Campaign for a low-traffic neighbourhood in Headstone South

We are campaigning for removal of through motor traffic from Pinner View, the County Roads and surrounding minor residential streets (the area bounded by Headstone Gardens, Parkside Way, Station Road – North Harrow, Pinner Road and Harrow View – see map below).

The surrounding roads are main roads and bus routes, but there is no reason why people need to drive through the area. We propose closing roads to cars at certain points, which will prevent through traffic, but still allow people to drive to all properties.

In Waltham Forest, closing roads to through motor traffic has led to major improvements in health and air quality. People are walking or cycling 41 minutes more each week, and traffic has been reduced by 16% in the entire area (56% within the low-traffic neighbourhoods).

We collected 400 signatures from Harrow residents on paper and on our online petition in December 2018 – January 2019, and Emma Bradley presented it to the leader of the council, Graham Henson, on 2 February 2019.

emma_presenting_petition_to_graham
Emma Bradley (campaigner and petition organiser) presenting the petition to Graham Henson, the leader of the council

Thank you to everyone who signed the petition, and we will continue to lobby the council to ensure that they take this proposal forward!

Frequently asked questions

Where exactly are the road closures proposed?

Although we can suggest potential locations of road closures that would eliminate through traffic, at this stage we are not campaigning for any specific locations, because this needs further consultation with local residents. However we want to bring it to the attention of the council so that they can work on a solution.

Won’t traffic just be pushed onto nearby roads?

This would happen if individual minor roads are closed and neighbouring roads are left open to traffic. We are campaigning for an area-wide approach, which will ensure that none of the minor roads are available for through traffic. All through traffic will use the main roads, which are designed to handle such traffic. Over time, the overall amount of traffic will decrease as people are encouraged to walk or cycle for short journeys (similar schemes in Waltham Forest reduced traffic within the zone by 56% without any increase on the main roads that remained open to all traffic).

What about the emergency services?

Emergency services will be consulted about any changes to be made. Road closures will be designed to ensure there is vehicle access to all properties. If needed, removable or collapsible bollards can be used to close roads to cars but provide access for emergency vehicles.

Where else has this been done?

The majority of Dutch towns are designed in this way – minor roads are for access only, and the driving route for short journeys is usually longer and less direct than the walking or cycling route. Over the past few years, a number of London boroughs have created low-traffic neighbourhoods, including Hackney, Camden, Enfield and Waltham Forest. We have taken council officers and councillors on a visit to the Waltham Forest scheme, which has been very successful.

Won’t this divert money from other council services?

The measures to prevent through traffic not very expensive, and the benefits (reduced traffic, reduced pollution, more walking and cycling) far outweigh the costs. We propose that Harrow reallocates money which is already provided by TfL for walking and cycling, but is currently used for ineffective, signed-only ‘Quietway’ cycle routes.