This is the response of Brent Cycling Campaign, the local group of the London Cycling Campaign in Brent. We represent circa 200 Brent resident members, and 300 supporters, who cycle or would like to cycle more in the borough.
Considering that 70% of serious injury or fatal collisions happen at or near junctions, that this precise area has been identified by TfL as one of the top 25 potential connection routes in their Strategic Cycle Analysis (SCA) and that Willesden Junction area has been earmarked as one of the zones with the highest potential cycling demand, we do not support the proposed Furness Road Junction Improvement Scheme on the following grounds:
- The proposed road layout will not eliminate left hooks (Furness Rd -> Harrow Rd) and (High Street Harlesden -> Furness Rd). This is a critical issue for people cycling and needs addressing.
- Nor will it limit the risks of being cut when turning right (Furness -> High Street Harlesden). Especially since Furness in on slight incline, people on bicycles will be a bit slower to start off at a green, whilst motorists will accelerate.
- The Advanced Stop Line boxes, which already exist, will continue to offer next to no protection with regards to conflicts with motorised vehicles at a junction. As we know from evidence and experience, they are not systematically respected by motorists and rarely enforced, therefore as a measure to ensure and improve the safety of people cycling, this falls far below what is needed here.
We approve the removal of the rail barriers as they are potentially dangerous for people cycling.
We would like to make the following suggestions for your consideration:
- Keep enough of the island to create a physical separation for people cycling to bypass the junction when turning left from Furness Road into Harrow. Could perhaps also be made to accommodate two ways. Would require a ‘Except cyclists’ sign on Harrow, new road marking and give way line on Furness so people cycling can turn right from Harrow road into Furness bypassing the junction and rejoin the left lane later on. Could be the opportunity to swap the three speed cushions with one single sinusoidal speed hump across the whole width of the road to enable inclusive cycling.
- The pavement on Harrow Road doesn’t look very frequented, could we look at possibly reassigning that space for either shared space with pedestrians or space for cyclists to ease rejoining the road safely further away from the junction?
- Move the pedestrians crossing on Harrow Road closer to Willesden Junction station and bus stop, away from the junction and closer to where people would need to cross. Would shorten the crossing for pedestrians across Harrow Road which is one of the aims of the proposal.
- In the absence of sufficient space to separate cyclists from motorised traffic, which is by far the only way to have a safe T-junction, could a phased cyclist traffic signal on HS Harlesden be put in? This would allow people cycling to cross the junction first and ease a left turn into Furness. However this would not solve the possible conflicts when green.
- Ideally, a bypass on the corner of HS Harlesden and Furness would eliminate both risks of left hooks and and right cuts at all times.
To summarise, given the strategic dimension of Harrow Road/High Street Harlesden recognised by TfL’s SCA, we would expect a high quality standard of cycling infrastructure at the junction, that would enable people to safely cycle across. This is particularly important to those who would like to cycle but feel they can’t, due to the current road environment. A decent cycling infrastructure at this location would have wider benefits such as enabling modal shift, therefore easing congestion, and lowering the levels of pollution and encourage active travel (there is a primary school nearby). This in itself would be a true improvement as set out in the aims of this proposal by lowering the risk of dangerous interactions between users and therefore reducing the number of traffic accidents at this location.
How about a raised table with full-width sinusoidal entry and exit? Especially if the turn in/out of Furness Road is not on a bus route.
Especially when turning right, drivers often take the turn together with cyclists, who can then get squeezed especially when vehicles are parked against the parking restriction here.
At a real basic level, how about early green for cyclists?
As the consultation summary indicates, the Furness Road approach is single lane, hence right-turning traffic obstructs the free flowing left-turning traffic.
The consultation summary specifies “proposing to … improve junction capacity”. Why do you want to increase capacity for motorists? And hence make it more appealing to drive?
Instead, why not consider filtering out motorists from Furness Road?
Sylvia is the current Brent Cycling Campaign Coordinator. She is a Cricklewood resident and a cargobike mum of two.