Consultation response: Proposed road safety measures – Kings Drive, Greenhill Way and Greenhill

This is the response to this consultation from Brent Council, concluded 9 December 2016.

This is the response from Brent Cyclists, the local group in Brent of the London Cycling Campaign. We represent approximately 200 LCC members who live in Brent, and we also aim to represent the interests of all who cycle, or wish to, in Brent.
We agree with the introduction of a new zebra crossing on a raised table in Kings Drive. However, we do wonder if it is planned in the best place. Surely the main location at which school pupils and others wish to cross Kings Drive is the (bifocated) junction with Forty Lane. Is this not really where a safe crossing is most desirable?
We agree with the introduction of the speed humps, though we do not think they are the optimum solution for a 20mph zone. The optimum solution is to have no through traffic. The fundamental issue about the group of streets in this consultation is that, though Kings Drive is quiet (because it is closed at the north end) and Greenhill and Greenhill Way are fairly quiet, because they are are of little utility to through motor traffic, The Paddocks is a busy rat-run, connecting the A4140 Fryent Way to the A4088 Forty Lane.
There is a main road connection that should be the route taken by this motor traffic, the A4140 Salmon Street, but The Paddocks is used by much traffic in preference because it cuts off a corner on the A-road network. It is notable that virtually all the southbound traffic on The Paddocks turns right at the end into Forty Lane, heading for Wembley (usually without even indicating, the manoeuvre being so universal). This indicates a problem of network planning.
The signals at the junction of The Paddocks and Forty Lane are necessitated by the use of The Paddocks as a rat run connecting two A roads. If this traffic were redirected down Salmon Street, though it would have to travel slightly further, the signals could be removed, and the whole traffic system would probably be more efficient. At the same time, your proposed 20mph zone, which consist entirely of residential streets, would become genuinely quiet and safe for children, pedestrians and cyclists, as it should be, and would not require such heavy traffic calming, if any at all. So here, as so often in Brent, what is happening is that road humps are being used as an unsatisfactory fix for what is really a fundamental network planning issue. The Paddocks should not be carrying the traffic that is is.
Through-traffic was, as noted above, at some time in the past removed from Kings Drive, by its closure at the roundabout at the northern end. However, cyclists are not permitted to use the connecting footpath at the closure, as it features a red roundel sign on a post banning cycling. We would like to see this sign removed and this path improved, with improved sight-lines, to make legal cycling from Kings Drive to the roundabout. Then cyclists in the roads in the proposed 20mph zone could connect with the northern branch of Salmon Street, which is a minor road and a good cycle route towards Kingsbury.

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