Harrow council proposes two ‘Metropolitan’ cycle routes mostly along quiet roads, heading west from the town centre towards Pinner and Eastcote. They are planning to upgrade the existing narrow footpath between Cambridge Road and Pinner Road and make it suitable for cycle use, and improve the connection between Church Avenue and Durley Avenue. Other parts of the route have not yet been finalised.
Our specific comments:
- The subway under Roxborough Bridge should retain segregation between pedestrians and cyclists, but they should be realigned so they do not cross over.
- Vaughan Road is a route for through motor traffic and can be busy at times. The road is one-way for cars in the uphill (eastbound) direction, but there is car parking on both sides and not enough space remaining for cars to overtake cyclists safely. The council proposes to install speed cushions on this road even though they are not recommended for use on cycle routes. Full-width sinusoidal profile humps should be used instead.
Ideally, this route should be blocked for through motor traffic, for example by installing a modal filter at West Harrow station. This would make the West Harrow residential area more pleasant for walking and cycling. If this is not possible, we recommend that the direction of the road is changed, so it is one way westbound with entry only from the south (i.e. no right turn to enter). This would encourage motorists to use the parallel Butler Road instead, reducing traffic on Vaughan Road. It is also essential that some car parking spaces are removed to provide safe places for cars and bikes to pass each other.
- Cycle parking is required at West Harrow station, where there is currently none.
- Like Vaughan Road, The Gardens is also narrowed by car parking on both sides and can be busy at times. Sometimes it is blocked by cars trying to travel in opposite directions at the same time. A modal filter at West Harrow station would significantly improve the walking and cycling environment outside Vaughan School and West Harrow station.
- The North Harrow cycle track needs to be extended along Imperial Drive to link up with the Rayners Lane cycle track. There is plenty of space on the verge and excess space on the road (advisory cycle lanes which can be removed) for this to be done. This will provide an essential link to Rayners Lane station, and by making the road narrower it will reduce motor vehicle speeds and improve safety. (We have been consistently asking for this link for the past few years).
- Crossing facilities near North Harrow station need to be reviewed. Currently there is a toucan crossing near the station but nothing further south, e.g. between Blenheim Road and Lancaster Road. We would recommend a new priority zebra / cycle crossing here, and restrictions on motor vehicle movements (e.g. exit only from Blenheim Road, entry only to Lancaster Road) to reduce conflicts. The toucan crossing at North Harrow station can be converted to a zebra crossing as cyclists will no longer need to cross here, which will reduce delays to motorists and pedestrians.
- The North Harrow cycle track along Pinner Road needs to have priority over side roads and the car park entrance.
- The Yeading Walk shared path should be extended a few metres to directly join the eastern section of Suffolk Road; this will avoid the need for cyclists to use a short section of the busy road to make the link.
- Northumberland Road is very narrow but is often used as a through route by motor vehicles, making it unpleasant for pedestrians, cyclists and residents. A modal filter near the Scout Hut / Yeading Walk would not hinder motor vehicle access but would prevent rat-running. (Residents of Northumberland Road have repeatedly complained about speeding on this road but the council has so far decided not to try to reduce the traffic on this road).
- Whittington Way has wide verges and intermittent service roads. There is plenty of space for cycle tracks to link up the service roads, which would provide new cycling route opportunities (e.g. along St Michael’s Crescent). A zebra / cycle crossing of Whittington Way and cycle track around the roundabout would also be useful, to allow cyclists to reach Church Avenue without having to cross the roundabout.
- The link betwen Durley Avenue and Church Avenue currently has a gate which makes it inaccessible for disabled cyclists; this needs to be removed.
- Cycle tracks along Marsh Road and a safe crossing of Marsh Road (ideally a cycle / zebra) are needed. The Cecil Park / Marsh Road junction is very wide which encourages speeding and makes it difficult for pedestrians to cross; this junction should have tighter geometry, with Cecil Park reduced to the minimum possible width, and a zebra crossing to help children walking to the nearby school.
- The Marsh Road zebra crossing should be upgraded to a zebra and cycle crossing, to enable cyclists to enter the service road from Cecil Park, and use the service road to link to West End Avenue without having to cycle on the busy Marsh Road itself. The scheme should fit in with future schemes for segregated cycle tracks along Pinner Road / Marsh Road itself.