Wembley Central to Willesden Junction Cycleway: A Significant Opportunity for Better Walking and Cycling in BrentDecember 3, 2023 0 COMMENTS
New proposals to improve walking and cycling between Wembley Central and Harlesden are an important opportunity for Brent. Brent Cycling Campaign welcomes and supports plans by Transport for London and Brent Council for safer streets, new cycle lanes, and new pedestrian crossings.
After more than three years of planning and public engagement TfL published the new plans on 10th November. The plans connect Wembley Central to Harlesden with a cycle route on quiet roads and protected space between Sylvia Gardens and First Drive across the North Circular. The proposals, which do not reduce the number of lanes for drivers, follow an existing route from London Road onto Tokyngton Avenue, after crossing the North Circular people on bikes are diverted through quiet streets around Stonebridge Park to reach Harlesden Station on Acton Lane.
The junction of Harrow Road with the North Circular is the most dangerous junction for pedestrians in Brent. Between 2018 and 2022 there were over 90 collisions along Harrow Road, in January 2022 a person was killed crossing the road at the junction with the North Circular, and since 2018 there have been over 100 injuries and deaths on roads along the route. With quicker and safer pedestrian crossings, and a new protected cycle lane, the improvements to the A404 / A406 junction will be an example of how Brent can be transformed into a welcoming borough for active travel.
Throughout the plans new and improved pedestrian crossings and footpaths will help connect communities. Some side roads will have raised entrances, meaning people using mobility aids or with pushchairs do not need to go up and down steep kerbs. Extended bus lanes will mean faster, more reliable bus journeys. The new route will make it much easier to access Bridge Park Leisure Centre, with two new pedestrian crossings over the main road where people are not left stranded on pedestrian islands. TfL also plan to improve the lighting and CCTV in Tokyngton Recreation Ground and Stonebridge Park making these areas safer for people traveling alone and after dark.
The new proposals miss some important opportunities for better walking and cycling in Brent, for example by not continuing the improvements along Harrow Road to Wembley Triangle, and by not reducing the number of motor vehicles on residential roads. However, we at Brent Cycling Campaign welcome these plans, and hope they represent the start of significant investment in better active travel in Brent. If you would like to have your say and support the proposals please see the consultation on TfL’s website.
This article authored by Brent Cycling Campaign first appeared in the Brent and Kilburn Times.