It's five years ago this week since we reported a significant increase in traffic using a Walthamstow road since the introduction of a scheme to promote cycling.

Thousands more cars every day are using a Walthamstow street as a rat-run since the introduction of Mini Holland road closures.

Figures released by council-backed project Enjoy Waltham Forest, revealed more than 2,000 extra vehicles use Shernhall Street daily after the cycle scheme was launched in Walthamstow Village.

Before roads in the village were closed to traffic, an average of 7,231 cars travelled along Shernhall Street every day.

Since the scheme was introduced, the number now stands at 9,276.

Resident Steve Johnson said: “They are using Shernhall Street as a bit of a dumping ground so the village is free of traffic. It’s as if people here are less important.

“You have got traffic shifting from the affluent village area to the less well-off roads.

“Emissions are obviously increasing on this street as well, we have more congestion than you had before. I think these figures are not good for the council and they wanted to bury them.

“I do not think the public are aware of the exact numbers but I think most people living around here will be aware there has been more traffic on the road.”

Shernhall Street is home to Holy Family Catholic School, Our Lady and Saint George's Primary School and Shernhall Pre-School.

Waltham Forest council has claimed it now records 10,000 less vehicles using the village area each day since the introduction of Mini Holland in September 2015.

However, the £30 million scheme, which aims to promote cycling by closing a series of roads to traffic, has proved divisive.

Closures have drawn criticism from some quarters for a perceived increase in emergency service response times and concerns for local business.

Others have complained the scheme has increased congestion on main roads, with traffic levels rising on both Hoe Street and Lea Bridge Road.

Waltham Forest council deputy leader Cllr Clyde Loakes said: “One of the aims of the Walthamstow Village scheme is to reduce “rat-running” traffic outside people’s homes in residential neighbourhoods.

“Data collected so far has shown that there are an average of 10,000 fewer vehicles across the wider Walthamstow Village area every day.

“We are aware from these early results that there has been some increase in traffic on Shernhall Street.

“This would suggest that non-local traffic has moved away from some of the more residential streets onto a road that provides a direct link between Lea Bridge Road and Forest Road.”

“We will continue to monitor traffic levels to get a longer term view of the impact the changes have made, which is the industry best practise approach.

“Most traffic schemes involving changes to a single road would take six months to one year to settle down, which is why reviews are normally conducted along these timescales.

“However it should be recognised that the changes we are making through the Mini Holland programme are even more wider reaching, and it may take some time for the benefits to be realised from the entire scheme.”