Vaughan Road car park redevelopment, Oct 2016

Proposal

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.

Vaughan Road redevelopment website

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Harrow Cyclists initial response

Harrow Cyclists response to revised design (Jul 2017)

The improvements to the public realm near the subway are welcome. However, it is disappointing that the plans do not improve transport in the surrounding area. We strongly urge the council to consider our suggestions which we have previously stated:

1. Cycle path and subway

The conversion of the existing segregated cycle path to a shared use area on will lead to delays to cyclists and discomfort for pedestrians on what will be a designated ‘Metropolitan’ cycle route.
At the entrance to the subway, the cycle path is currently north of the footway, but swaps position with the footway under the middle of the roundabout. The gap between the cycle path and the northern wall of the subway is filled with hostile paving. This scheme should be a good opportunity to realign the cycle path and footway, to provide a continuous footway to the north and west of the cycle path. This would minimise cyclist / pedestrian conflict and maximise convenience, as I pointed out on the site visit last year (see modified plan below).
Harrow Cyclists suggestion to realign cycle path in subway

2. Cycling facilities in surrounding roads

The expectation of a car-free lifestyle for tenants of the new block is completely at odds with the prioritisation of motor vehicle capacity in the design of Harrow’s roads. There is no safe space for cycling in the surrounding streets, which needs to be addressed for this development to work. Vaughan Road needs changes to traffic flow to discourage through motor traffic, and removal of some parking to enable motor vehicles and cyclists to safely pass each other. Lowlands Road and Bessborough Road need segregated cycling facilities created by removing some space from motor vehicles.

3. Car parking

It is essential that convenient car parking is available for residents and visitors, whilst reducing the number of parking spaces on the minor roads in the area (especially Vaughan Road). The only way to do this is by encouraging people to convert from car ownership to hiring a car when necessary, by (1) providing car clubs and (2) increasing the cost of on-street parking. The surrounding area needs regulated parking for residents and short stay parking for visitors (currently there are patchy controlled parking zones with unrestricted parking on parts of Vaughan Road and Bouverie Road). The income from such a scheme can be used to fund road improvements, and can potentially be fed back to residents in the form of a council tax rebate so that they do not feel it is an unfair money-making exercise.

 

Wealdstone redevelopment, Dec 2016

Proposal

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.

Previous proposals

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.

Harrow Council’s Heart of Harrow mini-Holland proposal (2013)

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.

Current proposals

Overview of proposals

Current Wealdstone proposals overview

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

Current Wealdstone proposals details

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

You can download details of the proposals here.

Proposals for Ellen Webb Drive

The proposal for the Ellen Webb Drive junction is for this to be signalised with a toucan crossing and shared footway for cyclists.

Proposals for Goodwill Junction crossroads

The proposals for Goodwill Junction are for an additional left turn slip lane and a traffic island on Headstone Drive, but no cycling facilities.

Harrow Cyclists response

We sent the following email to all councillors on the Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Panel.

Continue reading Wealdstone redevelopment, Dec 2016

Alexandra Avenue junction, Jan 2017

Proposal

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.

Detour for cyclists at Alexandra Avenue

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.

Council response

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.

CS11 demonstration 8 Oct 2016

Cycle Superhighway 11 will involve changes to the Swiss Cottage gyratory and part-time gate closures of Regents Park to prevent through motor traffic using the outer circle during the day (while maintaining access to the park and zoo).

This will restore the dangerous and polluted Outer Circle of Regents Park to its original function as a place for recreation and exercise.

This route is important for Harrow Cyclists as some of us use the route to reach Central London.

The proposals have been well supported in public consultation, but a vocal minority of motorists is vehemently opposed to the scheme.

This is why it is vital to show strong pro-CS11 support at Saturday’s event.

The demonstration will take place at 11am on 8 October outside the Hampstead Theatre in Swiss Cottage. Please come along to show your support!

Brent Cyclists will be meeting at Gladstone Park (main bridge across the railway, at the foot of Parkside) at 10:30am to ride to Swiss Cottage. They will also pick up anyone who wants to wait at at Kilburn station at 10:45am. After seeing what goes on at the demo they will probably go to Regent’s Park for an ice-cream or something.

Meeting 5 Oct 2016

The meeting was held on Wednesday 5th October 2016, 7.30pm at 60 Longley Road, Harrow.

Apologies: Mohamed Ladha, Veronia Chamberlain

Attendees: Tony Levene, Anoop Shah

Minutes

LCC Annual General Meeting 15 October 2016

We discussed the LCC motions and would encourage all LCC members to vote in the trustee elections.

Harrow council’s proposed cycle schemes

We discussed the following two small-scale schemes proposed by Harrow for implementation this year:

  • A ‘tiger’ (zebra / cycle) crossing of Christchurch Avenue at the south end of the Belmont Trail, and a widened shared use footway on the south side of Christchurch Avenue linking it to Kenmore Avenue. We support this scheme, but would like the shared footway extended along Christchurch Avenue so that cyclists can reach Harrow Leisure Centre without having to negotiate the roundabout at Forward Drive.
  • Footway along the dual carriageway part of Imperial Drive converted to shared use, with removal of the current dangerous advisory cycle lanes in the door zone. We support this scheme as long at the footways are continuous along side road junctions in order to enforce pedestrian and cyclist priority.  A segregated cycle path would be preferable but would be more expensive. As the footways are wide and pedestrian density is low along this stretch the plan for shared footway is reasonable. The missing link between the Imperial Drive / Ridgeway junction and North Harrow station should be built next.

Liaison with councillors and engineers in improving Harrow’s transport policies

Harrow has approved a cycling strategy but many road schemes currently ignore cycling. We have written to all councillors asking for this to be changed, and for the London Cycling Design Standard to be applied, as it is in other London boroughs. Councillors Sue Anderson, Susan Hall, Ameet Jogia, Ajay Maru, Christine Robson, Sachin Shah, Norman Stevenson, Adam Swersky and Georgia Weston replied in support.

Anoop is meeting with council engineers on Friday 14 October to try to push for improvements.

Simple policy changes consistent with the London Cycling Design Standard (LCDS) which would cost nothing but make a difference include:

  • Allowing cyclists to travel in both directions on minor residential one-way streets (LCDS chapter 4, page 47) “Unless there are over-riding reasons not to, there should be a presumption that contraflow cycling should be provided for in any one-way street”.
  • Full-width sinusoidal speed bumps rather than speed cushions (LCD chapter 3, page 45) “Speed cushions are not recommended for cycle use … they rarely have a significant speed-reducing effect on certain wider-based vehicles and on powered two wheelers”.
  • 20mph speed limits in all residential zones and high streets rather than limited areas around schools (LCDS chapter 3, page 21) “An 85th percentile maximum speed of 20mph should be aimed for on roads forming part of designated cycling routes, including local streets, town squares and city places”.

Harrow mini-Holland

Harrow needs a massive investment in cycling and a comprehensive cycle network. This is particularly important near the town centre, where hundreds of new flats are about to be built. We need to decide on a strategy to maximise the chance of major investment in cycling in Harrow. This may include:

  • Producing a detailed plan and visualisation of a ‘Heart of Harrow’ cycle network
  • Arranging a Waltham Forest study tour for Harrow  councillors and engineers
  • Bike ride / photoshoot demonstration
  • Lobbying the London Assembly for more funding for cycling in outer London
  • Gaining the support of large organisations and community groups

Next meeting

To be arranged.

Meeting 6 Sep 2016

Minutes

Meeting Tuesday 6 September 2016, 7.30pm at 60 Longley Road, Harrow.

Attendees: Tony Levene, Penny, David Turner, Alan Blann, Mohamed Ladha, Anoop Shah

Finances

Our account balance is approximately £1700 but we spend only small amounts for publicity materials. LCC is requesting that boroughs which do not need all their money return half of it to LCC to be used by the central campaign.

Harrow Cyclists members present at the meeting voted on this motion and agreed to give back half of our balance.

Liaison with the council

We will email councillors who supported Space for Cycling 2 years ago and ask them what progress they have made towards these aims. We will publicize all responses on our website. We will also email Barry Kendler and Graham Henson with more detailed demands.

Harrow has a Cycling Strategy, with the aim of making the borough more cycling-friendly, but current road schemes still do not consider cycling as a worthwhile mode of transport.

Next meeting

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 5th October 2016, 7.30pm at 60 Longley Road.

Annual General Meeting, 4 May 2016

Attendees: Tony Levene, Anoop Shah, David Turner, Alan Blann, Veronica

Annual general meeting

1. Review of year

This year we successfully led a ride to Ride London in August 2015, we attended TARSAP meetings and other meetings with council officers and councillors and organised a lunchtime bike ride for the council. We have had discussions with politicians including Barry Kendler (head of TARSAP) and Navin Shah (our London Assembly member). Meeting attendance has been variable. We tried holding meetings in a pub but it was a noisy environment and did not lead to a significant increase in membership, so we have reverted to meetings at Tony’s house.

2. Accounts

Income: £180 from Prudential RideLondon feeder ride. Other income: £4 bank interest. Expenditure: £19 on meetings. Closing bank balance as at 31 March 2016: £1733.

Accounts approved by treasurer, secretary and co-ordinator.

3. Election of officers

Co-ordinator – Tony Levene re-elected

Secretary – Anoop Shah re-elected

Treasurer – David Turner re-elected

Rides – vacant position, any interest would be welcome (Veronica does rides for Breeze but does not have time to do general rides)

Website – Glenn has set up the infrastructure but now lives abroad, Ayesha set up the website but has not been involved recently, any interest would be welcome

4. Any other business

New Harrow constitution (based on LCC model constitution) approved by AGM.


Regular meeting

1. State of play at the council

We will approach the council after the Mayoral election to discuss new cycling schemes. We suggest encouraging Brent and Harrow councils to work together and hold a joint event with councillors and officers, with speakers from TfL and the mini-Holland boroughs. We would aim for September or October as a date for this meeting.

2. Mayoral manifestos and LCC actions

All Mayoral candidates have endorsed LCC’s motions for a mini-Holland in every borough.

3. Ride London

We expect we will be asked to lead a ride to the Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle on Saturday 31 July 2016. However, David and Tony will not be available that day. Veronica has agreed to lead the ride. David will ask Watford Spokes members if they would be willing to help.

We are in need of more marshals so please let us know if anyone else would be willing to help out.

4. Next meeting

Wed 15 June 2016, 7.30pm at Tony’s house (60 Longley Road)

5. Any other business

We would advise the council to develop high quality mini-Holland proposals. The proposals for the last cycle were hastily put together. Harrow engineers do not have experience of building high quality cycle facilities and have been refusing to implement the current London Cycle Design Standards. For a mini-Holland to be successfully planned and built in Harrow, appropriate people need to be employed on the project. If this cannot be found within the council, they need to budget consultancy money for developing schemes (e.g. consultancy services bought from LCC, which has contributed to the success of the Walthamstow mini-Holland).

March 2016 meeting

Minutes of meeting 23 March 2016

Attendees: Tony, Alan, Anoop, David Arditti, Veronica, Penny

Interface with the council

Tony had a meeting with Barry Kendler a few weeks after the TARSAP meeting. Tony suggested to Barry that Harrow builds the Hatch End / Sylvia Avenue link. Harrow council will be busy for the next couple of months; Barry has asked that we come back in June with new ideas, after the Mayoral election.

Tony suggested we concentrate on straight, direct routes. Provision should be segregated cycle lanes with a consistent level of provision, or mandatory cycle lanes in areas that are not wide enough. Anoop suggested that Harrow could hold an evening meeting or forum and invite speakers from TfL and mini-Holland boroughs. This would help Harrow to show TfL that it is enthusiastic for cycling.

Harrow Cyclists policies:

  • All cycle lanes should be mandatory with no car parking
  • No cycle lanes in door zone
  • Cycle routes should be along desire lines — a combination of segregation on main roads and closure of minor roads to through traffic
  • Follow the London Cycling Design Standards

Objectives of Harrow’s cycle route strategy:

  • Linking up schools to catchment areas
  • Linking up local town centres

We should focus on segregated routes along main roads initially.

The increasing number of small flats without parking means that walking, cycling and public transport will have to be the main means of transport for many residents in Harrow.

We will prepare a proposal to submit to the council after the Mayoral election.

David thinks there will not be enough cash for a mini-Holland in every borough, so there will be a competition. It is therefore important that Brent and Harrow learn from other mini-Holland boroughs.

Sign for Cycling campaign

Tony distributed campaign materials which we will use to try to get people to sign the petition for the Mayoral election.

Constitution

Harrow Cyclists will adopt the London Cycling Campaign model constitution, to replace our existing constitution.

Next meeting: Annual General Meeting, 4 May 2016

February 2016 meeting

Wed 24 Feb, 7.30pm, in the Harrow pub (269-271 Station Road, Harrow, London, HA1 2TB)

Agenda

1. Dealings with the council.

I think it might be an improvement if the
council told us what it is currently prepared to do rather than we react
to each proposal (by which it is too late). Tony is due to meet with
Cllr Barry Kendler (chairman of TARSAP) and hope we can move to a positive engagement.

2. Update on roadworks.

3. Sign up for Cycling.

This is the LCC campaign around the mayoral
elections. Do we wish to become involved and, if so, to what degree?

4. Group constitution.

We need to review our group Constitution. We could consider adopting the Model Constitution from LCC that most borough groups already do/ or will soon, subscribe to.

5. Venue.

This will be our second visit to the Harrow. Does it work?
Is it quiet enough? What are the other options?

6. Any other business.