Agenda item

2023/24 Traffic and Parking Schemes Programme Update

Report of the Director of Environmental Services.


Prior to the consideration of the report of the Director of Environment, the Panel received one Deputation form Harrow Cyclists (Minute 42 also refers).


In summary, the reason for the deputation was that Harrow council should adopt evidence-based transport policies that improve road safety and enable active travel, which will have widespread benefits because many people were being put off cycling because of the danger on the roads.


He advocated that the council should adopt a whole-borough principled “safety first” approach, not just focus on locations where collisions have already happened.  He proposed a four-fold approach: Safer Speeds, Safer Routes, Safer Drivers and Safer Vehicles.  The council should prioritise safety for all road users over convenience.  If the council would provide safety for the borough’s youngest and most vulnerable road users, such as children going to school, then the streets would be safer for everyone.  It was the campaign aim of Harrow Cyclists that all children in Harrow should be able to cycle to school safely.


The Chair thanked the Representative from Harrow Cyclists for the Deputation and Members asked the following questions:


·                 A Member asked about the Deputee’s comment (that the discontinued Streetspace LTN trials programme was not kept long enough to gain public acceptance) whether he thought people were not well informed about them at the time.

·                 The Deputee responded that implementation strategy would be better thought out. Perhaps lesson should have been learnt from boroughs where it had been successfully implemented.  The Chair clarified that the removal of the Streetspace LTN Trials programme was one of the most heavily lobbied requests by residents.  An adviser commented that the implementation of the cycling training programme needed to be well-thought out to be successful.

·                 Another Member suggested that if in addition to infrastructural changes perhaps there were things that could be done through education  to ensure success.

·                 Regarding the Cycle Network, an Adviser asked about the aim of the and target of the scheme and how would success be measured.  An officer explained that there was no specific target, and the aim of the programme was to try to get as many people as possible cycling and every property is within 400 metres of a good cycle route.

·                 Another officer explained that the cycle routes were primarily intended to be commuter routes and the council was working towards the mayor's transport strategy of seeking 8 Percent modal shift toward showing active travel such as cycling and walking by 2041.  The Adviser suggested that the target could be broken down to every five years. In response to further questions regarding priority of routes, the officer confirmed that Harrow Cyclists would be consulted and have the opportunity to comment on the schemes.

·                 The Adviser asked how many more children were expected to cycle to school as a result of the cycle Training Scheme.  The officer explained that the aim of the programme was to increase awareness and encourage new children to cycle with the hope that they would grow and choose cycling as an option and as the cycle training budget this year was quite substantial, higher numbers were expected than previous years.

·                 The Adviser in response to the Chair’s question, suggested that the training programme could train parents as well as children, provide bikes to children whose parents could not afford to purchase them and utilise a whole school approach by limiting the scheme to a small number of schools and make it work including providing bikes for kids who don't have them unlike the current training scheme.  Once the scheme had proven successful, it would then be extended to other schools.  She felt that the Council could get much better value for money by doing it and the KPIs could be obtained directly by the school from the children.

·                 The Chair suggested that as part of the cycle training programme, it could be reiterated to the three schools to take responsibility as they had the access to the children and information to see how the training programmes and then the schemes that are linked around it could help increase the numbers of children that cycle.

·                 An Adviser raised a concern that the maps for Clamp Hill were in very small print and this made it extremely difficult to read.  She said it would be helpful if in future, the maps could be on a larger scale to make it easier to read.

·                 She advised that as there was a secondary school on this road it would present a serious problem for parents driving their daughters to school in terms of driving and parking in residential roads, why was safe cycling provision not included in the scheme as per local transport Note 120, which said to receive government funding for local highways investment where the main element was not cycling or walking there would be a presumption that schemes must deliver or improve certain infrastructure to the standards in the local transport Note.  She questioned if Clamp Hill was the right location, that it may be better to use the Bridges Road entrance, if the aim was to encourage schoolchildren to cycle to that particular school given the gradient of the descent.  She felt that it may prove more realistic to use quieter streets as routes.

·                 The officer explained that the scheme was initiated to address speeding concerns.  There had been a lot of representations from residents that were very concerned about the number of collisions that occurred at the end towards Uxbridge Road so the scheme was primarily a speed reduction scheme. Bridges Road could be explored as a possible cycle route.

·                 Councillor Kuha Kumaran raised concerns about the lack of progress on the works for the Waxwell Lane /Uxbridge Road Junction.  He appreciated that the reports from various stakeholders had taken time to deliver however, the local residents were very upset over the lack of progress.  This had been made worse by another accident at the same junction the previous week.  He reminded the committee that the first-year anniversary of the fatal crash was at the end of July and hoped that works could be speeded up as the local residents were anxiously waiting.

·                 The Chair said that he understood the frustration about the slow progress, but it had been frustrating as because police had taken a long time to report back to officers and funding took a long time but was granted in April.  He that requested that officers provide an update by 21 June 2023 and further updates every fortnight.

·                 An Adviser suggested to officers that regarding the Harrow View All Church Lane and the review of pedestrian walking areas, when crossing was considered, could officers always incorporate a pedestrian and cycling crossing together as the one in Pinner just over the railway line had proved quite useful.  Officers agreed to investigate the possibility.


RESOLVED:  That the report be noted.

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