I contributed to the Have your Say ideas board, what has happened to the ideas?
Thank you to everyone who provided their thoughts on the first phase of walking and cycling improvements between Wembley Central station and Harlesden station. The ideas and comments we received have been passed to the team developing the scheme. If you have any further suggestions, please respond to our consultation survey.
How will the changes impact traffic?
We have carried out detailed traffic modelling to understand how our proposals might affect journey times for general traffic, buses, cyclists, and pedestrians. Despite the sophistication of our traffic and reassignment models, all traffic modelling is only ever indicative; it is intended to give an idea of where the impacts of changes in journeys are most likely to be felt. It assumes that drivers have perfect knowledge of the network and choose their route accordingly.
Traffic modelling has been carried out to study the traffic impacts of the scheme at the busiest times of the day, the morning and evening peak hours. We would actively monitor and manage the road network following implementation to ensure impacts were balanced. To understand the impacts, we have assessed how London's roads would operate in 2026, considering population growth, committed developments and other road improvements. We then tested how local roads would operate in 2026 with the changes proposed as part of this scheme. This allows us to isolate the predicted impacts of this proposed scheme from other changes which are not part of this consultation.
The junctions on the A404 Harrow Road between Sylvia Gardens and Frist Drive have been designed to operate as efficiently as possible, while accommodating new cycle tracks and pedestrian crossing facilities along Harrow Road. As a result of the scheme some increases in journey times are forecast for general traffic and some bus services, while for others journey times are forecast to remain broadly the same as existing or even to improve.
The closure of the left turn free running lane onto Harrow Road northbound, to provide safety improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, is forecast to result in journey time increases on the northbound A406 off slip of up to 2 minutes during peak periods for general traffic and bus routes 440 and 112. To minimise the impact to bus routes using this slip road, we have widened the junction to provide three traffic lanes instead of two, and allocated extra green time to this approach from all the other movements around the A406 junction. This reduction in green time on other approaches is forecast to result in slightly longer peak journey times on the Harrow Road southbound and A406 southbound slip, of 1-3 minutes for general traffic and 1-2 minutes for bus route 440.
However, it is also expected that the scheme will result in journey times reducing by 2-3 minutes for northbound traffic on the Harrow Road, due to the removal of a short section of northbound bus lane creating more capacity at the traffic signals on this approach. Northbound bus journey times here remain neutral, and it is expected that all other bus routes in the area will also be broadly neutral impact. Pedestrians crossing the Harrow Road and A406 from Stonebridge Park station are likely to see improved wait times due to having one fewer stage to cross, and additionally at two new crossings by Victoria Avenue and Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre.
There has not been any specific traffic modelling undertaken for event days at Wembley. The network is known to be under stress on ingress and egress to these events. The scheme does reduce overall capacity at the junction, it can therefore be expected that similar journey time changes are likely during events. However, TfL will be reviewing its traffic signal strategy for Wembley events following scheme implementation to minimise impact away from traffic entering or exiting the event.
How will the changes impact on shops?
Introducing walking and cycling improvements can bring a very positive economic benefit to local shops and the high street with increased retail spend of up to 30%.
The proposed build out of bus stop D will give more space to shoppers and the crossings to either side will be improved at Monks Park and the A406 junction, making it easier for people to access the shops by foot or bike.
We will also look to provide more cycle parking where needed to improve access to the shops.
The two-way protected cycle lane will be on the other side of Harrow Road so should not have any impact on business loading requirements.
Why have you chosen this area of Brent for this scheme?
Cycling in London has grown significantly over the past 15 years. There are now more than 670,000 cycle trips a day in London, an increase of over 130% since 2000.
In 2017, TfL published its latest Strategic Cycling Analysis (SCA) - the latest datasets, forecasts and models showing potential locations across London where cycling demand, current and future, would justify investment.
The SCA identified the Wembley to Willesden Junction corridor as being on one of the top six routes in London with the greatest potential future demand for cycling, but only if we provide new facilities to help and encourage people to cycle.
A fully protected cycleway was originally considered on main roads between Wembley and Willesden Junction but, in light of concerns around road congestion, this has since been scaled back to a less intrusive scheme based mostly on quiet residential back streets, with some main road protected cycleway sections where impacts on traffic are expected to be low.
What benefits does this scheme aim to bring to the local community?
Between 22 January 2018 and 28 December 2020, 90 collisions occurred on Harrow Road (where we are proposing to build a section of segregated cycle track and improve pedestrian crossings) resulting in 109 casualties. Nine of these casualties were cyclists. Fourteen were pedestrians, two of which sadly suffered serious injuries.
We would improve this by providing a safe cycle route connecting Wembley Central and Harlesden stations, including the A406 north circular crossing which is particularly hostile for cycling and deters many would-be cyclists.
Our proposals will provide a fully protected cycle lane over the North Circular, giving cyclists of all confidence levels a safe route between communities on the north and south of this busy junction for the first time. Making cycling a safe, attractive, genuinely viable alternative to completing local journeys by car would decrease the reliance on driving, reduce congestion, make the area more walkable, and improve air quality.
We will also introduce new and improved crossings and more footway space to help pedestrians get around this area more safely.
What is Vision Zero for London?
Vision Zero represents our aim to eradicate deaths and serious injuries from our roads and make London a safer, healthier and greener place by 2041.
Major cities around the world are taking a stand to end the toll of deaths and injury seen on their roads and transport networks by committing to Vision Zero. London is at the forefront of this approach and the Mayor's Transport Strategy sets out the goal that, by 2041, all deaths and serious injuries will be eliminated from London's transport network.
Seven people tragically lost their lives while cycling in London in 2022. That is simply unacceptable.
It is neither inevitable nor acceptable that anyone should be killed or seriously injured when travelling in London. When we leave our homes each day, we should feel safe and confident about the journey ahead.
The proposals for a safer walking and cycling route between Wembley Central and Harlesden stations are part of the work we are doing towards meeting the Vision Zero.
When would the scheme be constructed?
Whilst we cannot pre-empt the outcome of the consultation, we anticipate using the feedback we get to further develop and refine the scheme in 2024 before taking a decision with Brent Council later that year on starting construction.