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Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Virtual Meeting - Online. View directions

Contact: Daksha Ghelani, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1881 E-mail:  daksha.ghelani@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

95.

Attendance by Reserve Members

To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.

 

Reserve Members may attend meetings:-

 

(i)            to take the place of an ordinary Member for whom they are a reserve;

(ii)          where the ordinary Member will be absent for the whole of the meeting; and

(iii)         the meeting notes at the start of the meeting at the item ‘Reserves’ that the Reserve Member is or will be attending as a reserve;

(iv)         if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend has been noted arrives after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member can only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that there were no Reserve Members in attendance.

96.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:

 

(a)          all Members of the Panel;

(b)          all other Members present.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that the declaration of interests, which had been published on the Council website, be taken as read and that in the course of the meeting.

 

(1)          The Declarations of Interests published in advance of the meeting on the Council’s website were taken as read and the following further declarations were made at the meeting for agenda item 8 – Harrow Streetspace Programme Review:

 

Councillor Hinkley (non-pecuniary Interest) relating to Hatch End Ward;

 

Councillor James Lee (non-pecuniary Interest) is a Canon Park resident; and

 

Cllr Osborn (non-pecuniary Interest) lives near LTN04.

 

(2)          Members and Advisers who had declared interests remained in the virtual meeting whilst the matters were considered and voted upon.

97.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 308 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2020 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 11 October 2020 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

98.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 224 KB

To receive any public questions received in accordance with Executive Procedure Rule 49 (Part 4D of the Constitution).

 

Questions will be asked in the order in which they were received.  There will be a time limit of 15 minutes for the asking and answering of public questions.

 

[The deadline for receipt of public questions if 3.00 pm, Wednesday 6 January 2021 and for any questions related to items circulated after the main agenda the deadline is 3.00pm on Friday 8 January 2021.  Questions should be sent to publicquestions@harrow.gov.uk

No person may submit more than one question].

Minutes:

Public questions taken were responded to.  The Chair advised that, due to the volume of questions accepted, any supplementary questions asked would receive a written answer.  The Questions and respective answers are appended to these minutes.

99.

Petitions

To receive petitions (if any) submitted by members of the public/Councillors under the provisions of Executive Procedure Rule 47 (Part 4D of the Constitution).

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that no petitions were received.

100.

Deputations

To receive deputations (if any) under the provisions of Executive Procedure Rule 48 (Part 4D of the Constitution).

Minutes:

In accordance with Executive Procedure Rule 48.8, the Panel was permitted to hear more than the usual two deputations per meeting if they related to a matter on the agenda.

 

RESOLVED:  That, in accordance with Executive Procedure Rules 48 the following deputations be received in respect of agenda item 8:

 

8 -        Information Item - Harrow Streetspace Programme Review.

 

1.

Title of Deputation

Remove LTN02 Headstone Scheme

Reason for Deputation

[12 Signatories]

Adverse impacts of implementation of Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme in Headstone South Ward, LTN02.

 

2.

Title of Deputation

Mini China, not mini Holland

Reason for Deputation

[18]

I would like to raise the severe or complete lack of consultation and communication that has occurred with residents and other stakeholders in the implantation of these LTN schemes.  We live in a democratic borough.  I would like all the LTNs removed immediately until a correct consultation with all is done.

 

3.

Title of Deputation

Objections and request to remove the Low Traffic Neighbourhood LTN04 Vaughan Road and Blenheim Road.

Reason for Deputation

[15 Signatories]

This scheme is adversely impacting on many residents and stakeholders of West Harrow.  They were not consulted and are now suffering considerable stress and anxiety.  An example being the large group of residents essentially trapped between the two blockades in the following roads:  Blenheim Road, The Gardens, Bladon Gardens, Grosvenor Avenue, Sandhurst Avenue, Beaumont Avenue and Dorchester Avenue.

 

4.

Title of Deputation

Remove LTN06 Southfield Park

Reason for Deputation

[12 Signatories]

LTN06 Southfield Park has resulted in excessive negative impact for the residents of Manor Way, Parkside Way and Headstone Lane.  We want the scheme removed permanently and a proper consultation to be carried out of all residents on the blocked roads but everyone living on surrounding roads and local businesses.

 

5.

Title of Deputation

Remove LTN-03 Francis Road area, Greenhill Low Traffic Neighbourhood Scheme motor vehicle roadblock.

Reason for Deputation

[13 Signatories]

Adverse impact due to the implementation of LTN-03 Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme in Greenhill Ward.

 

6.

Title of Deputation

Making Low Traffic Neighbourhoods a success for everyone – from Headstone South Residents

Reason for Deputation

[12 Signatories]

To support Harrow's Streetspace Schemes and in particular LTN-02 and LTN-04 as these support Harrow's active travel goals (re: item 8 of the Agenda for 11 Jan 2021:  Harrow Streetspace Programme Review)

 

7.

Title of Deputation

I’m a resident let me out of here

Reason for Deputation

[10 Signatories]

To raise concerns for resident safety as a result of only one route in or out which often becomes no route due to LTN planters.

 

Full details in relation to the deputations, including questions asked and answers given, are referenced, in brief, at Minute 101 of these minutes.

Resolved Items

101.

Information Item - Harrow Streetspace Programme Review

Report of the Corporate Director of Community

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Prior to the consideration of the report of the Corporate Director of Community, the Panel received seven Deputations (Minute 100 also refers).

 

Title of Deputation 1

Remove LTN02 Headstone Scheme

Reason for Deputation 1

Adverse impacts of implementation of Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme in Headstone South Ward, LTN02.

 

In summary, the four representatives outlined how LTN02 had negatively affected the local area and highlighted that journeys were much longer and more difficult, the higher levels of pollution the economic impact and that in this particular area there had been no vehicle-to-vehicle accidents in the past 5 years.  According to data gathered, it was stated traffic in Harrow had increased, that the LTN would adversely affect house prices.  The view was expressed that the LTNs had not aided in the reduction of cases and had bought issues for those shielding and isolating and that emergency services could be negatively impacted.

 

The Panel thanked the deputees for their presentation and sought clarification on the petition in terms of the addresses of signatories.

 

The Panel questioned whether feedback had been received from other ward councillors from areas surrounding the LTN scheme and were advised that a minimal response had been received.

 

Title of Deputation 2

Mini China, not mini Holland

Reason for Deputation 2

[18]

I would like to raise the severe or complete lack of consultation and communication that has occurred with residents and other stakeholders in the implantation of these LTN schemes.  We live in a democratic borough. I would like all the LTN’s removed immediately until a correct consultation with all is done.

 

In summary the representative for deputation 2 stated that there had been a lack of communication surrounding the implementation of the LTNs.  It was highlighted these LTNs could have a negative impact on certain demographics within the community as well as businesses already affected by the pandemic.  The representative suggested there were conflicts of interest and that cars were for comfort and convenience and needed for those less able.  She concluded by requesting the removal of the LTN.

 

The Panel thanked the representative for their presentation.  The Chair advised that a consultation would be taking place regarding the LTNs.  The representative agreed that a wider consultation would be needed and stated that the scheme should be scrapped.

 

Title of Deputation 3

Objections and request to remove the Low Traffic Neighbourhood LTN04 Vaughan Road and Blenheim Road.

Reason for Deputation 3

[15 Signatories]

This scheme is adversely impacting on many residents and stakeholders of West Harrow.  They were not consulted and are now suffering considerable stress and anxiety.  An example being the large group of residents essentially trapped between the two blockades in the following roads:  Blenheim Road, The Gardens, Bladon Gardens, Grosvenor Avenue, Sandhurst Avenue, Beaumont Avenue and Dorchester Avenue.

 

In summary, the representative requested that LTN04 be removed.  Reasons included:  A single route in/out of the area had caused longer journeys; increased traffic; the diversion had caused a hazard by going past a school and creating  ...  view the full minutes text for item 101.

102.

Motion to enact Guillotine Rule

Minutes:

To resolve that the meeting ends at 22:00 after the amendments and that the Chair moved to vote on remaining items without future debate, as per rule 24.  This includes the decision to note this report.

 

RESOLVED:  The Panel agreed.

103.

Information Item - Petitions

Report of the Corporate Director of Community

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a report which sets out details of the petitions that have been received since the last TARSAP meeting and provides details of the Council’s investigations and findings where these have been undertaken.

 

An officer reported that there had been issues within the Old Lodge Way estate, a petition had been received to put yellow lines around the corners of roads in that area as there had been issues of parking in that area.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

104.

Information Item - Wealdstone Town Centre Improvement Scheme

Report of the Corporate Director of Community

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a report which provided an update on the town centre improvement scheme for Wealdstone and the delivery programme.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

105.

Information - Traffic and Parking Schemes Programme update

Report of the Corporate Director of Community

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a report which provided an update on progress with the 2020/21 Parking and Local Implementation Plan Transportation programmes of works.

 

RESOLVED:  That the report be noted.

106.

Date of Next Meeting

Minutes:

To note that the next meeting of the Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Panel was scheduled to be held virtually on 2 March 2021 at 6.30 pm.

Appendices - Public Questions and Answers

Question 1:

The increase in the level of traffic in the Pinner Road (and other main roads) is due to LTN04 and LTN02 funnelling traffic onto the Pinner Road in both directions.  We understand you haven’t taken any specific readings there of the additional levels of pollution which must have gone up significantly in line with the increased traffic.  What steps are you taking therefore to protect the safety and health of the Vaughan School children who walk up and down the Pinner Road to reach their school?  Following the outcome of the coroner’s report into the tragic case of 9-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah this becomes even more relevant.

 

Answer:

The impact of LTNs on traffic in Pinner Road is being monitored.  Queue lengths are being surveyed at a number of key junctions close to LTN schemes on the main road network in order to assess the impact on congestion and delay.  The monthly surveys show variable results because of the changing traffic patterns caused by varying government restrictions and lockdowns and some changes to the closures in LTN schemes.  There have been consequently been periods of increased and reduced levels of traffic since October when the schemes were introduced.

 

As a result of the current lockdown traffic volumes are significantly reduced because people are required to stay at home, all non-essential travel is restricted, and schools are closed to the majority of students.

 

The case of Ella Kissi-Debrah is noted and specifically related to the proximity to an area of concentrated air pollution significantly above the national limit in the vicinity of the London South Circular Road.

 

It should be noted that the LTN schemes are not in any of the five air quality focus areas in Harrow where air pollution level are of concern and breaching national limits.  Air quality is monitored at two automatic fixed monitoring sites in the borough.  One in London Road, Stanmore and the other in Pinner Road, North Harrow.  The sites are monitored daily and at the time of writing this response air pollutant levels at the Pinner Road site were recorded as low.  Generally, air quality levels in Harrow are considered good in comparison to many other London Boroughs.  The impact of air quality on school children in this area is not considered to be significant.

 

Question 2:

Why have you not made sure that there was someone onto the TARSAP Panel to represent the disabled residents as they have been particularly badly hit by implementing the LTN’s?

 

Answer:

The council has a long-established relationship with the Harrow Associated for Disabled People, and we value their input and advice when developing transportation schemes.  The representative appointed at TARSAP in October is Mr Nigel Long.

 

Question 3:

The Streetspace programme report - Low Traffic Neighbourhoods - October 2020 concluded decisions need to be made due to "congestion and delay caused by LTNs on the main road network.

But prior to this said:

“The surveys do show clearly the initial impact of the measures immediately after they were implemented.  It is likely that these impacts will reduce over time as travel patterns change."

Car traffic levels is an emotive issue which needs understanding of the causes as a whole and a holistic view of solutions that includes the Council's traffic policy.

The report's figures for before and after do not compare like for like as there were other changes happening between the two measurement months, and also affect 'normal' car traffic levels

-                    All pupils returning to school

-                    People moving from public transport to cars

-                    People taking to cars for fear of walking near others

-                    People working from home

-                    The upward trend in traffic in Harrow (50% between 2009 and 2019)

-                    Weather and light levels

 

What is your view on the traffic increase elsewhere in Harrow in October (and subsequently)due to these factors versus the impact of LTN displacement and are there junctions/roads elsewhere that can be used for improved comparison purposes to those measured in the report?

 

Answer:

In London the main reason for introducing the streetspace programme was the reduction in capacity on bus and rail caused by social distancing which raised concerns that motor traffic would increase unsustainably.  Bus and rail journeys normally made up a significant proportion of journeys in the city.  Therefore, measures to facilitate more walking and cycling as an alternative to travel by car were promoted.

An important comparison on the traffic impact of schemes would have been to compare with traffic conditions that existed before the pandemic but unfortunately the sudden nature of the crisis means that that information could not be collated and is not available.  In the reviews officers have relied on their local knowledge and experience and the survey data available in order to indicate the likely changes that have occurred.

It is true that the variability of the traffic conditions caused by the changing government restrictions over time to address the pandemic makes it very difficult to draw comparisons easily from the surveys about the impact of the schemes.  The changing restrictions affects the need to travel and the way we choose to travel over time.  In general, when people travel they have chosen to travel by car more often than walk or cycle which has had a bigger impact on network capacity than the LTN schemes themselves.  The key issue with congestion remains how we choose to travel and that was the case before the pandemic.

The initial impact of introducing the LTN schemes in October was to divert non local car journeys onto the main road network and initially this created some congestion and delay at key junctions at particular times of the day, mainly in the morning peak period.  Over time the congestion reduced as some transference of journeys to walking and cycling modes occurred and the survey data does show this.

Recent changes to open up and amend closures has reduced the impact of the schemes on the main road network which now has less congestion and also reduced the effectiveness of the LTNs which now have increased volumes of traffic in some streets.  The negative aspect of this is that this will encourage more car use on the network and works against the intention of the measures to support more walking and cycling and reduce the impact on the network.

 

Question 4:

Now that you have closed the zebra crossing outside West Harrow station, just before Christmas, how do you expect the primary school children to safely cross the road?

 

Answer:

The “zebra” pedestrian crossing has been closed for safety reasons mainly because this is a controlled crossing with a legal requirement for vehicles to stop for pedestrians on the crossing and because of the close proximity of the planters to the crossing vision is obstructed for motorists and therefore makes this difficult.  As cyclists and emergency services can proceed through the gap in the planters this does pose a risk to pedestrians who could have a false sense of security afforded by a controlled crossing.

 

In practice traffic and speeds overall are very low due to the restrictions and pedestrians can cross the road safely at other points nearby where vision is not obstructed.  The crossing is on a large raised speed table that covers the whole junction including The Gardens, Bouverie Road, Vaughan Road and Wilson Gardens and spans across some driveways and tactile paving which will reduce the speed of vehicles.  Hence there is opportunity for pedestrians to use other crossing points in the immediate vicinity of the closed zebra crossing area.

 

We will be putting up “crossing closed” signs as a provisional measure to reinforce the barriers in place, introducing temporary ramps and signing to help pedestrians use alternative crossing points.

 

Question 5:

In Headstone South and West Harrow (LTNs 02 and 04), some of the physical modal filters were converted into signed-only filters on 23 December to pre-emptively facilitate emergency vehicle movements through the area due to the escalating Covid 19 crisis.  However, the changes also now make it physically possible for people to drive through illegally.  Therefore, would you please advise what proportion of motor vehicles driving through the filters since 23 December have been emergency vehicles?

Answer:

As you will be aware the changes to the planters to allow emergency access have only recently been implemented a few weeks ago and we haven’t had the opportunity to collect any survey data yet.  This will be picked up in the next review and the surveys will be undertaken in the middle to end of January.

 

Question 6:

At the last Harrow council cabinet meeting Cllr Keith Ferry was asked by a Greenhill resident for the data (as in the actual numbers, evidence, facts & figures) detailing how many current Greenhill residents wanted LTN-03 to be implemented as we know that the vast majority of residents in Greenhill do not want this (and we know this because we did a door to door petition in Greenhill a few weeks ago and managed to get over approx.  400 signatures asking for the removal of LTN-03 from Greenhill residents in just a few hours) and roughly 95% of all comments related to LTN-03 on the Harrow Street Space website itself in the first few months of it being implemented also ask for it to be removed.  So, why has this not yet been removed when it is negatively impacting Greenhill residents.  And can you please share the actual data/figures showing how many residents wanted it to be installed here as no-one has shared this with us yet despite us asking.

 

Answer:

The recommendation to proceed with the scheme is detailed in the August TARSAP report.  As you will be aware this programme of work is an urgent response to the Coronavirus health emergency set out in statutory guidance from government that is intended to assist travel under the government restrictions during the crisis and mitigate the limited public transport capacity due to social distancing.  Therefore, the decision was based on an immediate need to support local communities to adopt alternative modes of travel with temporary measures and did not follow the usual consultation practice for permanent schemes.  The engagement portal feedback information was shared and discussed with ward members and their feedback was important in guiding the debate at the panel and determining which LTN’s to take forward.

 

Question 7:

Since the Headstone South LTN (LTN-02) was effectively halved by the removal of planters on Pinner View and Kingsfield Road there has been a noticeable increase in speeding traffic on the cut-throughs.  What plans do you have to monitor and enforce the 20mph limit that you installed in October given it is being almost universally ignored?

 

Answer:

We are carrying out traffic surveys as part of the monthly review process and will be assessing traffic speeds at the next review.  It is accepted that the amendments to the scheme may have resulted in an increase in speeds in some roads and a higher proportion of vehicles may not be complying with the 20-mph limit as a consequence.  It will be necessary to address this issue as part of further public engagement planned in the near future.

 

Question 8:

The Wealdstone town centre scheme will remove the ability to cycle southbound down the High Street, and therefore prevent safe access by bike from local neighbourhoods in some directions.  The only cycle route included in the scheme is a single indirect route, mostly shared with pedestrians, designed with no input from people who actually cycle in Harrow.  Why does the scheme not provide safe cycle routes along desire lines identified by residents and local cyclists?

 

Answer:

There is a two-lane contra flow cycle lane proposed as part of our large-scale plans to improve walking and cycling in Wealdstone Town Centre as part of our long-term commitment to expand our local cycle network and improve connectivity to key destinations.  A cycletrack in the High Street connects the High Street with Gordon Road which forms part of a new cycleway which will run from Kenton to Harrow Weald via Wealdstone.  A detailed plan of the scheme can be seen in the report on the Wealdstone Town Centre scheme which is on the agenda for this meeting.  The scheme has been subject to extensive consultation last year.

 

Question 9:

When the review of LTN barriers takes place, whatever decisions are reached about the rest of the Headstone South LTN, please can consideration be given to retaining the Beresford Road barrier for the following reasons:

 

-                    By removing excess and often fast moving traffic it has made Beresford Road safer, particularly at the entrance to Harrow Recreation Ground which has high usage by pedestrians and cyclists, representing people of all ages including children and the elderly.

-                    Since the barrier was installed, the previously high amount of drug trafficking from cars parked outside the Recreation Ground entrance has greatly reduced and is now almost non-existent.  This has been confirmed by the Met Police Headstone South Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

-                    The alternative route for emergency vehicles requires a relatively small detour which does not significantly increase access time.

 

A number of residents of Beresford Road are therefore in favour of retaining the barrier.

 

Answer:

Thank you for your comments about Beresford Road which are noted and will be considered as part of the review process.  I trust you can appreciate that the street space programme is evolving, and we are moving onto the next phase where we need to decide on the future of the schemes and how we can enforce them going forward.  This may involve the introduction of alternative measures such as ANPR cameras and the removal of the planters and this will be considered as part of further public engagement planned in the near future.

 

Question 10:

One of my main concerns in the Harrow LTN trials is your feedback process and current live consultation system is majorly flawed.  We residents feel that there was no real FULL all-encompassing and all-accessible (not just online) consultation both before and even now during the live experimental trial.  You have asked residents to voice their concerns and share their views about the Harrow LTNs on the Harrow Street Space website, however, many residents did not know that they had to do this (I have heard that there was a leaflet posted to some residents’ homes and yet many people who live on Francis Road, Greenhill itself – the site of the LTN-03 roadblock did not get this and neither did the vast majority of the 400 of the residents that we communicated with in Greenhill who signed our petition to remove LTN-03) and there are still so many people who are not aware of this feedback site that live in Harrow.  The feedback system discriminates against many residents who are not online and cannot get online in order to share their thoughts for several reasons including the fact that many rely on accessing computers from their local libraries and are unable to do so as this scheme has been implemented during the COVID pandemic and lockdown which stops people from accessing such facilities.  As so many residents cannot give their feedback as they simply do not know how to do this or are unable to get online or write letters to the council and Councillors - I wonder if that means that their opinion doesn't get recorded and doesn't count. as that is the case at the moment.  What are Harrow Council doing to ensure that ALL residents, businesses and services' voices and opinions about the LTNs including LTN-03 are heard and addressed?

 

Answer:

It is acknowledged that the level of consultation for streetspace schemes was not done to the usual standards because of the short timescales given for delivery and the need to respond to a health emergency.  That issue has been the same across London and the reduced time for engagement has been driven mainly by the government statutory guidance and funding conditions.

An online information and engagement portal was setup in June 2020 to be a focal point for residents and businesses with regard to the Harrow Street Spaces Programme.  This method of engagement has been used successfully in other London boroughs and allowed the Council to communicate information about changes to travel and the environment and receive feedback.  We have received a large number of responses on the engagement portal, over 3000 responses, and a summary of the views of the respondents is updated monthly in the monthly reviews.

The council has a very strong commitment to consultation and will review its processes and procedures to improve the way that this is done.

In January residents living within LTNs and school streets will be written to inviting them to give their views on the recent changes to schemes and on future proposals.

This public engagement will be essential to developing more suitable and acceptable schemes for the local community and assist in determining any next steps in the six-monthly review for the LTN schemes to be considered by the panel at a special meeting in March.