Proposed Road Safety Improvements Kenton Road near Kinross CloseAugust 24, 2018 0 COMMENTS
This is the response from Brent Cycling Campaign to this consultation. Brent Cycling Campaign is the local group of the London Cycling Campaign. We represent directly about 200 paid-up members who live in the borough, and we also attempt to represent all those who cycle or would like to cycle in the borough.
We do not agree with the proposed changes because we think they are seriously inadequate. We believe a widened island with vehicle activate signs will do little for pedestrian safety on this very busy and fast four lane road. A controlled crossing of some sort is required instead: either zebra or lsignal-controlled. We do support the extension of ‘at any time’ waiting restrictions, as parking in the kerbside lane takes away space that cyclists need to stay away from the fast-moving traffic that includes many buses and HGVs.
We have seen a series of minor changes proposed in recent years to mitigate the dangers of this inappropriate suburban semi-motorway, and none of them have done very much. We believe it is time to take a holistic view of the complete road from Kingsbury to Harrow, with a view to doing a major redesign to convert the road to a character better suiting its function as a local distributor with much residential and town-centre type frontage. It needs to be no longer a bleak and polluted racetrack between long traffic queues at junctions, but a safe and pleasant environment for all users. This opportunity could also be taken to restore Kenton as a proper town centre that is not severed by an inhospitable road.
In Brent’s Cycle Strategy 2016-21 Map 1 (page 8) Kenton Road is shown as a ‘long-terrm’ link in Brent’s cycle network, connecting with the ’short-medium term link’ shown on Kingsbury Road. In TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis 2017 Figure 2.4, the line of Kenton and Kingsbury Roads is shown as a ‘Medium potential connection’ in the map of Prioritised Strategic Cycling connections. It is recognised therefore in both Brent and TfL documents that there is an aim to make Kenton Road a good-quality cycle route.
If anything is to be achieved by 2021 – the timescale of the Brent Cycle Strategy – we need plans for transformative change in Kenton Road to be brought forward now. Brent has already make a welcome start on this alignment with the current scheme to introduce segregated cycle paths and bus stop bypasses in Kingsbury Road. Planning should be ongoing now to extend these facilities all along Kenton Road to create a safe cycle route from North Brent to Harrow Town Centre.
Kenton Road is wide enough to have cycle paths all along it. It does not function as a genuine four-lane road: in practice it goes down to two lanes at each of the three shopping centres along its length, and other locations where parking is permitted. Therefore little motor traffic capacity would be lost in redesigning it to be two lanes all the way along, eliminating all the space-wasting central hatching, and introducing extended pedestrian space and added greenery combined with cycle paths. This would enable the whole of the road to be made pedestrian and cycle friendly, encouraging active travel in an area where this is badly needed, also reviving the commercial centres along the road, and it could form an exemplary ‘Healthy Streets’ scheme for the Boroughs of Brent and Harrow.