MINI Holland supporters have hit back at campaigners who petitioned the mayor of London to reverse the cycling scheme.

Members of We Support Waltham Forest Mini Holland say they want Sadiq Khan to ‘be brave’ and refuse to succumb to the petitioners’ demands.

Waltham Forest Council was awarded £27million by Transport for London for the scheme which saw the closure of around 70 roads across the borough.

Last week Waltham Forest Streets for All presented a 6,000 strong petition to Jennette Arnold, London Assembly member for Waltham Forest, Hackney and Islington, who will present it to Sadiq Khan.

READ MORE: 6,000 people call on Sadiq Khan to reopen roads closed by Mini Holland

Carly Hayes, a member of We Support Waltham Forest Mini Holland, said: “I’d be devastated if the streets around me were reopened as shortcuts for cars, vans and HGVs.

“I’d beg the mayor and the local council to be brave and leave our streets as they are.

“Despite what this petition says there are actually thousands of people already reaping the benefits of quieter, cleaner, safer streets.”

The council released data showing the scheme cut traffic through Walthamstow Village by 10,000 vehicles per day.

But critics argue closing residential roads to cars has resulted in increased congestion and pollution on main roads.

Last month head teachers at schools in Shernhall Street, Walthamstow, spoke out against the scheme after data revealed 2,000 more cars are using the street every day since Mini Holland began.

Isabelle Clement, director of disability cycling charity Wheels for Wellbeing, said the scheme has made things “safer” for disabled cyclists.

She said: “Opening roads that have been made safer for pedestrians and cyclists would definitely be a step backwards.

“Only by keeping improving the safety of our local roads for people on foot and on cycles will we ensure disabled and elderly people have equal access to active travel and all its benefits.”

Rachel Aldred, Reader in Transport at the University of Westminster, said Mini Holland has her full support.

She said: “A key reason why people don’t walk and cycle and don’t let their kids walk, cycle or play locally, is that they are scared by traffic danger or put-off by pollution.

“So one way of encouraging walking and cycling is to reduce the amount of motor traffic using residential streets so they can become calmer and safer.

“In London prioritising sustainable modes of transport works – bus priority in the 1990s and 2000s - helped shift large numbers of people out of cars by making bus use more attractive.”