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.
We have just taken delivery of 500 folded A4 colour leaflets (cost Â£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
- 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.