Harrow Council to review contentious ‘Streetspace’ schemes

A Harrow Council committee will review a series of contentious traffic-easing measures at a public meeting next week.

Its Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Panel (TARSAP) will discuss the ‘Streetspace’ schemes that were implemented last year on Monday (January 11).

Many of the new measures, which sought to address the impact of Covid-19 on travel and improve the borough’s environment, have split opinion since they were put in place.

Road closures as part of ‘low-traffic neighbourhoods’ have come under fire due to their impact on traffic build-up in other areas and issues relating to emergency vehicle access.

New pop-up cycle lanes have been criticised due to a lack of use, while some shopkeepers have bemoaned pavement widening measures, which they say have negatively impacted their businesses.

The main contention stems from a lack of “meaningful consultation”, with many measures implemented before wider public opinion was considered.

Despite these criticisms, there are supporters of the schemes, who see them as a vital way to tackle car dependency and improve residents’ health.

Harrow councillors have consistently defended their approach to the ‘Streetspace’ programme, noting measures had to be put in place quickly based on government guidance.

They have also pointed out that they are reviewed on a monthly basis, taking into account the views of residents and evidence from council officers.

“We continue to listen to feedback about the low-traffic neighbourhoods and Streetspace schemes,” Harrow Council leader Cllr Graham Henson said.

“We want to make neighbourhoods safer for the residents who live there and are working to understand how to best make a positive impact in those neighbourhoods, alleviate pressure on roads and reduce traffic.”

Members of the public will be able to view the meeting on the council website at 6.30pm.

Harrow Times | Local News