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
You can download details of the proposals here.
The proposal for the Ellen Webb Drive junction is for this to be signalised with a toucan crossing and shared footway for cyclists.
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.
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.