Harrow Council’s Cabinet took the decision last night (29 April) to remove two of three Transport for London (TfL) Streetspace schemes designed to support people to socially distance and encourage active travel during lockdown.
The decision follows recommendations from the Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Panel last week to remove the schemes while extending the trial period for school streets.
Following the removal of the schemes the council will look at potential road safety measures such as introducing speed reductions in the roads and streets of the cycle lanes and LTNs with existing ongoing issues.
The cycling strategy will also be reviewed to improve and expand the existing infrastructure including quiet ways, to create a seamless cycle link across the borough.
Consultation will take place on the cycling strategy and all proposed speed and traffic calming measures, which will only be implemented where there is support from local people.
The four experimental school streets will be extended for six months and following the TARSAP recommendations, an action plan will be developed by officers to learn from the engagement so far and take relevant steps to directly address the problems highlighted through engagement with residents, parents and the schools.
Leader of Harrow Council Graham Henson said: “It is clear from the statutory consultation undertaken over the past six months that there is little support for the cycle lanes and low traffic neighbourhoods implemented as part of the national initiative.
And so, the decision to remove these experimental schemes is the right one for Harrow – we will keep residents informed about when this will take place.”
“We have listened to and understand residents concerns about how the schemes were implemented. Going forward the council will do things differently – engaging with our residents to shape projects before they are implemented.
“We have some difficult decisions ahead of us to make our streets safer for all road users and reach our Climate Emergency pledge to lower emissions in the borough and be carbon neutral by 2030 but we will approach this challenge together in partnership with our residents.”
The decision is now followed by a five-day call-in period during which Councillors can ask for the decision to be reviewed.
Council officers are working with contractors to arrange dates for the removal of these schemes, likely to be in mid to late May – following and dependent on the call-in period.
Source: Harrow Council