July 19, 2024
  • 9:06 pm FREE Cycling Activities and rides
  • 1:46 pm Draft Brent Active Travel Implementation Plan 2024-2029
  • 3:24 pm Wembley Central to Willesden Junction Cycleway: A Significant Opportunity for Better Walking and Cycling in Brent
  • 6:59 pm Wembley to Willesden Junction walking and cycling changes
  • 10:00 pm AGM 2023
  • 12:31 pm Climate Ambassadors

Brent Cycling Campaign responded to the Draft Brent Active Travel Implementation Plan 2024-2029 in January 2024. Brent Council published the consultation report in Spring 2024, with a final version of the Plan expected in June 2024.

Consultation Report

BCC have briefly summarised some key findings from the consultation report below.

  • 73% of respondents walk or cycle in the borough at least 4 times a week.
  • 46% (the plurality) of respondents said they felt Brent was somewhat unfriendly or very unfriendly for walking and cycling.
  • Top barrier to active travel was “poor quality infrastructure for pedestrians”.
  • 62% of respondents rated “lack of / poor quality cycling infrastructure” as a key barrier to active travel.
  • 64% of respondents rated “delivery of new walking and cycling routes” as a key priority.
  • “Many residents expressed concerns about the lack of safe cycling lanes [and] suggested that more investment in cycling infrastructure, including segregated lanes[…] could encourage cycling.”
  • “A small number of people, around one in twenty, disliked the plan’s tendency to penalise drivers and motorists.”
  • 51% of respondents prioritised 20 mph speed limits, with 28% of respondents considering this not a priority.
  • “TfL want more reference in the plan to ensuring that walking and cycling infrastructure is safe (and perceived to be safe) and attractive during all times of the day.” Specific reference is made to “Cycle Future Route 23 Wembley to Harlesden”.
  • “[TfL] note that there is a proposal for a 20mph speed limit. [TfL] would like to see as much on the borough’s roads made 20mph as possible and would welcome more engagement on this as a priority.”

BCC Response

This is the Brent Cycling Campaign (BCC) response to the Draft Brent Active Travel Implementation Plan 2024-29 consultation. BCC is the Brent group of London Cycling Campaign (LCC).

Overall, we are in support of plan because:

1. It correctly identifies many of the benefits of active travel, both on an individual and societal level

2. It clearly identifies many of the problems caused by an excess of motor traffic.

3. It has identified the potential to significantly expand levels of active travel and shows ambition to do so, as well as reducing motor vehicle dominance in the borough. Consideration of a borough-wide 20mph speed limit, similar to other London boroughs is too be commended and would have our support.

4. It has identified the main barriers to active travel which are under direct control of Brent Council:
a. Poor infrastructure due to a lack of a network of protected cycle lanes and insufficiently traffic-calmed minor roads. For example, there are only 6km of protected cycle lanes in the 505km of Brent roads.
b. Lack of secure cycle parking
c. Narrow and cluttered footways.
d. Dangerous junctions for active travel

e. Illegal pavement parking, which may not be fully enforced

We have the following feedback that we are keen to see in the next draft:

1. The term ‘BAME’ is outdated, guidance from 2021 advised that it should no longer be used. Further information can be found here: https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/style-guide/writing-about-ethnicity

2. Although the draft mentions walking and cycling, wheeling has been omitted and its support should be as central to the plan as walking and cycling. Better support for wheeling should include a recognition that footways must be constructed flat. (Brent’s current construction style for footways gives them constant gradients and undulations at vehicle crossovers, which often constitute most of the pavement distance.)

3. The term ‘encourage’ should be replaced by ‘enable’. Anyone can encourage people to walk, wheel and cycle, but only the local authority can enable it by installing the appropriate infrastructure.

4. There is a lack of representation of in the images of disabled cyclists. Approximately 20% of the population has a disability so 1 in 5 of the images should include a disabled person cycling. Inclusive images can be found here https://wfwimages.free.resourcespace.com/login.php

5. We fully appreciate the financial constraints that the council is operating under. We would recommend that parking revenue is also included as a funding source towards active travel. We have the following parking policy recommendations:
a. Introduction of residents parking permits throughout the borough. Currently it is very fragmented.
b. Evidence shows that introduction of residents parking schemes reduces overall car ownership and car use where implemented, thus meeting Brent’s policy goals.
c. As well as emissions, parking charges should also factor in vehicle size/mass as these are major factors in road danger and road wear.

6. We question the aim to focus new school streets on new schools. It would be better to use a data-led approach and address those schools with poor air quality and a history of collisions.

7. The harmful effects of noise pollution are becoming better understood and we would recommend its inclusion along with air pollution.

8. We would like to see the publication of regular updates on progress towards the targets, eg 6 monthly or annually.

9. Some of the barriers mentioned, such as lack of fitness or time, indicate a perception of cycling as a leisure activity, rather than a transport mode, and this should be tackled by Brent. Similarly having a disability is not a barrier to cycling – a lack of appropriate, inclusive infrastructure is the barrier.

10. Walking and wheeling are hindered by the installation of cycle hangars and EV chargers on the already narrow footways. These should not be on the footway and instead space reallocated from other places such as the on-road parking spaces repurposed for such infrastructure.

11. We request that the plan refers to the latest TfL Transport in London report and other sources like Lime’s report on women cycling safety for its data.

Brent Cycling Campaign

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