petition click here.