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Engineers Way

From Brent Council, 11 April 2013:

The council's new Civic Centre is being constructed on Engineers Way and is due to open in the summer of 2013.  The Civic Centre will provide easy access to a variety of public services and facilities for the whole community to enjoy, as well as generating efficiency savings that can be ploughed back into local services.
 
When fully operational, there will be very high levels of staff and visitors entering and leaving the building.  There is a need to ensure that the street environment in Engineers Way compliments the Civic Centre in terms of quality and appearance and that local pedestrian conditions are safe and attractive.  To achieve this, it is proposed to introduce a comprehensive package of street improvements including improved footways, a paved pedestrian priority area adjacent to the new building and the designation of Engineers Way as both a 20mph zone and as a Restricted Parking Zone.
 
Closing date of consultation 26 April
See attached document
 
Brent Cyclists' Response
 
Dear Sir,
 
This is the response of Brent Cyclists to the consultation on Engineers Way. Brent Cyclists is the local group of the London Cycling Campaign (LCC), and we have 225 members who live or work in Brent. The LCC, with over 11,000 members, is the largest urban cycling organisation in the world. We have consulted our members on this scheme, and drawn on the accumulated experience of the LCC in responding to road design consultations.
 
We cannot support this scheme as it stands because we believe that while it is well-intentioned, it is insufficiently bold. In particular there has been too much concentration on the "streetscape" aspect and insufficient thought on how to limit motor traffic here.
 
This will be an important road in the future as it will provide access to the new Civic Centre. It  will also be potentially very important to the cycle network in the future, as there is likely to be a new bridge for cyclists and pedestrians built over the Metropolitan Line connecting to Fourth Way or Atlas Road (see the Wembley Area Action Plan). The cycle route from that to Wembley town centre will then be via Fifth Way and Engineers Way. In the light of this, the objective here should be to create a very pedestrian and cyclist friendly environment in Engineers Way.
 
Though the proposed 20mph limit on Engineers Way is welcome, we think the zone is too small. Why does the limit remain at 30mph on First Way, Rutherford Way and Empire Way? Why does this narrow road expand out into so many lanes (4 wide lanes plus taxi parking) at the Empire Way junction? This is just excess capacity which will encourage speed through the junction and make it difficult for cyclists to turn right out of Engineers Way, irrespective of the provision of the advanced stop line for cyclists. Elsewhere the carriageway width looks too narrow to allow drivers to overtake cyclists safely. 
 
We dislike the use of speed cushions. These encourage drivers to take non-linear paths which may endanger cyclists. They create "competition" for flat road space between road users.
 
We believe consideration should be given to the actual function of this road. Why should it remain as a through-road for motor vehicles at all, when Fifth Way is also linked to Empire Way by Fulton Road? We believe motor through-traffic should be excluded from Engineers Way, as it will provide cycling and walking access to the Civic Centre. This could be achieved with a mode filter (which could be a simple row of bollards) half way along, keeping all required motor vehicle access, but only allowing pedestrians and cyclists through. (Buses and official vehicles could be allowed through if desired with rising-bollard technology). We doubt that the potential benefits of the "shared space" design of the Arena Square to pedestrians will be realised if this remains a general motor through-route. We also wonder what will prevent cars driving and parking on the square.
 
It appears that the bus passengers will have to walk further than people being dropped off at the Civic Centre from cars. Why?
 
Finally, we'd like to know where the cycle parking will be for the Civic Centre.
 
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to comment on the scheme. 
 
Yours,
 
David Arditti
Co-ordinator, Brent Cyclists
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Engineers Way final Consultation document.pdf1.03 MB
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