Why is this needed now?
Update 2/7/2020: As the economy reopens post the COVID-19 lockdown, it is essential to avoid overcrowding on public transport or increased traffic on our roads. Without measures to increase walking and cycling, TfL predicts that traffic could increase by up to 50% in Harrow, which would be extremely harmful for people’s health and the environment. Harrow and other London boroughs have been required to rapidly improve conditions for walking and cycling by building temporary cycle lanes and removing through traffic from minor streets. Funding has been allocated for this purpose, and the council is required to put the measures in place within weeks.
West Harrow is a residential neighbourhood containing a school (Vaughan School), where residents submitted a petition asking for traffic to be reduced in the area. This was due to be considered by the council, with a plan for a community consultation and development of a scheme. However, the COVID-19 means that temporary measures need to be put in place before there is time for a full consultation. The temporary measures can last for up to 18 months, and it is likely that a consultation will take place during that time about making them permanent.
What are the council’s plans and how can I give feedback?
Click here to download the council’s temporary plan for West Harrow. You can comment on the scheme here: https://harrowstreetspacesproposals.commonplace.is/schemes/proposals/low-traffic-neighbourhoods/details
How will traffic flow with the new arrangements?
Current traffic flows for access
Currently there is full access to any of the residential areas from any of the access routes.
Current flows of through traffic
Currently, there are multiple routes through the area which avoid junctions on the main roads, e.g.:
- From Pinner Road to Imperial Drive via The Gardens and Blenheim Road
- Pinner Road to Bessborough Road via Vaughan Road
- Porlock Avenue to Pinner Road via Drury Road and The Gardens
- Bessborough Road to Pinner Road via Butler Avenue, Butler Road and The Gardens
There can be heavy traffic on some of these routes, and also speeding as people are in a rush to travel through the area.
Traffic flows with point closures in place
Point closures will be located at West Harrow station (which is also near the entrance to Vaughan School) and on Blenheim Road. With these point closures in place, there will be no through traffic in the area. Access to each of the residential zones will be only from the nearest access point.
The point closures will substantially reduce traffic in the area, particularly near the entrance of the school and the station, where there are large numbers of pedestrians. This will make it safer for children to walk to school, and also make the whole area more pleasant and safer for walking and cycling.
Will there be more traffic on surrounding roads?
No, we do not expect that this scheme will increase traffic on surrounding roads.
When low traffic neighbourhoods have been built elsewhere, there has typically not been an increase in traffic on surrounding streets, because the improved walking and cycling conditions lead to a reduction in car journeys.
On the other hand, without any measures to improve walking and cycling in Harrow, it is almost certain that there will be a major increase in traffic on all roads in Harrow as people go back to work or school but avoid public transport.
Can the details of the scheme (e.g. location of point closures) be altered?
It is likely that the temporary scheme will be installed as per the original plan because of the short timescale. Feedback from the temporary scheme can be used in the design of the permanent scheme.