|The existing steps and ramp that provide pedestrians access to Olympic Way and North End Road from Bridge Road (closed when crowds leave the stadium)|
The Brent Cabinet will make a decision on a £6m plus scheme to rejoin North End Road, Wembley Park to Bridge Road at its meeting on July 16th. An artist's visualisation of the project will not be published until the day of the meeting but I expect the road extension to run close to the Michaela Community School. (see above)
The plans has been on the back burner for many years but has become a necessity as a result of the Council's decision to fund the removal of the Wembley Stadium pedway and its replacement by steps. That scheme plus other public realm improvements on Olympic Way is costing £17.8m the Council has allocated from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and the additional £6m is also likely to come from CIL.
The officers' report states:
A planning application has recently been submitted to remove the existing pedway that enables spectators to cross Engineers Way. This will require Engineers Way to be closed prior to events as well as afterwards, The outcome of this is there will be not east-west vehicular movements across the growth area for an extended period of time, further impacting on residents and businesses as well as reducing the number of buses able to access the twin centres and shopping areas (Tesco and IKEA).I am not sure the residents of North End Road will welcome the transformation of what is currently a quiet road into a busy thoroughfare, perhaps with buses, although some motorists may welcome better access. I will await confirmation from TfL regarding the practicality running buses on this alternative route. Certainly residents on my estate, Kings Drive, are frustrated by the curtailment of the 206 bus service on Wembley event days.
If the pedway is replaced by steps the construction of the North End Road connection becomes essential to provide a vehicular route which is not impacted by the vehicular exclusion required on event days around the stadium. Additional benefits could be [my emphasis] buses would also not be required to divert away from the area enabling journeys to be completed without inconvenience. If implemented it is expected that the steps will be constructed in 2019.
In addition to this major infrastructural project the Cabinet will also consider proposals to introduce 'two-way working' on South Way between VDC Careys and Great Central Way, Fifth Way and Fourth Way 'to improve the operation of the highway network on event days and provide some mitigation on the delay experienced by residents and business in North End Road through avoiding having to flow around the gyratory with event day traffic.' VDC Careys will accommodate the new Wembley Stadium coach park, becoming operational in January 2020.
Two-way working is also proven to lower traffic speeds just through the experience of having oncoming traffic movements, this will assist in providing a better environment for pedestrians and cyclists to be in and encourage sustainable and active travel into this vehicle domination area.Persuaded?
The outcome is intended to achieve an appealing gateway to Wembley, improved public realm for the existing community and improve the environmental conditions to attract future investment.