January 2016 meeting

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: The Harrow pub (near Debenhams), 269-271 Station Rd, London, Harrow HA1 2TB

Attendees: Tony Levene, Anoop Shah, David Arditti, Alan Blann, Penny, Kevin

1. Recent interactions with Harrow Council

Tony reported back from a meeting with councillors. Some councillors are keen for Harrow to be doing more for cycling but this seems to be resisted within other quarters of the council. Anoop reported that the new Cycling Strategy had been recently approved by the cabinet. Now we need to push for its implementation, particularly (1) considering cycling as a useful mode of transport to be planned for in all road schemes, and (2) following design guidelines.

2. Station Road development

We reviewed the plans for the redevelopment of Station Road, which involves filling in service roads (with the loss of some car parking) and provision of a short section of bidirectional cycle track to link up some routes. This is a slight improvement but there is a need for a longer route along Sheepcote Road going as far as Northwick Park roundabout. This would entail reducing the number of motor traffic lanes from 4 to 2 or 3 along this section of road, which the council are opposed to, even though other sections of the road have only two lanes so the overall motor traffic capacity of the route is equivalent to a two-lane road.

3. Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Panel Meeting

We discussed the option of sending a deputation to the Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Panel meeting on Thursday 11 February, and members resident in Harrow signed a deputation form which we can use (signatures of 10 residents are required; Anoop will obtain further signatures to make up the numbers). This deputation will allow us to make a show of strength in front of a large number of councillors. Once we have the councillors on our side we need to convince them to actively enforce change rather than passively accepting whatever the engineers offer.

4. Venue and next meeting

We discussed whether this new venue was suitable. It was easy to find but was slightly noisy, but should be quieter on a Wednesday which is our usual meeting night. We agreed to hold the next meeting in the same venue on a Wednesday evening in February.

September 2015 meeting

Wed 23 Sep 2015

Attendees: Tony, Allan, Anoop

We discussed the motions at the forthcoming LCC AGM, which we agreed to support. Any members who wish to attend the LCC AGM on 17 October are welcome to do so.

We discussed potential future campaign aims. The Sylvia Avenue footpath is part of a missing link between Harrow and Watford, and is quite a useful route as it links up with cycle paths in Carpenders Park and is fairly flat and level, being close to the railway line. Making this route suitable for cycling is eminently possible with co-operation of Harrow and Three Rivers District Council. The surface of the path requires tarmac in order to make it suitable for ordinary bikes, and some barriers need to be removed.

July 2015 meeting

The next meeting of Harrow Cyclists will be on Wednesday 29 July 2015 at 7.30pm. Venue: 60 Longley Road, Harrow

Last year’s ride

This is an important meeting to discuss the arrangements for the feeder ride to the RideLondon FreeCycle on 1 August. We still need more marshals for the ride, so please let us know if you are available (bikecampaign@harrowcyclists.org.uk).

June 2015 meeting

Next meeting: Wed 24 June, 7.30pm
Venue: 60 Longley Road, Harrow
Please try to come along!

The agenda includes planning for the feeder ride for the Prudential Ride London on 1 August.

Annual General Meeting 29 April 2015

Annual General Meeting – Wednesday 29 April at 7.30pm.
Venue: 60 Longley Road, Harrow, HA1 4TH

Attendees: Tony, Anoop, David Turner, Alan Blann

Apologies: Frank, Sam, Ayesha


Presentation of accounts 2014-2015

Account balance at start of the financial year: £1619 general + £364 restricted funds
Expenditure: £233 (banner and leaflets)
Income: £164 (leading a ride into central London for RideLondon)
Account balance at end of the financial year: £1550 general + £364 restricted funds
The restricted funds were earned some years ago for work we did repairing stolen bicycles for the police. As we have not had correspondence from the police regarding conditions for the use of these funds, we resolve that they can be moved to the main pot.

Election of officers for 2015-2016

The officers were re-elected as follows:
Co-ordinator – Tony
Treasurer – David Turner
Secretary and council liaison – Anoop (however as Anoop will have less time available in coming months, we would like another person to join him in this role)
Ayesha and Glenn were not at this meeting but we assume they are willing to continue their current role as webmasters, and we will contact them about this.

Liaison with Harrow council

Anoop met with Kevin on Monday to discuss the Cycling Strategy. We have fed into the Cycling Strategy to emphasize the need for cycling to be considered in all planning schemes, and a possible mechanism would be for Harrow Cyclists to be consulted at an early stage – not when the plans have already been finalised and it is too late to make any changes. This will be emphasized in a letter to all councillors.

Harrow Quietway

TfL has sent Harrow Council a new route for a Quietway. This replaces the previous 3 routes for which we prepared a response. The new route goes from Kenton Station to Harrow on the Hill then to Harrow & Wealdstone and on to the centre of Wealdstone. It is not a straight route and it would not be useful for anyone planning to go all the way, as it would be preferable to take a shortcut. There has been no consultation with Harrow Council on the chosen route, nor any rationale or indication of the level of funding required. Anoop is going to ask for clarification from Andrew Gilligan, and depending on the outcome, we can advise Harrow Council how to respond and contact our London Assembly members.

LCC Borough grant

We decided not to ask for the borough grant this year, as our expenditure has not justified it.

Prudential RideLondon 1 August 2015

Last year we had initially been reluctant to lead a ride but eventually decided to lead one as far as Brent, but the ride became chaotic when we joined the Brent group. We note that the RideLondon event itself was poorly organised with lack of catering for ride marshals and confusion as to where people should meet for the return ride. We decided it would be a good idea to lead a ride again this year because otherwise LCC would find other people to lead the ride and it would not look good for Harrow Cyclists. However, we will not be leading a return ride. We will not be joining the Brent group. The Harrow ride has been consistently popular, with 50-60 people on the way in, some of whom have travelled from far outside London and want to enjoy a longer led ride in the city before the event itself.

Future campaigns

Cycle routes along Station Road and along Kenton Road, Lowlands Road and Roxeth Green Avenue (the Roxbourne route) will be the high-profile routes to focus our campaign, as we have a good rationale for why these particular routes should be built now. We will plan a sustained campaign for these routes to be included in future funding applications.

February 2015 meeting

Minutes 25 Feb 2015

Attendees: Tony, David Turner, Alan, Anoop, Rupesh, Jackie

Apologies: Sam, Ayesha, David Arditti, Penny

1. Council plans and TfL Quietways

Last year TfL investigated some potential cycle routes across Harrow, including the ‘Jubilee Route’ (along Honeypot Lane), the ‘Metropolitan Route’ (Harrow town centre to Pinner) and the ‘Cross-Harrow route’ (Northolt to Edgware via Rayners Lane station and Harrow & Wealdstone station). These are routes which Harrow Council and Harrow Cyclists have proposed.

However, TfL’s current proposals are:

1. Northwick Park Station to College Road via Gayton Road (part of this is already signposted as a cycle route, but the narrow tunnel under Northwick Park station is not suitable for a designated cycle route)

2. Harrow View, Courtenay Avenue and part of Uxbridge Road (but it is unclear what infrastructure will be provided on Harrow View, we think the road is too narrow for adequate cycle lanes)

3. Harrow Town Centre to West Harrow station (existing residential road) then towards Rayners Lane station (through West harrow recreation ground, minor roads and a footpath) then on to Eastcote via minor roads and through parks.

The level of intervention planned on these routes has not yet been determined, but we are determined to ensure that it is of good quality and meets the London Cycling Design Standards. Much of the current cycling infrastructure in Harrow is of poor quality, e.g. cycle lanes that are narrower than the minimum standard and are dangerous because they encourage motorists to overtake too closely.

2. Leaflets

We have just taken delivery of 500 folded A4 colour leaflets (cost £121.19). The leaflets describe our call for Space for Cycling and include a map showing our vision of a cycle network for Harrow. They can be left in bike shops or brought to cycling events or given to other interested people.

Alan will leave some at Wealdstone library. Tony will give some leaflets to the North Harrow bike shop. David Turner will give some leaflets to the Rayners Lane bike shop. Rupesh is a member of the Canons Residents Association and will hand some leaflets to interested members. Jackie is a cycle trainer and took some leaflets to give to her students.

3. Letter to councillors

We plan to write to all councillors reminding them of the Space for Cycling campaign and specifically asking them to implement Harrow’s cycling strategy. We will point out the problems with the Belmont Trail (in order to be advertised as a cycle route it should be complete, and finished with an all-weather surface), and the lack of cycle provision in new planning schemes. As well as requesting TfL money for major schemes (e.g. Quietways), the council should ensure that section 106 money is used to support cycling and not waste money on poor quality schemes (e.g. narrow cycle lanes or bicycles painted on hostile roads).

We will aim to meet with the portfolio holder for transport and the environment (Varsha Parmar) after publication of Harrow’s cycling strategy.

4. Major new scheme

We discussed options for a major scheme to campaign for. There is a whole network of desired routes, but focussing on a single route will help to focus people’s attention and may be more effective given our limited resources. Suggestions included the Jubilee Quietway (along Honeypot Lane) and the Lowlands Road / Roxeth Green Avenue / Eastcote Lane route (Roxbourne).

We chose to prioritise the Roxbourne route for the following reasons:

  • It passes close to 3 secondary schools (Whitmore, Rooks Heath and Harrow High) and a sixth form college (Greenhill College). Encouraging pupils to cycle to school is important for their future health and in shaping their future transport choices.
  • It will be a popular cycle route — parts of the route are already used by commuters, especially near the station.
  • The eastern end is close to Northwick Park Hospital and the University of Westminster.
  • It serves Harrow on the Hill station, the town centre, and several shopping parades
  • It connects existing sections of segregated cycle path along Alexandra Avenue and Roxeth Green Avenue
  • It upgrades sections of existing substandard cycle route
  • Part of the route already has segregated infrastructure (Roxeth Green Avenue) which required redesign of the road, showing that it is possible and feasible in this area.

The route passes through the following wards, and we will write to councillors in these wards with a specific request for them to support it:

  • Harrow on the Hill
  • Roxeth
  • Roxbourne
  • Greenhill
  • West Harrow


5. Next meeting

To be decided — probably the last week in March. We will also need to hold an Annual General Meeting soon. We discussed the frequency of meetings – every 2 months was felt to be too infrequent but monthly was too frequent.

January 2015 meeting

Minutes of Harrow Cyclists meeting Wed 28 January 2015

Attendees: Tony, Anoop, Alan, Ayesha

1. Feedback from LCC local groups forum (15 January 2015)

Anoop fed back from the local groups forum, where the LCC space for cycling petitions in individual boroughs were discussed. There were 4000 responses overall, but the number of responses varied widely between boroughs. In Harrow we felt that the number of individual responses was not high enough to make it worth presenting to the council but we could instead write to councillors asking them to fulfil their Space for Cycling pledges and implement the Harrow Cycling strategy.

2. Meetings with Harrow Council

Anoop has had meetings with Kevin Ratnasingam of Harrow Council, who had taken on board many of our comments regarding the cycling strategy. Specifically we wanted to ensure that cycling was considered in all planning schemes, and that there is an aspiration for a wider cycle network in Harrow which goes beyond the 3 planned Quietway routes.

The council has been talking about the need for external funding, but we decided to push for some simple measures which are necessary for a better cycling environment but do not require TfL funding. We will campaign for a 20mph borough-wide limit on all non-trunk roads, proper surfacing of the Belmont trail and removal of pedestrian guard rails (which cause inconvenient detours for pedestrians and are dangerous for cyclists). We will start to compile a database of small improvements which can be carried with small amounts of spare cash.

The next TARSAP meeting is 12 February, and Anoop will attend.

3. Harrow cyclists strategy

Attendance at meetings has been low recently, because many people are too busy to attend even though they support our aims. We will try to do more work electronically, and have fewer meetings in the winter. We will try to organise rides in the spring and summer.

Harrow Cyclists currently has a loose ‘committee’ of members who have elected positions or are actively involved and attend meetings. We decided this should be formalised and that the committee should have access to a secure online folder of electronic material on Google Drive. The committee currently consists of: Tony, Anoop, Glenn, Ayesha, David Turner, Alan and Veronica.

We plan to email to all councillors asking them to push for the measures outlined above. We will also print 500 A4 folded leaflets to distribute to bike shops and at events, which will cost about £130.

4. Next meeting

We may reduce the frequency of meetings to 2-monthly in the winter. The next meeting will be on Wednesday 28 February 2015 at 7.30pm, Tony’s house.

October 2014 meeting

15 October 2014, 7.30pm, at Tony’s house

Tony Levene, Anoop Shah

Penny, David Turner, David Arditti, Sam Fraser, Rhys Walsh


Latest dealings with Harrow Council

Harrow Council are waiting for a funding response from TfL for Quietways. We will then update our leaflet with the proposed routes so that there are concrete proposals to campaign for.

Campaign priorities

Letter to councillors about budget cuts and why it is sensible to prioritise cycling. Our main priority is to promote the major Quietway schemes and ensure they go ahead in Harrow.

Possible publicity event or ride or focussed campaign along the route of proposed Quietway.

Plan to meet councillor in charge of transport (Barry Kendler) — awaiting a response from his office.

We will also compile a list of minor improvements which Harrow can carry out with spare budget money.

Communication with members

We now have the following communication channels:

Twitter (to send brief messages, e.g. new web pages, events etc.)
Facebook (for communication and discussion)
Yahoo groups (to send email to a whole group)
LCC email list — members list and supporters list for Harrow (but need to let them know a few days in advance of messages to be sent; it is not possible for us to send emails directly)

We will try to maintain all these communication channels as they fulfil different purposes or reach different groups of members.

Next meeting — December 2014 (social)

a borough group of the London Cycling Campaign