Agenda item

Transportation schemes - review of development and implementation procedure

Report of the Corporate Director of Community.


Prior to the consideration of the report of the Corporate Director of Community, the Panel received two Deputations (Minute 89 also refers), full details of which were available by following the link at Minute 89 and listening to the audio recording.  The scripts prepared by the Deputees is appended to these minutes but it should be noted that that they might have deviated somewhat from their respective script when presenting.


Title of Deputation 1

Harrow needs to plan strategically for walking and cycling, complete the Streetspace trials and plan permanent walking and cycling improvements


Reason for Deputation 1

Harrow has lost out on many funding opportunities in recent years because of a lack of strategic planning for walking and cycling.  The Streetspace schemes are a positive step and Harrow needs to build on them for long-lasting, borough-wide improvements.


In summary, the three representatives of Deputation 1, Health Streets for Harrow, explained why Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) were necessary, the need for greater investments in cycling and walking which would impact positively on mental health, the issues faced by cyclists and the main barriers to cycling which Harrow needed to address.  They responded to questions from two Members  in relation to the involvement of the Portfolio Holder of Environment and the need for a strategic plan for cycling and walking and agreed that agreed that cycling lessons ought to be provided for in schools, explained how junctions could be made safer for cyclists and thanked the relevant Members for their support and enthusiasm for cycling.


Title of Deputation 2

Honeypot Lane – Barrier


Reason for Deputation 2

As a shopkeeper greatly affected adversely by the barrier and we are in great danger of losing our businesses.


In summary, a representative of Deputation 2, appealed to Members to remove the barriers at the top end of Honeypot Lane which had had an adverse impact on businesses there.  He could not see the reasons for the barriers as the pavement was 8.5 feet wide and did not meet the criterion for a narrow pavement.  There certainly had been no increase in pedestrian numbers there and the footfall had fallen dramatically for which evidence was available.  An adviser stated that the Honeypot cycle lane was useful and used by cyclists and that the service road was used by motorists to bypass traffic.  Walking and cycling facilities needed to be expanded in the area.


The Deputee responded to questions from Members as follows:


-               that no parking was available in the vicinity of the shops and that it could not be argued that the measures provided health and safety benefits.  No barriers had been installed in Stanmore where the footfall was greater that at Honeypot Lane;


-               that there was a need to reverse the flow in the area to stop traffic bye passing the traffic lights at the junction.


A couple of the Members were of the view that there had been lack of cohesion, that the Panel had made a recommendation for the removal of the barrier but that this had not been agreed.  The Chair stated that the Panel was an advisory body but that all schemes were reviewed on a monthly basis. He had understood that the figures for the footfall differed.


An officer explained that the footfall was measured on a monthly basis and that consultants were carrying out video surveys.  However, no figures were available for the period prior to Covid-19 for comparison but changes were being monitored on a monthly basis in line with government guidance.  It was expect that controlled parking would be installed soon on the other side of the service road to provide relief to businesses.


The Chair stated that he would ask the Leader to contact the Deputee and concerns would be conveyed to the Portfolio Holder for Environment.


The Chair thanked the deputees for their presentations.


The Panel then received a report of the Corporate Director of Community, which updated members on a review of how walking and cycling schemes were promoted and consulted on following the experiences of delivering the Harrow Street Spaces Programme.  He provided a detailed explanation, as set out in the report, including why the proposed changes were necessary.


The officer responded to questions from the Panel relating to the Mayor of London’s transport policy and stated that:


-               the Mayor of London sets transport policy and local authorities were expected to promote and deliver traffic schemes in accordance with their approved Transport Local Implementation Plan (LIP). The delivery of  schemes are, however, still subject to consultation with local residents and the determination of whether schemes should be implemented is still with the borough;


-               street space schemes were reviewed on a monthly basis and the decision to amend or revoke schemes was within the remit of the Portfolio Holder for Environment.  He assured the Panel that this process was effective and residents’ concerns were being addressed.


An adviser supported the proposal to develop schemes in advance and stated that a strategic overview of the road network where LTNs could be implemented was required.  It was important that a team of engineers was available instead of using consultants who were not always familiar with the borough.


In response to further questions and comments, the officer stated that he would report to the Portfolio Holder on the comments made by the Panel, including on bus lanes.


Resolved to RECOMMEND:  (to the Portfolio Holder for Environment)


That the finding of the report be noted and that the proposed improvements to the scheme development and implementation procedure highlighted in the report be implemented.


Reason:  To improve the quality of schemes submitted for bids and to improve the scheme development process in order to deliver higher quality schemes.

Supporting documents: