Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Brent's cycling hopes punctured by Mayor's Office

The Brent Highways Committee, which meets on December 10th, will hear disappointing news about the prospects for cycling highways in Brent. Brent Council was not chosen for the Mayor's 'mini-Holland' scheme and it now appears that secondary projects are also encountering problems.

Brent's initial proposals to the GLA included:

  • ·  The Jubilee/Metropolitan Superhighway - a direct route between Wembley and Willesden to include a “green bridge” crossing over the North Circular.
  • ·  The Jubilee/Metropolitan Quietway - to run parallel to the Jubilee line between Northwick Park and Wembley Park, and again between Dollis Hill station and Kilburn station.
  • ·  The Bakerloo Superhighway - along the Harrow Road between Wembley and Kensal Green towards central London; and
  • An Orbital Quietway - to run along the canal between Alperton and Stonebridge Park, and also along the River Brent 
Despite an initial favourable response Andrew Gilligan the Mayor's Cycling Commissioner,  later supported just two routes. The first was a route following the Jubilee Line  linking Wembley ith Neasden, Willesden and Kilburn and an orbital route paralleling the North Circular, linking to Brent Cross.

Brent Council was interested in promoting local routes while Gilligan wanted routes into Central London.  Brent Council believe the latter would be of only limited benefit to Brent residents.

Officers summarise their reservations over content and progress of the proposals: LINK
Brent officers are very supportive of the Mayor’s cycle initiative. It complements sustainable transport, employment opportunities, public health and regeneration objectives for the Borough as well as contributing to improving cycle safety. At the same time we have some concerns about its delivery. These concerns are as follows:

a)      Officers are concerned that there is a focus on strategic routes into central London rather than more local cycle routes, which is where the greatest growth in cycling is likely to be achieved only a certain population of our residents work in central London and we believe that the proportion that could be persuaded to cycle to central London would not be as great as the number of local cycle trips that we could encourage through local infrastructure investment;
b)      Selection of routes and local priorities does not appear to be as collaborative as expected, with priorities being set and defined by the Mayor’s office rather than being discussed and agreed in partnership with Brent;
c)      TfL have appointed consultants to develop the feasibility and design of local cycle routes, which intimates that Boroughs will not have the freedom and flexibility to commission and develop cycle projects on Borough roads Brent has recently entered into the London Highways Alliance contract, which has the flexibility to enable delivery of consultancy services and we are concerned as to why alternate consultants are being used outside of the LoHAC framework;
d)      We are also concerned about decision making powers and processes by which local councillors and communities will be engaged given that design consultants are being employed by TfL to develop schemes on local roads; and
e)      At present, none of the boroughs have received any of the published funding and there is no indication of how and when any funding will be made available and what the role of Boroughs will be in utilising and receiving this funding. To date all development costs have been borne by the Boroughs and we have been given no indication as to when funding will be made available.

1 comment:

Trevor said...

all i can say is that I feel sorry for the people.
you deserve so much better but you'll never get it.
we are just here to be exploited and manipulated by the system.
thanks to our extremely corrupt government.