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 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).
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.