From Queens Park Area Residents' Association
Queen's Park Area Residents' Association (QPARA) learnt a few days ago of Brent draft plans to block certain streets in its area, without prior public consultation, in a scheme under TfL's Healthy Streets initiative. We expect this to be implemented before 30 September.
QPARA supports initiatives which improve air quality and promote healthy lifestyles, including benefits to pedestrians and cyclists. But these new proposals, which would change the flow of much road traffic inside and through its area, are rushed and opposed by the majority of those who have heard about them. QPARA has long advocated a traffic management plan for the area, following proper consultation, but does not see these plans as the answer. While some rush hour rat runs may be diverted, concentration of traffic on key roads like Salusbury and Chamberlayne with schools, shopping, cafes, community facilities and many homes risks more jams, standing traffic and pollution there. These and residential roads like Harvist Road by the park already have long traffic queues towards junctions at busy times. Other streets west of the park, the green heart of the area with its open spaces and children's playground, could become even worse 'rat runs'.
QPARA's Chair Virginia Brand says:
In recent years QPARA has worked closely with Brent on improvements for key roads in our area, looking carefully at ideas in a joint approach. This model works well. This time it's the opposite, a sudden shift from consultation, with predictable confusion and opposition. Councils are suddenly under pressure from the centre to deliver such schemes quickly, but there is everything to be gained by holding fire and find joint solutions. We should take these issues forward with prior discussion and time to involve residents' associations and their communities properly, like so many good projects before.
QPARA has contacted Councillor Shama Tatler, the lead Brent councillor for this scheme, asking for an urgent meeting or at least an assurance of enough time for proper consultation. On 22 September she is proposing a Zoom with all residents’ associations affected in the Queen’s Park and Kilburn areas when minor changes may be tabled but this is NOT a substitute for evidence or proper assessment by those affected.