Cycle Superhighway 9 Consultation

This is the response by Brent Cyclists to this consultation.

1. Do you support our overall proposals?


2. Do you have any comments on our overall proposals?

Overall these proposals are good, however some details fail to meet the high standards required for a comfortable, attractive cycling route. In particular the route fails to provide a link to existing cycle infrastructure, for example the E-W CS in Hyde Park. Therefore this route must be extended through the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

3. Do you support the proposals for Hammersmith Road?


Comments: Junction at Blythe Road should be tightened. Additional protection should be given at junction of Brook Green (e.g. additional raised kerbs after pedestrian crossing on North side of road. The route must not stop suddenly on Kensington High Street, there is sufficent width to continue the route along this road Eastwards.

4. Do you support the proposals for Hammersmith Gyratory?


Comments: These proposals provide no protection for cyclists heading South from the gyratory. The entrance to the protected tracks by crossing two traffic lanes on QUEEN CAROLINE STREET is dangerous, a crossing of the slip road South of Blacks Road should be included. Eventually plans must be made to remove the gyratory.

5. Do you support the proposals for Beadon Road?


Comments: none.

6. Do you support the proposals for King Street (East)?


Comments: A new zebra crossing by the bus stop should be provided to provide easy pedestrian crossing to the bus stop and reduce the likelihood of pedestrians standing in the cycle lane waiting to cross the motor traffic lane.

7. Do you support the proposals for King Street (West)?


Comments: Cycle access to Studland Street appears inadequate.

8. Do you support the proposals for Chiswick High Road?


Comments: Road can be narrowed to maintain pavement width. Access from Clifton Gardens and Fisher’s Lane onto CS9 is inadequate. Staggered pedestrian crossings should be replaced with straight across crossings to remove the need for a pedestrian island, and to widen the pavement and cycle path.

9. Do you support the proposals for Heathfield Terrace / Wellesley Road?

Do not support.

Comments: CS9 cannot be described as a “cycle superhighway” if bicycle users are expected to share space with motor traffic. Either: a) this road must be closed to through motor traffic (ie filtered), or b) separate infrastructure must be provided.

10. Do you support the proposals for South Circular Road (Kew Bridge Station)?

Do not support.

Comments: A bus stop bypass must be provided outside Kew Bridge station. A route must be provided from CAPITAL INTERCHANGE WAY onto CS9.

11. Do you support the proposals for Kew Bridge Road / Watermans Park / Brentford High Street (East)?


Comments: Junctions to the North of CS9 along this route must be narrowed to prevent motor vehicles from impeding the cycle route. Forcing bicycle users to use a bus lane and overtake a loading bay is unsuitable for a cycle superhighway, separate space for cycling must be provided.

12. Do you support the proposals for Brentford High Street (West)?


Comments: a Two stage right turn into Ealing Road would be preferable to passing the junction and then turning back to use a toucan crossing.

13. Do you have any comments on future proposals for CS9 from Brentford High Street to Hounslow town centre?


Comments: none.

Campaign: 20’s Plenty for Us

We are asking our supporters, and all who are interested in road safety in Brent, to encourage our councillors, in the run-up to the local elections in the spring, to adopt a more concerted approach to getting lower speeds on our roads. We believe 20mph should be the default speed limit everywhere in Brent, with exceptions only for a few of the biggest roads. This would bring Brent into line with neighbouring Camden, which has been entirely 20mph for some years. We would like supporters to email their councillors with the suggested letter below, or some personalised variant of it.

You can find out the addresses of your councillors here.

Thanks for your help.

Dear Councillor XX,

We are fast approaching the local elections in May 2018 and I wanted to raise the issue of 20mph speed limits in Brent. Almost all of the Inner London boroughs have now introduced 20mph limits on the roads that they manage. A number of Outer London boroughs such as Hounslow, Ealing, Haringey and Croydon have also brought in 20mph limits on many of their roads. Bringing in 20mph limits does not of course solve all the road safety problems in a borough on its own but they work to reduce road casualties as well as encouraging more people to walk and cycle. 20mph limits fit well with the draft Mayor’s Transport Strategy and its proposals for Healthy Streets and Liveable Neighbourhoods where more people will want to walk and cycle and use public transport in people friendly streets. Obviously reducing the speeds of vehicles is vital too as part of Vision Zero where the Mayor aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 2041.

Up until now Brent has very much taken a piecemeal approach to lower speed limits often introducing 20mph only on a few streets in a neighbourhood and omitting them on high streets and town centre roads where the vast majority of road casualties actually happen.

I would ask that Brent agrees to take a bolder approach to lower speeds and makes 20mph the general speed limit for the borough, with exceptions for only a few large roads (most obviously for the North Circular). This will make speed limits across the borough far more coherent for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike. It will save council time and money by avoiding having many small consultations and schemes on very local 20mph limits as we have seen up until now.  It will reduce the numbers of road casualties and help all of us as residents of the borough to make the healthy choice to walk and cycle as we will feel and be safer when we are out and about on the borough’s roads.

I look forward to discussing this further with you and hope that you will put this idea forward as policy for the forthcoming elections.

Thanks & best wishes – X

Twyford Abbey Road – Road Safety Scheme

The following is our response to this scheme (consultation closed 7 August 2017) involving new and improved cycle lanes in Park Royal.

This is the response from Brent Cyclists, the local group of the London Cycling Campaign.

We support this scheme, but would make the following points:

1) The contraflow cycle lane on Rainsford Road and new connection from the canal towpath, via a cycle crossing of Twford Abbey Road, are very welcome. However, the junction of the proposed southbound cycle lane on Rainsford Road with Whitby Avenue does not look safe: it simply terminates, leaving cyclists to the right hand side of traffic turning out of Whitby Avenue. It may be better if the cycle lane were taken left round the corner and then crossed over Whitby Avenue on some kind of crossing.

2) A desired manoeuvre is for cyclists travelling south over the canal bridge, on the cycle track or shared pavement on Abbey Road, to then turn right into the bus lane on Twyford Abbey Road. There is no clearly-designated method of doing this. Although a right turn is permitted for cycles on the carriageway, getting into this, with railings in the way, even if there is no traffic, is impossible. This scheme does not appear to solve this problem.

3) While welcoming any upgrade of advisory cycle lanes to mandatory status, and recognising the budget of this scheme is going to be limited, we need to point out Abbey Road is such a busy road that the cycle lanes should really be truly segregated throughout. The best way to achieve this in the limited road width would be though construction of stepped cycle tracks, differentiated from pavement by a level change (similar to Camden’s solution on Pancras Road). The existing fragments of paint-segregated pavement-level cycle lane around the junction of Abbey Road and Twyford Abbey Road are poor-quality infrastructure, and will remain so even when ‘refreshed’. (Though the principal of minimising unnecessary cycle stops at traffic lights is correct.)

Elsley Primary School ‘School Development Scheme’

This is a response to this consultation, which closed 28 July 2017.

This is the response from Brent Cyclists, the local group of the London Cycling Campaign. This response has been agreed by our Committee.

We are objecting to this scheme because:
(1) If Gaddesden Avenue is to made one-way, as implied in the plan, there should be an exception made for cycles, so as not to inconvenience cyclists. This will affect how the no-entry end of the road is designed.
(2) If traffic-caliming is desired, there is no reason here to use speed cushions rather than the more cycle-friendly sinusoidal full-width humps, as specified in the London Cycle Design Standards. Speed cushions are fairly ineffective at controlling vehicle speeds, and cause unpredictable horizontal manoeuvres by drivers and riders that cause extra risk for cyclists, as well as sometimes pushing cyclists too close to opening car doors.
(3) The proposed 20mph zone is illogical in not including Nettleden Avenue and Tring Avenue, very small roads which should not have a 30mph limit.

Drury Way School Travel Plan Scheme

This is the Brent Cyclists response to this consultation (ended 28 July 2017).

This is the response from Brent Cyclists, the local group of the London Cycling Campaign. We agree with the scheme but wish to query the way the zigzag lines are shown on the plan for traffic entering Drury Way. The road does not have two lanes entering, so why are three sets of zigzags shown? Further, as only a B-class road, and one near schools, we think Drury Way should have a 20mph limit. It is wide enough to have cycle lanes (which could in part use space that could be recovered by removing centre-hatching), and, if such lanes were painted, these would visually narrow the traffic lanes and help to restrain speeds.

Kingsbury Road Public Realm Improvements Scheme

This is a response to this consultation, that closed on 7 April 2017.

This is the response from Brent Cyclists, the Brent Group of the London Cycling Campaign (LCC). We represent around 200 members in Brent, and aim to represent the interests of all who cycle or would like to cycle in NW London. We have discussed this scheme at a meeting, and agreed our response.

We would like to see a scheme in Kingsbury Road that provides properly segregated cycle tracks on both sides of the road. This route is a clear cycling desire-line, and features as a ‘short to medium-term link’ in Brent’s Cycle Strategy 2016-21 (p8). Hence it is essential that the opportunity is taken now to upgrade cycle provision on Kingsbury Road to the best standard.

The current consultation appears confused over what cycle provision is actually proposed, but as parking is located inside the cycle lanes or tracks, cars must cross them, so this is not quality, segregated cycle provision that is being proposed. Despite the provision of a buffer zone alongside the parked cars, the space between parked cars and large moving vehicles like buses is not an attractive, inclusive cycling environment that will support Brent’s policy objectives of widening participation in cycling. The design is not in accordance with our (LCC’s) standard for cycle routes, which is that we require physical segregation if motor vehicle flows are higher than 2000 Passenger Car Units per day. Also the design would score zero under the ‘Collision risk’ and ‘Feeling of safety’ categories in the Cycle Level of Service Assessment (TfL London Cycle Design Standards Chapter 2), so it is definitely not an optimum scheme for cycling. An existing segregated cycle track will be removed to create this scheme, so we feel it is actually retrograde.

We believe an optimal solution for cycling should be possible here because of the very great total width of the road (30m between buildings). Also the scale of reconstruction proposed suggests that the budget for the scheme should be capable of stretching to this.The distribution of space shown in the proposed Kingsbury Road cross-sction is quite actually good, but the spaces need rearranging. The parking needs to be located between the carriageway and the cycle tracks, protecting the cycle tracks. Cycle tracks should pass behind bus-stop bypass islands at the bus stops so the paths of cyclists and buses do not cross. The need to interact with buses in this way is one of the most off-putting aspects of cycling on roads for most people. We think there is space here for the general traffic lanes, for the parking, for two 0.5m segregation islands, and clear 2m wide cycle tracks on both sides, still preserving very ample pavement space.

There are welcome features in these proposals, such as the 20mph limit, the traffic -calming features and decluttering. But essentially the planned redistribution of space amounts to removal of the existing short segregated cycle track, putting cyclists on the carriageway with little or no protection, and moving parking on to the pavements. This is not welcome to us. We would also question the need for the scale of on-street parking envisaged, when there is an off-street car park behind the shops on the south side. In this supposed ‘public realm scheme’, the quality of the public realm created would be improved by minimising the on-street parking, though this is not essential to achieving good cycling infrastructure.

Kingsbury Road plans need a re-think

Following the advent of the Carlton Vale cycle scheme in Kilburn, we have also been hoping to get a similar high-quality cycling scheme in the north of the borough, and last year consultancy Urban Movement produced an excellent redesign of Kingsbury Road incorporating segregated cycle tracks on both sides (to replace the current short, ineffective pavement track on one side).

We are therefore disappointed to see that the current consultation proposes provision that falls far short of this, with a layout (below) that implies just painted advisory lanes in between parking and moving traffic. The huge (30 metre) width of this road means it should be possible to get an optimum solution for all traffic here, and we are urgently seeking discussions to try to get this plan improved.

In the mean time we ask supporters to fill out the survey (by 7 April) by clicking on the link above, disagreeing with the scheme, and commenting that ‘The cycle tracks should be properly segregated and placed inside the parking, with bypasses provided at the bus stops’.

Response to Brent’s Air Quality Action Plan

This is our response to the consultation on Brent’s Air Quality Action Plan, concluded 30 March 2017.

How do you feel about air quality in Brent?

This response is from Brent Cyclists, the local group in Brent of the London Cycling Campaign. We believe air quality in Brent is poor.

In your opinion, are there other actions the council should include in the plan?

The council should create a comprehensive network of safe cycle routes

Please tell us what you like most about Brent’s Air Quality Action plan and why?

Reducing vehicle use associated with schools (p5)

Please tell us what you least like about Brent’s Air Quality Action plan and why?

The lack of detail and basic failure to engage with the necessity of reducing the use of motor vehicles in the borough are major problems with this plan.

Air quality will not be significantly improved without reducing motor traffic. The key to doing this is to create the conditions where people feel they do not need to use cars for journeys of less than 5 miles. The only entirely non-polluting mode of transport that can fill this gap is cycling. Though the ‘Summary Document’ mentions at the beginning ‘active travel such as walking and cycling’, the plan itself, extraordinarily, makes no mention of any strategy to transfer journeys to walking and cycling. It is thus left with a huge hole.

Words like ‘weak’, ‘nondescript’, ‘noncommittal’ and ‘meaningless’ come to mind when reviewing the actions outlined in this plan. It is almost totally lacking in measurable actions and targets.

The use of the term ‘green infrastructure’ is confusing. When we talk of ‘green infrastructure’ we mean infrastructure to allow active travel. This plan uses the term to mean barriers to contain pollution, not infrastructure that will enable people to change their travel behaviour so as to reduce pollution.

We can’t really see the rationale for any part of the borough being outside the ‘Air quality management area’.

The plan is all ’promoting’, not ‘enabling’ and not ‘enforcing’. For example, one elementary start to creating better conditions for active travel would be to make the entire borough a 20mph zone, but nothing like this is mentioned. Another measure might be to exclude motor traffic from roads round schools, ending the school run by car. But there is no sign of anything meaningfully impactful like this in the plan. School travel plan schemes on the roads in the past have been trivial and ineffective, and there is no sign here of this changing.

It is not really clear what Action 13 (planning controls) means. Does the requirement for new development to be ‘air quality neutral’ include all the transport impacts? It is hard to see how any development could ever have no impact on local air pollution unless it is accompanied by major mitigating cycling, walking and public transport infrastructure, which has never (so far) occurred in Brent.

The key to getting more cycling is to provide safe infrastructure for it, and this involves, to large extent, making political choices about how road space is used that are very different from the ones currently made. The plan makes no attempt to engage with this central issue.

This plan as it is definitely will not lead to a significant improvement in air quality in Brent.

In your opinion, how can the council help residents play their part in improving air quality in Brent?

By taking practical measures to make it the obvious and attractive option to cycle journeys of less than 5 miles, as outlined above.