Harrow’s transport Local Implementation Plan 2018 – consultation

Harrow is consulting on its new transport Local Implementation Plan.

https://consult.harrow.gov.uk/consult.ti/LIPdraft/consultationHome

(deadline 26 Oct)

We are preparing a formal response, so please let us know our thoughts so that they can be included. Our initial thoughts are as follows:

The document has broadly the right intent, based on the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, the London Plan with the aim of improving public health and transport in London. It is good to see reference to Vision Zero and Health Streets.

The document does not acknowledge why Harrow’s existing policies have failed in the past (i.e. that there has been a reluctance to cause inconvenience to motorists, as well as lack of funding), and does not make any assessment of quality when describing Harrow’s cycle network. It thus fails to explain why Harrow has such a low level of cycling despite a 41km cycle network. Most of Harrow’s cycle network is unsafe as it consists of narrow intermittent advisory cycle lanes on busy road, and the small sections that are segregated are inconvenient because they give way to minor roads and accesses. Harrow has the second highest rate of cycling casualties in London.

There is a lack of evidence-based, cost-effective, specific concrete proposals to achieve the objectives. Evidence is available from numerous research studies in the Netherlands and in Waltham Forest, on how to create an effective walking and cycling network, and its effects on public health. The draft LIP as it stands contains very little in the way of new interventions compared to what Harrow is doing already, and is therefore unlikely to achieve the desired improvements.

Removal of through traffic from minor streets is the most rapid and cost-effective intervention to simultaneously discourage car use for short journeys, make walking and cycling safer and more pleasant, and improve air quality and quality of life throughout an area. This should be a key policy in the LIP.

Problem Current intervention, as in current LIP Desired intervention, with evidence of benefit, as seen in the Netherlands and Waltham Forest
Through traffic on minor roads, making them unpleasant for walking, cycling and living Traffic calming (may reduce speed but not volume of traffic, streets remain unpleasant) Point closures of roads to entirely exclude through motor traffic from a network of minor roads, creating a 1-2 sq km low-traffic neighbourhood
Low levels of physical activity, high levels of car use for short journeys Encouragement (not effective, as people choose transport modes based on availability, cost, and comfort) Low traffic neighbourhoods, with direct routes not available to motor traffic, discouraging car use for short journeys.
Cycle routes are unsafe, unpleasant or indirect Signposting minor roads as ‘Quietways’ (but may not be direct, and some minor roads have too much traffic) Segregated cycle lanes along major roads, to be incorporated in all new road schemes, and funding sought to create a comprehensive network.
High traffic speeds Expansion of 20mph zones Area-wide default 20mph speed limit, except on specific major roads where a higher limit is safe and appropriate.
High car ownership Car club in Harrow town centre and other new developments Comprehensive availability of car clubs throughout the more urban, denser parts of Harrow. Comprehensive cycle network to make cycling an option for many journeys.

 

Jubilee Quietway

In 2013, Harrow council proposed a segregated cycle route along Honeypot Lane and Marsh Lane as part of the mini-Holland bid. No funding was forthcoming, so now they are planning to use a small amount of LIP funding to provide the route as a ‘Quietway’, mostly  along minor roads instead.

The initial proposal crossed Honeypot Lane back and forth and took a detour, which is unsatisfactory. Now the council is thinking of converting one of the motor vehicle lanes on Honeypot Lane into a cycle track. We will update this page as more information becomes available.

Waltham Forest Mini-Holland tour, 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.

Harrow Council and Harrow Cyclists tour of Waltham Forest
Harrow Council and Harrow Cyclists tour of Waltham Forest

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 in Waltham Forest
Modal filter in Waltham Forest, preventing the route from being used by through traffic

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.

Rain garden outside a school
Rain garden outside a school, adopted by the school and using space that was previously part of the road.

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.

Roadside plants adopted by local residents
Roadside plants adopted by local residents

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

Zebra and parallel cycle crossing between two low-traffic neighbourhoods
Zebra and parallel cycle crossing between two low-traffic neighbourhoods

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.

Quietway 2
Quietway 2, showing a compromise design that enables cyclists to be separated from motor vehicles despite the location of the trees

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 cycle track
Stepped cycle track segregated from motor vehicles, with space created by narrowing the lanes and removing central hatching

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.

Bike hangar for residential cycle parking
Bike hangar for residential cycle parking

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.

Pedestrianised town centre in Walthamstow
Pedestrianised town centre in Walthamstow, built before the mini-Holland scheme

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
Orford Road, previously choked with traffic but now a pleasant mini high street

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.

Overview map of Waltham Village scheme within mini-Holland
Overview map of Waltham Village scheme within mini-Holland

 

Meeting 22 Aug 2018

Minutes

Attendees: Tony Levene, Veronica Chamberlain, Anoop Shah, Glenn Stewart, Penny Hayward

1. Review of mini-Holland tour

The tour was well attended by engineers and two of the councillors on TARSAP also attended (Jerry Miles – chair, Sarah Butterworth). During the tour we discussed barriers to implementing a similar strategy in Harrow. Lack of funding was a prominent theme but lack of political will seemed to be just as important, if not more.
Ideas that we would like to see implemented in Harrow include low traffic neighbourhoods, segregated cycle paths along main roads, bike hangars, car clubs and dockless bike hire. It would also be good to have a collaborative approach between council officers and campaigners, as in Waltham Forest.

2. Proposal for Harrow cycle network / Liveable Neighbourhood

Veronica proposed the name ‘Healthy Streets for Harrow’ as the name of the campaign for mini-Holland style improvements in Harrow. This campaign would aim to appeal to non-cyclists, and we would seek support from a wide range of health and community organisations in Harrow. At this stage the emphasis would be for the council to agree on the principles, aiming for the benefits of healthy children, clean air, more physical activity etc., rather than asking for commitment to individual schemes. Cycling should be considered a normal transport option.

Healthy Streets for Harrow will have a facebook page and a Twitter account.

3. Future meeting and liaison with the council

Anoop will arrange a meeting with council officers and aim to do a joint presentation at the next Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Panel meeting. This presentation should emphasise the widespread benefits of the mini-Holland scheme, including air quality, healthy children, public health and better transport. This should be framed in the context of the Mayoral Transport Strategy and Harrow’s Cycling and environmental strategies. We note that Kingston has misused some mini-Holland funds to improve the roads for motorists, but Enfield has been doing good work. Waltham Forest was chosen for the tour as it was easy to get to and is the most advanced of all the mini-Holland boroughs.

Some councillors stated they were interested in a mini-Holland tour but were not able to attend. Anoop will email an update to all councillors, asking those who stated an interest in a mini-Holland tour which dates they can make.

Tony has met Varsha Parmar and introduced the idea about investing in walking and cycling, and will invite her to one of our committee meetings.

Harrow’s Cycling Strategy dated 2015-2018 is coming to the end, and we should hold the council to account for what they stated they would have achieved. Tony will review the strategy and also the party manifestos, and write a press release about progress on cycling to date.

Waltham Forest has been using money from motorist fines to improve the streets. Tony will find out what happens to parking income and fines in Harrow, as we suspect they may be diverted to other budgets.

4. Rides

The ride to and from Ride London was successful. We had about 45 riders on the way in and 15 on the way back, and Tesco Harrow kindly provided water and fruit for people at the start.
The rides programme has been popular, except that family rides are poorly attended and we decided that we would not do them in future. We are trying to organise a regular drop-in session at the Red Cup Cafe after bike rides, to start to build a grassroots movement and get more help for the campaign.
Veronica will give out questionnaires after the bike ride this Saturday (25 August)

5. Next meeting

Wednesday 10th October, 7.30pm at 60 Longley Road, Harrow, HA1 4TH

Meeting 4 July 2018

Minutes of Harrow Cyclists meeting held on 4 July 2018 at 60 Longley Road, Harrow.

Present: Tony, Penny, Veronica

Apologies: Anoop

Mini-Holland visit:

Anoop was organising a visit to Waltham Forest for Harrow Council officers and councillors [now August 9th]. Tony to contact Varsha Parmar to encourage her to engage with us, stressing availability of S106 and TfL funding. Suggested she might see us September. He suggested a basic discussion: why Harrow has such low levels of cycling and why it is not attracting TfL money.

Ride London:

Tony to respond to Thea’s email. Tony will lead into London at 9am and Veronica back at 3.30pm. Possible marshals: Rhys and his sister Ciara; Penny, David Turner, John O’Connor, Mark Humphryes, Breeze Champions Evelyn, Debbie, Janet, Vicky, Nicky; Amanda and Nick Deal, Jo Payne; could do appeal in the Harrow Cyclists letsride Group. Veronica to ask Anoop for Harrow Cyclists leaflets to hand out to riders and to try to recruit marshals. These are especially for Tony to hand out in the morning and publicise our work.

Harrow Cyclists’ led rides:

July – Ride London

August 25th (NB Saturday) – Veronica at 1pm, finishing at Red Cup Cafe North Harrow

Sep 30th – David

October 28th – Penny

November 25th – possibly Anoop? Veronica to ask

Financial matters:

Tony to ask David for petty cash and clarify/update cheque signatories.

Building a Campaign:

We agreed that we needed to widen the campaign and develop a vision to involve other Harrow people and groups, beginning with those who supported the election Liveable Neighbourhoods campaign. Veronica will contact Lib Dem candidates especially Pietro Rescia who is a cyclist and transport engineer [now done – very interested] , also Breeze riders and other candidates. We should get people out on the ‘Quietway’ about to be installed (a few measures along the Met Line). Ask Harrow Council to advertise our rides in their e-newsletter. We have about 40 LCC members (Anoop has list?). Put Harrow Cyclists leaflets on bikes at station parks.

We would finish our rides at the Red Cup Cafe and have a regular meet-up there for cyclists, beginning on 25th August.

Date of next meeting: possibly August 20, 21 or 22. Veronica to check with Anoop.

 

Ebury Way family ride, 1 Jul 2018

Harrow Cyclists is leading a ride along the Ebury Way, an old railway route in Watford, on Sunday 1 Jul 2018.

We will meet outside Harrow & Wealdstone Station at 0945, Harrow side off Sandridge Close, HA3 5BP

  •  8 miles
  •  Hybrid (off road tyres), Hybrid (road tyres), Road
  •  2 hr 40 mins

Please register on letsride (https://www.letsride.co.uk/rides/harrow-cyclists-ebury-way-family-ride).

a borough group of the London Cycling Campaign