Saturday, 8 January 2022

Brent officers recommend removal of current Olive Road, Dollis Hill, Preston Area and Tokyngton and Wembley area Healthier Neighbourhood (LTN) schemes pending further consultation and engagement

 

*Lockable bollards removed from some restrictions following concerns raised by local Brent London Ambulance Service representatives.
** Restrictions removed to improve access to the Covid-19 testing centre on London Road.

 

The Brent Cabinet will consider a review of Brent Active Travel at its meeting on January 17th which includes Healthy Neighbourhood Schemes and School Street Schemes. The former have been controversial and School Streets less so.

Of the implemented Healthy Neighbour schemes officers recommend  removal of Oliver Road, Dollis Hill, Preston Area and Tokyngton and Wembley Central Area schemes with further consultation and engagement with residents. Future schemes will be subject to the availabilityof funding.

The report to Cabinet recognises the benefits of such schemes but also issues around the trials which are attributed to the way the Government introduced them. It iis admitted that public opinion is polarised on the policy and the generally low response rate to consultation noted:

The Healthy Neighbourhood schemes aim to change the way in which people travel by reducing motor traffic on residential streets, creating safer, quieter, cleaner, healthier and more pleasant neighbourhoods that encourage walking and cycling. The benefits of these schemes are well researched and documented and the Government (link) and TfL (link) continue to support measures that encourage active travel.

Furthermore;

 

· Air pollution shortens the lives of Londoners, leading to nearly 10,000 premature deaths each year. In Brent, it is currently estimated that air pollution directly causes200 deaths per year (Public Health England, 2016) in Brent and that it is a contributing factor to many more conditions.


· Information provided by TfL (2016/17–2018/19 average) show that 50% of households in Brent do not own a car and there would be a 60% increase in private car travel if car owners switched their public transport trips.


· Around 1.6 million, or 22%, of all car trips made by London residents every day are under 2km and could therefore be walked (2.7 million more could be cycled).


· Almost 55% of Brent’s adult population are overweight, 34% of whom are classified as obese with a chronic lack of physical activity. By 2050 levels of obesity are projected to reach 50% of the adult population in Brent. Similarly, the most recent figures show that over 28% of Brent children in reception are overweight, 14% of whom are classified as obese


· Reducing car journeys reduces the potential of injuries from road traffic collisions.

 

Healthy Neighbourhood schemes have proven to be controversial and representations were considered at an Extraordinary Meeting of Full Council on 16th October 2020, details of which are available on our website. 

 

Representations were received from residents from the Kilburn and Brondesbury and Queens Park areas following initial consultation with statutory stakeholders, (including the emergency services), for an Experimental Traffic Order, before notices were sent to residents in the area. The Council also received high numbers of objections and several petitions opposing the trial schemes.


At the Extraordinary Meeting of the Full Council in October 2020, it was recognised that these schemes can provide benefits in relation to climate change, air quality,health and that many of the concerns raised were in relation to the engagement and consultation process, which was as a result of the way in which central government had sought to introduce active trials.


Following the meeting of Full Council in October 2020, the decision was made to focus on community engagement prior to deciding on the implementation of the remaining five schemes. It should be noted for the Brondesbury and Queens Park and Kilburn areas, the major junction improvement works by Westminster City Council at Ladbroke Grove and Harrow Road may also have resulted in congestion in the area

 

Officers have also made the following recommendations and observations:


· The outcome of the consultation during the trial period indicates that none of the five Healthy Neighbourhood trial schemes were supported by the majority of local residents. From the responses from the community from within the Healthy Neighbourhood areas, between 70 and 91% of respondents opposed the current schemes.


· Generally, public opinion is polarised and officers have and continue to receive a high number of enquiries, particularly during the public engagement exercise and mainly from those that oppose the schemes.


· There is a misconception of a lack of consultation, this is a result of the way in which the Government sought to introduce active trials and limited TfL funding to deliver schemes at pace.


· There is also a lack of public understanding on the benefits of these schemes and the need to encourage active travel to improve air quality, health and wellbeing and respond to the climate and ecological emergency. The council will need to do more work on this.

 

· The effectiveness of these schemes have been negatively impacted by changes in circumstances with the spread of coronavirus and the need to remove physical measures so not to impede access to test and vaccination centres, and responses by the emergency services. The local London Ambulance Service raised specific concerns in relation to access and recommended the use of restrictions enforced by CCTV enforcement cameras so that they can gain access when needed. The effectiveness of the schemes was adversely affected by lockable bollards and plastic barriers being removed by unknown parties, and the lack of CCTV enforcement cameras.


· The community engagement exercise carried out by Living Streets provides some useful feedback on measures that may be successfully introduced in the future that would provide benefits to the area and potentially be supported by the community.


· Collaborative design with the community would help to engender public support for future measures, and these will need to be effective in preventing through traffic and trialled for a longer period, potentially 12 months. This would provide sufficient time for residents to experience the benefits and also for establishing the effect of the scheme in terms of monitoring changes to travel behaviour, traffic and congestion and the effects road safety and air quality.


· Officers have made recommendations for each of the five healthy Neighbourhood trial schemes in Appendix A. These are that; the Olive Road, Dollis Hill, Preston Road and Tokyngton and Wembley area schemes are removed, and the Stonebridge and Harlesden area scheme remains, with the exception of the restriction at Mordaunt Road, which will be removed.


· Officers will prepare a report for consideration by the Council’s Cabinet on the future approach to developing and delivering Healthy Neighbourhood schemes and a policy on the use of CCTV enforcement cameras and exemptions.


· The development and implementation of future schemes will depend on future funding being made available for that purpose

 

These are the officer comments and recommendations for each of the trial areas extracted Appendix A see the full Appendix for detail HERE.

Stonebridge and Harlesden Area

 

• There is a very low response for this area. Responses from roads where modal filters were installed (Lawrence Avenue, Mordaunt Road and Nicoll Road) a total of 22 responses were received. Of these 10 (45.5%) supported the scheme and 12 (54.5%) did not.
• The Mordaunt Road restriction is suspended / removed, this is also a route used by the LAS who raised concerns.
• The Nicholl Road closure remains but is not fully closed, as concerns have been raised by the LAS. Plans are developed for moving this to the junction of Craven Park Road. Consideration is given to a CCTV camera restriction with exemptions, subject to consultation and future funding. From the consultation responses 8 residents in the street supported the restrictions, two opposed.
• The Wembley to Willesden Healthy Streets Corridor would provide an opportunity for improved cycle infrastructure in the area over the next two years.
• It would not be feasible to restrict Lorries on the A404 Craven Park Road, but discussions will be held with TfL on lorry routes and signage to encourage alternative HGV routes.
• The Council will encourage play streets in the Borough and this area.
• There is further engagement with the community to develop ideas from the community engagement exercise, which would be subject to consultation and future funding

 

Preston Area

 

• There is very little support for the scheme overall.
• The restrictions are suspended / removed, Grasmere Avenue is also a route used by the LAS who raised concerns. From the consultation, 2 residents in Grasmere Avenue supported the scheme, 9 opposed. This will include the covering or removal of signage indicating restrictions, planters may remain in place and potentially be used should further
measures be introduced.
• One way systems are considered as an alternative means to restrict through traffic.
• Improvements to the Lulworth / Windermere roundabout, providing improved pedestrian and cycling facilities will be considered.
• There is further engagement with the community to develop ideas from the community engagement exercise, which would be subject to consultation and future funding

 

Tokyngton and Wembley Area

 

There was a very low response rate to the consultation on the Brent portal. For the Wembley and Tokyngton Hill scheme, there was a very low response rate of 4%.
• There is very little support for the scheme overall. Responses from roads where modal filters were installed (London Road and Tokyngton Avenue) a total of 18 responses were received. Of these 4 (22%) supported the scheme and 14 (78%) did not.
• Restrictions on Cecil Avenue and Rupert Avenue were removed early in the scheme to accommodate access to the London Road Covid testing centre

• The restriction on Tokington Avenue should be removed. Only 1 resident supported the restriction, 7 opposed.
• An inspection of the pavements in the area will be arranged and defects meeting the intervention level programmed for repair
• A traffic speed survey will be carried out and speed reduction measures considered, subject to prioritisation and funding.
• A Controlled Parking Zone would reduce non-local traffic and this would be considered if there is evidence of wider support
• There is further engagement with the community to develop ideas from the community engagement exercise, which would be subject to consultation and future funding

 

Olive Road Area

 

• There was a good response to both the consultation during the trail and the community engagement exercise.
• There is very little support for the scheme overall.
• There were several reports of lockable bollards being removed
• The introduction of ANPR Cameras, potentially with exemptions for residents may be supported.
• Restrictions should be suspended / removed, including the St Michaels Avenue restriction as from the consultation, 1 supported and 8 opposed the scheme.
• There is potential for a new scheme to be developed taking into consideration the feedback from community engagement.
• A 7.5t ‘access only’ restriction could be incorporated into the design of a new scheme.
• The School Street Scheme is subject to a separate evaluation and review process.
• There is further engagement with the community to develop ideas from the community engagement exercise, which would be subject to consultation and future funding

 

Dollis Hill Area

 

• There is very little support for the scheme overall
• Restrictions should be suspended / removed. From the consultation for Dollis Hill Avenue, 1 supported and 21 opposed, for Oxgate Gardens, 6 supported and 14 opposed and for Gladstone Park Gardens, 8 supported and 72 opposed. The London Ambulance Service also raised some concerns about the restriction in Gladstone Park Gardens, access should be retained and CCTV enforcement should be considered.
• Dollis Hill Lane could be incorporated into the scheme area, but this is a bus route and access would need to be provided. The implications of restricting traffic on a main route would need to be considered.
• Measures to reduce speeding will be considered, subject to surveys, consultation and funding
• School street measures for the Jewish school can be considered within the school streets programme.
• Safety outside our Lady of Lourdes will be considered, along with the request for a pedestrian crossing. This would be subject to consultation and funding.
• Cycle lanes on the A5 Edgware Road ad Dollis Hill Lane could be considered in the future if funding becomes available. The council have an extensive programme for introducing Cycle Hangars, 50 new Hangars will be implemented in the spring of 2022. Consideration will be given to the area if there is demand.

• There is further engagement with the community to develop ideas from the community engagement exercise, which would be subject to consultation and future funding

 FULL REPORTS CAN BE READ HERE

LINK to the Motion on Healthy Neighbourhood Schemes passed at extraordinary Meeting of Full Council in October 2020.

 

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another nail in Tatler's coffin then. Her coffin will no doubt have built in ear muffs installed and a note inside the lid saying "Reminder, I'm always right, it is the stupid residents that just don't understand how right I am". Excuse the pun.

I'm sure the rest of Butt's totally compliant Cabinet will get some of the blame for supporting such a stupid scheme (they should) and especially because they didn't ask residents before implementing, and then continuing to ignore residents and some councillors - apparently some of Butt's most reliable supporters disagreed, though they were hardly publicly vocal about it.



Anonymous said...

I've attended the cricklewood meetings for the scheme numerous times. The vast majority of residents opposed this scheme entirely. They also opposed the use of ANPR, we do not need privacy invasive and spying technologies that can be easily used for oppression in our areas. How will this work with taxis? Friends coming over? Building works? ANPR is not welcome.

When we spoke with the Brent representatives they completely disregarded our opinions and kept asking "what can we do to support you to not use your vehicle". They didn't care at all about what we said. Honestly, nothing will stop us, We will continue to use vehicles regardless of what the council says. We refuse to pay any of the illegitimate fines imposed.

The council even had the cheek to move a disabled persons bay away from their home for this scheme. It's utterly ludicrous.

The complaint about air pollution is completely void. Air quality in London significantly improved when buses and taxis changed from using diesel to electric. The ULEZ scheme has already show improvements. As will the ban on petrol and diesel vehicles.

The government is using this scheme as a measure to implement more ANPR cameras for the inevitable tax per mile when petrol and diesel is banned.

Now have the healthy neighborhood scheme lived with 3 children? Elderly parents? Do they expect us to do the weekly shop using a bus? Taking our elderly parents to hospital appointments on the bus? Ludicrous thoughts. None of them live the lives we do. They are all able to afford taxis etc. When we cannot.

Anonymous said...

We Brent need to vote out the entire cabinet that supported this scheme

Anonymous said...

There is an election coming so 'Officers' are tasked by nervous councillors with recommending removal of the Preston Area scheme. The report says 9 residents in Grassmere were opposed (only nine?) and there will be 'future consultation'.

Compare that with the Council's behaviour on Preston Library.

At an election meeting in 2016 Councillor Mashari promised to lease the existing building to the local community for a peppercorn rent for use as a community library.

There was then two years of looking for schools to occupy the building at a refurbishment cost of £100k while 'officers' tried to find a way for the Council to get out of this promise.

Then two years of 'consultation' to show the community the Council's plans and to ignore what was said by the community on the Council's plan to demolish the library.

In this 'consultation' - 95% of responses opposed the demolition and redevelopment of the library, there were more than 80 written objections to the planning application and residents raised tens of thousands of pounds to show that the scheme was unlawful in planning terms at two separate Judicial Reviews in the High Court.

What did the Council do then with an unlawful scheme?

With the support of the ward Councillors - they demolished the library!

The traffic scheme is being parked for the upcoming election and the report is presented so the officers are to take the blame.

Preston residents will not be fooled - the Council has no interest in the views of the community and this is a tactic to keep this away from the upcoming election.

Anonymous said...

So true, I live in Neasden, the bus stop is 10min walk away from me. Tube station is so far away I have to go as far as wembley Park Station as if I go to Neasden or Dollis Hill I have to walk so much to get to bus stops and then to the station. How do they expect me to use public transport is everything is so far off.

Shafique Choudhary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Arditti said...

Very disappointing, though unsurprising decision.

Brent's councillors and leadership lack the courage to take any significant steps to tackle the climate crisis. They never properly implemented these schemes, so how could residents take a meaningful decision on whether they liked the changes or not? They could never expereince the long-term effects. Residents in some other boroughs, notably Lambeth, Camden and Waltham Forest, were given that experience, and they voted to make their Low Traffic Neighbourhoods permanent.

It looks like Brent is destined to remain car-sodden, polluted, and an unpleasant place to live, even as global temperatures rise inexorably. We've just had the warmest New Year ever.

Anonymous said...

Sanity prevails. Bollards in a street do not make an inspirational local neighbourhood. You need wider infrastructure changes than that.

Meg Howarth said...

Re David Arditti, above: add Islington to the list of boroughs where residents have supported retention of originally experimental LTNs despite lots of shouty noises off. M/time,'Smart council officers outsmart attempts to game consultations'

https://lastnotlost.wordpress.com/2021/12/29/consultationfakes/

Reminds me of rigged consultation responses 10 years ago re Kensal Rise Library...

Cllr Daniel Kennelly said...

I don't normally respond to anonymous people but the post above does have a couple of inaccuracies.

Ward Councillors worked hard from 2018 to ensure that a promise of a peppercorn rent was met, that library premises were maximized (still arguing for more) and that local impacted neighbours were engaged with, consulted and heard. We inherited these decisions and sought to find a way forwards with the wider community.

I personally disagreed with the second planning committee application not being put to consultation and spoke against the plans at the planning committee.
I reviewed several times the alternatives by SKPPRA and others and continue to raise concerns over the project. Please don't pretend that this has been done with my support.

As for the healthy Neighbourhood scheme, we will always look at ways to improve air quality and lower congestion on local roads. This is in line with welcome changes to the highway code. Importantly these will have to be consulted upon through proper and expected resident engagement and consultation.

Please do respond with your name attached. I am happy to have an active and engaged conversation with any named individual.

Ed Round said...

This is an enormously complicated issue, that some people are trying to distil down to a "them and us" argument. Yes, there's a need for Brent to tackle the climate emergency, and they are doing almost nothing in that regard. Yes, they should be doing much more to promote active travel, and they are doing far less than neighbouring boroughs. But measures that don't have local support will fail, and ultimately that's much worse in the long run.

Better that we have a considered, cross-borough plan, to deal with mode switch away from cars, but recognising that a "one-size fits all" approach will not work in a borough that is split between a more urban south and a very suburban north. Obviously, as a cyclist, I would be delighted if there were more (*any) cycle infrastructure in the borough. But I recognise that this is not everyone's priority, and that we do also need to improve borough infrastructure for all borough residents, whether disabled, elderly, young or able-bodied. Telling people how to travel is unlikely to make people do it. Better would be to enable options: cycle hangars at tube stations, urgent consideration of ways for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the NCR safely and conveniently, providing cycle carriers on buses (which US cities have been doing for decades).

That said, I have no confidence that the current leadership of the borough has any ability or intent in this area, and the way they have approached the LTN issue from the very start makes me wonder whether they wanted it to fail.

Alison hopkins said...

Well said Ed. Brent has ignored speeding and illegal lorry traffic for decades, too, and those need urgent action. They could also fix a few footpaths to encourage walking. And not allow the demolition of shops.

As to rigged consultations, I’m pretty insulted at the suggestion that I and the hundreds of others who responded were in some way fake. I’m also insulted that Brent saw fit not to consult with the many boundary road residents badly affected by a half baked and appallingly badly designed scheme.

Add in t(e fact that the organisation who wrote the questionnaires and carried out the chaotic consultation meetings were neither impartial or objective and you’ve a total cock up of epic proportions.

The Dollis Hill Facebook group discussed this all at length. I’d reckon the split between opposition and some measure of support was about 90 percent to 10.

Anonymous said...

Cllr Kennelly confirms election mode - not my fault/what we inherited etc etc. I did not make the first anon post but I don't think it is inaccurate.

SKPPRA and many others including me made evidenced objections to the library scheme for years and were completely ignored. As for consulting with the affected residents - the development looks into their homes and gardens - nothing they said had any impact on the scheme or the local Councilors.

Cllr. Kennelly disagreeing with the second scheme not being put to consultation is like opposing the colour of the planting boxes in the traffic scheme - its irrelevant to the issues that residents raised on the scheme. Why would more consultation make any difference when three years before had been a consultation game the Council plays and referees and ignores.

None of the Councilors opposed the library development - NONE - yet now they want credit for listening? If the promise to lease the library had been kept by this Council it would not have been demolished.

Don't know what the Councilor's objection is to anonymous posts if they give accurate information. The ballot box is anonymous!

Thank you Wembley Matters for a place where residents can be heard and recorded.

David Walton said...

Maybe Low Traffic Neighbourhoods would be better targeted at neighbourhoods which have (and always will always) Brents lowest number of car owning households such as South Kilburn, which instead as Corporatist Colony is set to double it's number of adopted roads by 2041.

This road doubling depite South Kilburn having two underground stations and Central London level bus services, work that policy out? It is South Kilburn as another country, another government, entirely outside of the London Plan (except for housing increasing five fold and roads two fold that is) in this special zone of What climate emergency? What air pollution emeergency? What flood environment emergency?

Cricklewood News Network said...

The residents spoke, were 80% against (in many polls) and the council listened. Finito!