Changes to Harrow’s Streetspace programme will improve access for the emergency services and give residents peace of mind over Christmas.
Harrow Council today have made immediate improvements to their Streetspace programme following conversations with emergency services and ward Councillors.
At the talks the London Fire Brigade highlighted potential changes to ease access to Stanmore Fire station. While the Ambulance Service, the Fire Brigade and the Police confirmed the positive news that they have continued to meet their statutory target response times in the borough, the concern is that with the significant and growing increases in Covid-19 infection rates and additional winter pressures, this could impact severely on the resources of the emergency services when dealing with additional cases.
The need to support our emergency services partners is a priority for the Council, particularly in the run up to Christmas when services may be over stretched.
In response, Harrow Council has decided to make immediate improvements to the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and Honeypot Lane cycle lane which include:
- Giving the emergency services access to the LTNs by creating openings (3m wide) in road closures on Pinner View at the junction with Cunningham Park (Headstone South LTN) and Vaughan and Blenheim Road in the Vaughan Road LTN. These openings will be for the use of emergency services and cyclists only – these changes can be made without having to change the current road traffic order.
- Removing the north bound cycle lane in Honeypot Lane near the Fire station from Crowshott Avenue to Whitchurch Lane to provide better access for the emergency services.
Cllr Graham Henson, Leader of Harrow Council said of the immediate changes, “Following recent conversations with the emergency services on the growing pressures they face with winter and the increasing infection rates for Covid-19 in Harrow, we have taken swift action to support their services by improving their access to the LTNs and Stanmore fire station.
“LTNs have a place in Harrow and we are committed to creating schemes that work for our residents and local communities.
This is why we will be engaging directly with those residents living within LTNs and school streets in the new year inviting them to give their views on these changes and future proposals for the schemes.
“In normal circumstances, we would have engaged more extensively with the community before introducing the Streetspace schemes but due to the nature of the emergency and the requirement of the conditions of Government funding we had to act with unprecedented speed.”
There have been mixed reviews of the use of planters to close roads in LTNs to reduce traffic and improve safety. The Council are carrying out monthly reviews to understand their impact, which includes feedback from residents and the emergency services.
The December review (based on data collected in November) and any proposed changes to Streetspace schemes will be presented at a newly scheduled Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Panel (TARSAP) meeting in January.
School streets on the other hand are growing in popularity amongst Harrow Head Teachers with a further 10 talking with the Council about how the scheme would work for them and the application/funding process.
Cllr Henson says:
“As cases of Coronavirus continue to rise rapidly in Harrow, and London, it is vital that we deliver traffic-schemes that enable our residents to social distance while also creating safer neighbourhoods, improving road safety and reducing the impact of the climate emergency.”
The next TARSAP meeting will be held on Monday 11th January 2021 at 6.30pm.
Residents can give their feedback on the LTNs, as well as the cycle lanes and school streets, on the council’s Commonplace Streetspace site.