This is the response to this consultation from Brent Cycling Campaign, the local group of London Cycling Campaign. We represent around 300 supporters (with around 200 paid-up members) and attempt to represent the interests of all who cycle or would like to cycle in NW London.
We do not object to the measures proposed, but we would like to say we find these a very weak and disappointing proposal, especially in view of the much more meaningful changes taking place in other places in the borough to improve safety for school pupils, staff and others on the roads: changes such as the introduction of Low-traffic Neighbourhoods (Heathy Neighbourhoods), School Streets, and cycle lanes. Here, by contrast, we see merely a proposal to paint zig-zag markings over double yellow lines: a proposal for more paint on the road that hardly seems worth holding a consultation over.
The main change needed in this location, that we have been calling for for some years, is the creation of a route for safe cycling between Chevening Road and Winchester Road, to open up low-traffic routes on the side-streets for those cycling to these schools. The concrete barrier in the middle of Salusbury Road and Brondesbury Park prevents such a route, as a by-product of preventing through motor traffic between the side roads. A similar situation used to pertain at the Brondesbury Park and Christchurch Avenue junction. This was solved about five years ago, thanks to our campaigning, by reconstruction of the traffic barrier with two gaps to allow cyclists to get through. The pupils of nearby Malorees School now benefit from this.
At the Chevening Road junction a similar simple solution could be used. Alternatively, if this is not considered so safe because of the lesser road width here, it could be combined with either a signalised crossing or a combined pedestrian and cyclist ‘Tiger’ crossing. These changes would benefit those walking to school also, as currently there is no controlled crossing of the main road near this spot, only an informal crossing. But a better solution than all these would be complete removal of the barrier and replacement with one or more low-traffic zones covering both Chevening Road and Winchester Road. The barrier is problematic for cycling along the main road, as it gives rise to aggression from the drivers of motor vehicles who are stuck behind cyclists on the northbound (uphill) side because they cannot overtake for such a long distance. We advocate removal of the barrier and introduction of mode filters in both Chevening Road and Winchester Road to prevent them being a route for through motor-traffic.
In view of the council’s Climate Emergency Strategy and national policies such as the government’s Change Change for Cycling, we’d hope now that any measures that are presented as safety improvements for cyclists and pedestrians are more meaningful than just painting more lines on the roads.
Brent Cycling Campaign, February 2021