The new cycle lanes in Harrow have received a mixed reception from local residents after we asked for opinions on the subject.
The cycle lanes are in place in Honeypot Lane Queensbury, Uxbridge Road, Harrow Weald, and Sheepcote Road, Harrow Town Centre. There are plans to review the lanes after a six month period.
Reports indicate that Harrow Council could also create another lane in George V Avenue, Hatch End. This is a concern to parents and staff at Nower Hill High School and St John Fisher Primary School that could experience traffic issues, especially during rush hour during the school run.
We asked residents of Harrow to give us their thoughts about the cycle lanes via the Harrow Online Group. Below are some of the replies:-
“Traffic levels have increased as people go back to work and more want to travel in their own cars. People are afraid of travelling on buses and sharing space with others. Moving some people to cycling will help the forecast traffic, which is the reason TFL have introduced these lanes. Much of the congestion is due to traffic lights and roundabouts, so work on changing them is also needed. Changing the cycle lanes to be bus and cycle lanes would be an option to consider. People are blaming cycle lanes when they should be looking at all traffic and what changes are needed”.
Another person commented: “I like the idea of encouraging cycling, but feel it would be better if cycle lanes weren’t on the main roads but side roads. There is already a cycle network, I’d rather see that maintained and expanded.
Also, bikes are so expensive to buy, the learn to cycle scheme was limited, so if you didn’t learn in the first group you couldnt book another set. More schemes to help get kids and adults cycling safely would be good, and increase safe routes.”
Another group member said: “Last week near Northwick Park hospital the traffic had built up so badly due to the cycle lane , 2 ambulances were stuck. No one could move out of the way … let’s hope those on the ambulances were ok”
A concerned member commented on traffic that could be a problem on Sheepcote Road. They said: “As I’ve said many times the likes of the Sheepcote Road lanes will cause traffic to back up onto the roundabout every day thus causing 4 way gridlock. Lo and behold buses will see their timetable destroyed and will be told to terminate early, turn around where possible etc.”
Another member agreed with potential traffic issues saying: “We live on Bonnersfield Lane and I feel the change to Sheepcote Road with the cycle lane will effect the amount of traffic and will push cars to use our road and surrounding roads to bypass the traffic caused by only being able to use one lane! The traffic is already bad and the schools haven’t even gone back yet! 😩 not looking forward to it!!”
One person said: “Increasing pollution with cars stuck in traffic. Killing the high street shopping options (who is going to cycle for their shopping?) What about morning school run times? Walking to school isn’t always an option if families have children at multiple schools that still start and finish at similar times. I honestly believe the idea was thought up by someone with no clue on the how the area is used. Alternatively remove the central reservations to widen the roads and add cycle lanes but the current waste of money is just that. Damaging to businesses (more online shopping g yo be delivered since people won’t be driving to peruse and buy) and damaging to the environment.”
One person said they have seen more cyclists now the lanes have arrived: “Been seeing more cyclists out than before lock down, including people running errands. I have seen people using the lanes, and despite what people have said, I have not noticed traffic being worse near Hatch End or on Honeypot Lane. I think more, carefully planned and better designed cycle lanes are needed.
“Not all of the proposals have been well thought out though, and some are completely impractical (cyclists cycling UP Green Lane for example). Better and more careful planning is needed in future.”
A person commented: “Well, I think we can all agree in the motive behind the lane, (1) trying to encourage more cyclists onto the rd, (2) trying to improve safety, (3) discourage using cars/vehicles [indirectly]. This was funded my City Hall, rather than Harrow Council, as far as I’m aware. Grants are available as a tempt measure if London councils apply into this scheme.
“However, in reality this move is causing more traffic, accident hot points (near junctions on/off the road), more pollution due to the tailback traffic.
“Harrow council really should open up the lane again and but also create a designated safe, properly installed cycle lane on the the side grass banks if they truely cared for safety, the environment, and the economy. I am both a cyclist and I drive. It is a tough one to have a good balance which suits everybody. We can’t redesign our roads from scratch. We all need to get along with changing times. Maybe open the lane for cyclists, buses, and emergency services?.”
On a positive note, a group member said: “Cycle lanes do not cause more pollution. Cars cause pollution. As for cyclists not following the rules of the road, many people do not follow the rules. Motorists are constantly speeding, using phones while driving, pulling out dangerously in traffic etc to the point where motorists are killing over 1700 people every year. This is also explains the need for licencing and insurance. Motor vehicles are incredible dangerous where bikes and other forms of transportation much less so.”
What do you think? Let us know your opinion by commenting on our Facebook page post.