Northwick Park and St Marks’ hospitals and the University of Westminster Harrow campus are situated on the Brent / Harrow border. However, walking and cycling routes in the area are very poor. Northwick Park roundabout was built during an era when cars were thought to be the future of transport. It has wide lanes which encourage speeding, and is hostile even for motorists.
Why is this a problem?
The poor road layout means that patients, visitors, staff and students cannot walk or cycle safely to the hospital and university. This puts more pressure on car parks and public transport.
What can be done?
Walking and cycling links to the university and hospital are very poor, but there is plenty of scope for improvement without reducing capacity for motor vehicles.
Northwick Park Roundabout has multiple lanes and no signals, encouraging high vehicle speeds. The roads leading to the roundabout are dual carriageways only for short sections, so this extra road space does not create extra useful traffic capacity. There is currently a subway on the southern arm and an inconvenient two-stage toucan crossing on the western arm, but no pedestrian crossings of the other arms.
What are we proposing?
We propose cycle lanes on all approach roads and on the roundabout itself, with safe pedestrian and cycle crossings of the roundabout arms.
How will this help me?
For motorists – Less speeding on the roundabout and approach roads means lower risk of collisions. If people can walk or cycle instead of drive, there will be less congestion and less pressure on car parking spaces
For pedestrians – Safer and more convenient to cross the road
For cyclists – Safer and more convenient to travel to work or university
For public transport users – Less crowding on public transport
For disabled people – Easier to cross the road or travel on a mobility scooter or special bicycle
What might the road design look like?
This is a possible design with cycle lanes around the roundabout and signals at the junctions.
Watford Road currently has slip roads leading to the hospital which encourage high speeds. Cyclists and pedestrians are squeezed into a narrow shared footway but there are 4 or 5 lanes for motor traffic. We propose removing one motor vehicle lane, tightening approach roads and providing zebra and cycle crossings across access roads.
We also propose cycle lanes on Kenton Road and Sheepcote Road / Station Road, so that people can cycle safely to the hospital and university from any direction.