A PETITION calling for roads closed by Mini Holland to be reopened has been presented to the mayor of London.

Campaigners from Waltham Forest Streets for All collected over 6,000 signatures after the £30million cycling scheme saw almost 70 roads around Walthamstow closed.

The petition was presented to Jennette Arnold, London Assembly member for Waltham Forest, Hackney and Islington, who presented it to Sadiq Khan last week.

In a letter to the mayor, campaigners said: “The vast majority of Waltham Forest residents support your aims of improving London’s air quality and encouraging more people to walk and cycle.

READ MORE: Sadiq Khan says Mini Holland is benefitting businesses in Walthamstow

“However the majority of residents do not think that the council’s Mini Holland project is the way to achieve these goals.

“The scheme is not a success and the council’s figures are economical with the truth and clearly camouflage the facts.”

Those who signed the petition cited increased pollution and journey time as their biggest concerns.

One campaigner said: “My asthma has become a lot worse since the road closures.” Another said: “What used to be a 10 to 15 minute journey can now take one hour or more.”

READ MORE: These shop owners say Mini Holland is causing their businesses to suffer.

Christine Greig, who organised the petition, said: “No warning bells rang at first as who could possibly disagree with the stated aims of safer cycling & encouraging walking. However the implementation has been horrendous

“In E17 the closing of previously quiet roads directs a greater volume of traffic onto main roads and busy junctions. This must lead to increased risk to cyclists, running counter to the stated aims of the scheme.”

Last November Sadiq Khan told the Guardian Mini Holland was benefitting businesses in Walthamstow because pedestrianised streets created a “Mediterranean café style”.

In January he issued a toxic air alert after ‘black’ or very high readings of particle pollution were recorded in a number of areas in London.

He posted a tweet that read: “The shameful state of London’s toxic air today has triggered a ‘very high’ air pollution alert under my new air quality warning system.”

Cllr Clyde Loakes, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, said: “While residents can do their bit by not automatically defaulting to their cars, especially for short journeys and trips, local authorities have a responsibility to take action on air pollution and road congestion.

“In order to help change the current status quo, we’re putting much needed infrastructure in place so that our residents feel comfortable, confident and safe in making more of their daily trips by walking, cycling and even scooting.

“It’s important to recognise that the changes we are making through the Mini-Holland programme, which has already seen success in reducing through traffic in parts of the borough, are wide reaching – and it may take some time for all benefits to be realised from the entire scheme.”