Monday 21 September 2020

Queens Park Residents: “Brent Council – please press the pause button on plans to block our streets now!”

 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.


Anonymous said...

We should welcome pushing traffic on to main roads.

If stationary traffic increases, people make decisions like not driving at all.

Moving traffic may well run at lower speeds, another thing to welcome.

In side roads kids can play in the street and cycle safely for the first time.

Unknown said...

The implementation of healthy streets may have been rushed and poorly communicated, but the bottom line is that motorists are going to have to give up space for active travel, and that will eventually mean less car use, especially for short trips.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 21 September 2020 at 11:20

As much as I agree with your thought process I have to point out the counter argument.

A road near me has been 'calmed' and now the road is a constant traffic jam with very noticiable polution in a shopping area. One of the negatives is that a bus lane, of about 50yards long has been intalled and is causing almost a mile long traffic jam every morning (the rest of the time the queue are shorter, maybe 1/2 mile. Well, the buses who the bus lane has been provided for have to wait in he mile long queue before they can whizz away on the 50yard buss lane that includes a bus stop!!!

To summarise, substantial mistakes are being made and instead of reducing polution, it is moving it and increasing it. Also, the people stuck in the traffic jam are going to work and there is no alternate as there is no public transport to where the majority of vehicles are heading.

Anonymous said...

Roads with more traffic have more pollution. Jams do not stop car use. We would do better to pedestrianise Salusbury Road.