Harrow is undergoing major new developments in the town centre, but the area is dominated by cars with poor walking and cycling facilities.
We are campaigning for major improvements – removal of through motor traffic from minor streets, cycle tracks along main roads with better junctions, more zebra crossings, and more cycle parking.
The improvements could be funded by TfL through the Liveable Neighbourhood scheme, if Harrow submits an application showing genuine commitment to active travel.
We have written to all councillors and sent them a booklet explaining our ideas, core concepts and examples of good practice elsewhere. We invite anyone who supports our aims to engage with their councillors and help make this happen.
The booklet can be downloaded here, and more detailed information about the proposals are here.
Harrow council is proposing to reduce through traffic in the Kingshill Avenue area in Kenton, by making short sections of road one way (with cycling exemption) or closing them to motor vehicles (leaving access for cycling). The consultation is currently open online here (deadline 31 July): https://consult.harrow.gov.uk/consult.ti/kishill/consultationHome
We are broadly in favour of this proposal – this is one of the few schemes in Harrow which actually aims to reduce traffic rather than merely reduce speeds. It will improve the area for walking and cycling. However with some minor changes it could be even better – if the proposed closure of Kingshill Avenue is moved further south it will close off the remaining through route for motor traffic and make the area much better for residents.
Harrow council is proposing to redevelop the Headstone Gardens / Harrow View / Headstone Drive traffic light junction to provide a pedestrian phase. Three out of four right turns will be banned at the junction to enable this to happen, and all pedestrians will cross at the same time (single-stage crossings). However, this route is a desire line for cycling (especially east-west) but cycling is not accommodated in this design – there are no segregated cycling facilities.
We think it is ESSENTIAL that segregated cycling facilities are built through this junction in the east-west direction. This needs to be planned as part of a scheme to enable cycling along Headstone Gardens / Headstone Drive, part of a link between North Harrow and Harrow and Wealdstone station. It is probably most feasible to build this scheme as a two-way segregated cycle track on the south side of the road. Our suggestions are given below in red.
In addition, cyclists should be able to turn right from any junction arm. Surrounding minor residential roads (Headstone South / Marlborough) should become low-traffic neighbourhoods, with measures to prevent rat-running by motorists trying to avoid the junction.
The speed limit on all roads in the area should be 20mph.
Our annual meeting where we will elect the committee to take us forward – please come along if you would like to help with our campaign. Positions available include co-ordinator, secretary, treasurer, rides co-ordinator, webmaster, and council liaison.
We have a couple of major campaigns in which we are liaising with the council – planning low-traffic neighbourhoods in Headstone South and surrounding areas, and developing a Liveable Neighbourhood proposal for central Harrow. Join us and help to make a difference!
The meeting is on Tuesday, 14 May 2019 from 19:30-21:00 at 60 Longley Road, Harrow, HA1 4TH.
We hope that councillors will vote to fund a feasibility study for the Headstone South low traffic neighbourhood and submit an application for a Liveable Neighbourhood (a TfL scheme which provides up to £10 million funding for borough-led walking and cycling proposals). Liveable Neighbourhood funding is currently the only funding stream available that can provide the large amounts of money that are needed to redesign major roads and junctions in order to make them suitable for walking and cycling.
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).
Click here for more information about the area and our proposals.
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.
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.
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.