Statement on the fatal collision at the junction of Furness Road/Harrow Road on Tuesday 16th March 2021March 17, 2021 2 Comments
We are deeply saddened to hear about the fatal collision between a lorry driver and a cyclist, that occurred on Tuesday afternoon at the junction of Furness Road and Harrow Road, in Harlesden. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the cyclist who died at the scene.
This precise junction between Harrow Road and Furness Road was twice consulted on in the past two and a half years, in July 2018 and in January 2019. Brent Council’s proposals were presented as measures to reduce road danger. This was indeed a location identified by the council as having a “high number of accidents” and “high levels of recorded personal injuries”. This latest collision will be added to the grim tally of 9 traffic collisions already recorded at the junction in the past five years. 3 involved a pedestrian, 2 involved a pedal cyclist and 2 involved a motorcyclist.
In both our responses, we warned the council the measures fell far short of a comprehensive package to reduce road danger for road users who are the most at risk. Both times, we pointed out:
- 70% of serious injury or fatal collisions happen at or near junctions,
- This precise area has been identified by Transport for London as one of the top potential connection routes in the Strategic Cycle Analysis
- The proposed road layout would not eliminate left hooks which are a critical issue for people cycling and needed addressing.
- Nothing in the proposals to limit the risks of being cut when turning right, especially since Furness Road is on a slight incline, people cycling will be a bit slower to start off at a green light, whilst motorists accelerate.
- The Advanced Stop Line, even with improvements, would continue to offer next to no protection with regards to conflicts between cyclists and motor vehicles at the junction.
We made several recommendations ranging from:
- Keeping enough of the central island to provide some physical separation on the junction and bypass it altogether.
- A short, shared space section on the mostly unfrequented pavement on Harrow Road.
- Introducing a phased traffic light to give cyclists a head start and limit mixing at the junction with moving motor traffic.
None of these suggestions were acted upon. We know we cannot fully design out collisions but there is always scope to limit the consequences. This starts with designing a forgiving infrastructure that would act as a buffer to protect pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists from people driving dangerously, too fast and without due care.
We now urge Brent Council to work with us and competently address road danger at this location as soon as possible and in full compliance with the latest regulatory guidance.
Sylvia is the current Brent Cycling Campaign Coordinator. She is a Cricklewood resident and a cargobike mum of two.