Harrow Cyclists Annual General Meeting 14 May 2019

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.

Walking and cycling proposals at Harrow Council’s TARSAP meeting, Feb 2019

Harrow Council’s Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Panel meets on 26 Feb 2019. The agenda includes our Headstone South petition for a low traffic neighbourhood and our central Harrow Liveable Neighbourhood proposal.

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.

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).

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.

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.

Christmas social and drop-in session, 12 Dec 2018

Date and time: Wed 12 December 2018, 6.30pm – 9pm

Venue: Royal Oak pub, 86 St Anns Road, Harrow, HA1 1JP (outside St George’s shopping centre)

Come along for mince pies and a friendly chat at the Harrow Cyclists Christmas Social. We welcome anyone with an interest in improving Harrow’s streets – let us know your thoughts about your local area and ideas for making things better!

Please book on Eventbrite to let us know you’re coming.

 

Deputation to Harrow Council TARSAP meeting, 31 Oct 2018

Harrow’s Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Panel meets 3 times a year to consider traffic and parking schemes. This time one of the items on the agenda was the Local Implementation Plan (LIP), which outlines how Harrow will spend its transport budget over the next few years. Harrow Cyclists submitted a detailed response to the LIP.

Veronica of Harrow Cyclists submitted a deputation to the TARSAP, stating that although the objectives of the LIP were broadly in the right direction (to decrease car use and increase walking and cycling), the policies and delivery plan fell short and would fail to achieve the objectives.

In her speech, she summarised Harrow Cyclists’ recommendations:

  1. Low traffic neighbourhoods – these are quick and cheap to build, they improve air quality, increase walking and cycling and reduce driving. We recommend they are top priority to be built using existing funds, instead of cycle Quietways. A recent study in Waltham Forest showed an increase in life expectancy of 3 months due to improved air quality and increased walking and cycling.
  2. Default speed limit of 20mph on most streets, with a higher limit only where there are low numbers of pedestrians, and cyclists are segregated from motorists.
  3. Segregated cycle lanes along major roads, prioritising routes identified in TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis (e.g. Station Road, Sheepcote Road, Headstone Drive, Lowlands Road, Imperial Drive and Pinner Road).

Harrow engineers stated they were beginning to look into a default 20mph speed limit  and roads from which through traffic could be removed, but that support of residents and councillors was essential.

Veronica’s full speech is available here.

Visit to Waltham Forest mini-Holland, 9 Aug 2018

Harrow Cyclists, Harrow councillors (Jerry Miles and Sarah Butterworth) and a group of Harrow Traffic officers led by Barry Phillips came on a walking tour on a rainy afternoon in August, kindly arranged by Paul Gasson of Waltham Forest Cyclists.

Waltham Forest submitted a winning bid in the Mayor’s mini-Holland competition in 2013, and was awarded £30 million to improve walking and cycling in the borough. The borough has also allocated an additional £10 million from other funding sources, such as TfL LIP funding and section 106 developer contributions. They have built several low-traffic filtered neighbourhoods, where through motor traffic is excluded in order to make them pleasant places to live, walk and cycle. They have also started to build a network of high quality, segregated cycle routes along main roads.

These improvements have been possible because of strong political leadership and a collaborative approach between council officers and cycling campaigners. The council has encouraged local residents to take more ownership of their streets, and several new residents associations have sprung up.

The results so far have been impressive, and the schemes have won numerous awards. Motor traffic has decreased by 16% overall and 56% in filtered neighbourhoods, with a substantial reduction in collisions (see article). A study after 1 year showed that in high dose mini-Holland areas, people were walking 13% more and cycling 18% more (Aldred et al., 2018). Improvements in air quality have already resulted in a 6 week increase in predicted life expectancy for children in the borough (Dajnak et al., 2018).

modal_filter

We saw quite a few modal filters, where former through routes for motor traffic have been blocked by bollards or planting, creating pleasant and convenient routes for walking and cycling. These filters have been applied across whole neighbourhoods, making them quiet and pleasant, while maintaining access to all properties.

In front of one of the schools, a rain garden has been created by narrowing the road, and is being maintained by the school. The vast majority of children attending this school now walk or cycle because the surrounding streets are safe.

Many of the new areas of planting are maintained by local residents, who are taking new pride in their neighbourhood. The removal of motor traffic has allowed a resurgence of community spirit.

plants_maintained_by_residents

Crossing the main roads between filtered neighbourhoods is made easier by parallel zebra and cycle crossings, as shown below.

zebra_crossing

Waltham Forest is also building an extensive network of segregated cycle lanes along main roads. The photograph below shows Quietway 2, which has been squeezed in either side of trees, maintaining important segregation from motor vehicles.

quietway2

We saw some stepped tracks (kerb-separated cycle tracks mid-way between the footway and the carriageway). These require less space than fully segregated cycle lanes, and can be fitted on narrower roads, as in this example where space has been created by narrowing the carriageway and removing central hatching. This is an older example and is not up to Waltham Forest\’s current standard, which advocates red tarmac surfacing to distinguish it clearly from the footway and the roadway.

stepped_track

Cycle parking may not be provided in older flats or those which have been converted from houses, so on-street bike hangars (replacing car parking spaces) allow residents to rent a secure space to store their bike.

cycle_hangar

The town centre was pedestrianised before the mini-Holland scheme, but has since been improved, with walking and cycling improvements in the surrounding streets. This was an unusually rainy day in August; the street is usually much busier.

town_centre

Orford Road in Walthamstow Village is one of the major success stories of the mini-Holland project. It was previously congested and unpleasant, with many of the shops vacant. However, now that all motor traffic is prohibited 10am-10pm (except for one bus route), all the shops are occupied and a new village square has been created, which has become a real hub of the community.

orford_road

Mini-Holland is not just about walking, cycling, public health and air quality, it is also about community and improving quality of life. Reducing the dominance of motor traffic is key to making this happen.

The map below shows the new modal filters and other changes to traffic management that enabled Walthamstow Village to become a low-traffic neighbourhood.

waltham_forest_overview