Harrow Cyclists provided feeder rides to and from the RideLondon FreeCycle in Central London. The FreeCycle is an event for all abilities, where people will be able to cycle around an 8-mile circuit in Central London along roads closed to motor traffic.
We had about 40 people on the outward ride, which was led by Tony, and 15 people on the return ride led by Veronica.
Come and explore central London on a bike! You will be amazed at the places you can reach. Our journey will explore useful back roads, plus some of the new quality superhighways that London Cycling Campaign has fought for.
We will meet at the Harrow entrance to Harrow & Wealdstone Station (near the Civic Centre) at 9.45am. We shall catch the fast train into Euston (please bring your Oyster or contactless card).
Please bring water and a bike lock. You can bring a packed lunch or buy something en route.
Return time will be around 4-5pm. It may be easier to return via Baker Street or Marylebone.
Lovely day for our second regular Harrow Cyclists’ ride beginning at The Bike Shop in North Harrow. We did a loop round Ruislip, Eastcote and Harrow through parks, quiet roads and paths to reach the new cafe at Headstone Manor for a well-deserved coffee/smoothie and delicious cakes. Also managed to interest some of the customers outside the Bike Shop in joining us next time! Thanks to Penny for back-marking and guiding us through the junctions, as well as Anoop, Divya, Pinar, Tony, Nicola, Tapash, Jo, Amanda, David and Vicky for coming.
Wed 10 May, 7.30pm at 60 Longley Road, Harrow, HA1 4TH.
Attendees: Tony, Alan, David Turner, Anoop
1. Report on the year
In 2016-2017 we led a successful ride to and from the RideLondon FreeCycle, with about 60 people on the way in and 30 people on the way back. However, we have not made much progress with the council, and key cycle routes proposed in the Vision for Cycling and the Cycling Strategy have been abandoned in the new Heart of Harrow development.
2. Finances 2016-2017
Income: £2 (bank interest)
(Income from Prudential RideLondon 2016 has not yet been received)
Opening balance at 1/4/2016 £1733
Closing balance at 31/3/2017 £1735
Money from police project to refurbish bicycles (about 6 years ago) will be transferred from restricted funds to general funds.
We originally responded to LCC’s request for funds by offering £1000 for LCC central funds, but they have not requested it so far. We therefore decide to keep this money in the Harrow account. David Turner and Anoop Shah will be the signatories for cheques.
We had our first regular Harrow Cyclists’ ride on Sunday led by Penny – great turnout! Thanks to Catherine, Pinar, Nutan, Anoop, Divya, Tony, Tim, Veronica, Claire, Sue and Marie for coming. Here we are ready to set off from The Bike Shop in North Harrow. Look out for our rides. The next is a 14-mile one on Sunday 28th May, so do sign up on the Letsride website:
Minutes of meeting on Wednesday 1 March, 7.30pm at 60 Longley Road
Attendees: Tony, Anoop, Penny, Veronica
Apologies: Alan Blann
1. Heart of Harrow route
In the 2013 Vision for Cycling, Harrow council proposed a route along Station Road, which currently has no cycling facilities. This important route has been removed from recent Harrow proposals but we propose that it should have high quality cycle tracks from Northwick Park roundabout to Wealdstone.
2. Wealdstone regeneration
The new civic centre will have limited parking, which means that many employees will no longer be able to drive. We could push for Harrow council to encourage its staff to cycle, as Ealing council did when they moved their civic centre. The proposed redevelopment of roads around Wealdstone will have minimal cycling facilities.
3. Harrow politics
With the upcoming council elections, we aim to engage with both main political parties to encourage councillors to commit to improving cycling conditions in Harrow. Anoop will try to arrange a meeting with Susan Hall (conservative).
4. Rides programme
We would like to have a regular rides programme to help to engage new members. Rides will be at a gentle speed, 10-20 miles with a coffee stop, on Sunday mornings.
Sun 23 April 2017, Ride around Harrow, Penny to lead, starting at North Harrow bike shop
Sun 28 May 2017, Veronica to lead a ride
Sun 25 June 2017, Tony to lead a ride
Sat 29 July 2017, Ride to/from Prudential RideLondon, Veronica / Tony to lead outward and return rides
Sun 20 Aug 2017, Anoop to lead a ride
We will advertise rides on nextdoor.com (a local neighbourhood social website) and letsride.co.uk (British Cycling) as well as the usual channels. The aim is to build up a community with regular rides in order to eventually increase the number of activists.
5. Next meeting
The next meeting will be our Annual General meeting. The provisional date will be 19 April 2017, 7.30pm at 60 Longley Road.
Harrow Council is proposing a ‘safety’ scheme at the High Street / Long Elmes roundabout which involves making the approaches wider to stop buses from being stuck in traffic. However the roundabout itself is too wide and dangerous, and there is no protected space for cycling.
Harrow Council is proposing to build flats on the site of the Vaughan Road car park. Each flat would have access to indoor cycle parking but there will be only 3 standard and 3 disabled car parking spaces for the whole development of about 30 flats.
Harrow Cyclists response
We have asked for the adjacent subway under the Roxborough Bridge roundabout to be made more cyclist and pedestrian friendly, and for cycle routes along nearby roads to be improved.
Harrow Council is proposing a £3million redevelopment of the roads in Wealdstone town centre. This will involve rerouting buses, removing pedestrian guardrail and improving some pedestrian crossings. The existing short section of cycle track alongside the Peel House car park (which will become the new civic centre) will be retained but there will be no new segregated cycle tracks, and proposed cycle routes which were in Harrow’s 2013 Cycling Vision (mini-Holland bid) and the current Cycling Strategy are not included in the plans. Disappointingly, the Goodwill to All junction (Headstone Drive / Harrow View) will be redeveloped with inconvenient multi-stage crossings for pedestrians and additional motor traffic lanes, but no space for cycling.
Vision for Cycling (2013)
In the ‘Vision for Cycling’ submitted as the mini-Holland bid in 2013, Harrow proposed a ‘Heart of Harrow’ cycle route along the Station Road corridor (orange in the map blow). You can download the document here.
There was also a Cross-Harrow cycle route proposed along Headstone Drive (red in the map above). More details about the proposals can be downloaded here.
Heart of Harrow Action Plan (2014)
In the Heart of Harrow Area Action Plan (a detailed development plan for Harrow and Wealdstone town centres), the Station Road corridor was identified as a key cycling desire line along which cycling facilities were poor.
Improvements proposed for Wealstone Town Centre included replacement of the George Gange Way roundabout with a signalised junction and a new walking/cycling bridge over the railway between the Kodak site and Tudor Road. You can download the document here.
Overview of proposals
The overview map shows a number of proposed cycle routes (green lines), including the cross-Harrow route. However, the Station Road route is absent. The overall network is quite sparse, and needs to be supplemented by cycle-friendly minor roads and good permeability for cyclists among the residential road network (avoiding unnecessary one-way systems or detours).
The Station Road route has been dropped because the road is ‘too narrow’, although nothing has changed since the 2013 Vision for Cycling when it was considered wide enough to become a key cycle route.
Details of proposals in Wealdstone town centre
Details of the town centre proposals include re-routing of buses and removal of pedestrian guardrailing. However, there are also some changes proposed which will make cycling more difficult:
One-way traffic on Palmerston Road with no cyclist exemption
One-way bus traffic on part of the High Street with no cyclist exemption
Conversion of the segregated cycle track outside Trinity Church (part of the cross-Harrow cycle route) to a shared use public square, intended to be used for markets and public events
Harrow council is proposing to convert a semi-circle at the junction of Alexandra Avenue, Treganna Avenue and Arundel Drive to one-way operation. Unfortunately there will be no exemption to the one-way system for cyclists, meaning that some cycle routes joining or leaving the Alexandra Avenue cycle track will become long and circuitous.
There are no proposed improvements to the Alexandra Avenue cycle track itself, which suffers from poor surfacing and lack of priority over side roads.
Harrow Cyclists response
We officially objected to this scheme.
Retaining two-way cycle access is recommend in current guidelines and would be safe. We believe that local improvements to the Alexandra Avenue cycle track should be included in this scheme.
The council is going ahead with the scheme as planned, with no modifications. Their response:
I am writing to inform you that your objection has been considered by the Traffic and Highway Asset Service Manager in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Crime & Community Safety and has been set aside.
They did not explain the rationale for the changes, so we emailed them again on 9 Feb 2017:
Thank you for your response. However, we are still unclear as to the justification for the works presented. We believe they will degrade the already poor provision for cycling in this area and contravene Harrow’s Cycling Strategy, the public health policy and the London Cycling Design Standard.
Exemption of cyclists from new one way restriction:
The London Cycling Design Standard states that cyclists should be exempt from one way restrictions unless it is unsafe. This is a minor road which is wide enough for contraflow cycling, which is permitted in similar situations in other boroughs (which have a much better cycling safety record than Harrow). If safety was a serious concern, a segregated contraflow cycle lane could be built.
Cycle track priority over side roads:
A poor design feature of the cycle track when it was originally built was that it did not have priority over side roads, thus making cycling inconvenient and dangerous. The London Cycling Design Standard states that cycle tracks should have priority over side roads. Best practice would be for the track to be slewed gently away from the junction by a car length, which there is space to do here.
Please could you explain Harrow Council’s justification for these two aspects of the scheme.