Harrow Council has made ‘immediate improvements’ to schemes introduced as part of the Streetspace programme, after access issues were raised by the London Fire Brigade.
The Streetspace programme was launched by the mayor and TfL in May 2020, and funds schemes that supported an ‘unprecedented’ rise in active travel caused by Covid-19.
By July 2020, funding had been provided for 47 strategic cycle routes, 124 Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), 204 School Street schemes and 205 projects designed to create additional space at town centres.
Following conversations with emergency services, Harrow Council has removed the north bound cycle lane in Honeypot Lane, introduced with Streetspace funding, near Stanmore Fire Station.
It has also granted emergency services access to the borough’s LTNs by creating three metre wide openings.
Harrow Council says in normal circumstances, it would have “engaged more extensively” before introducing Streetspace schemes – but adds due to the nature of the emergency it had to “act with unprecedented speed”.
It has however reaffirmed its support for LTNs, where through-traffic is restricted to encourage active travel.
Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, said: “Following recent conversations with the emergency services, we have taken swift action to support their services by improving their access to the LTNs and Stanmore fire station.
“LTNs have a place in Harrow and we are committed to creating schemes that work for our residents and local communities.
“This is why we will be engaging directly with those residents living within LTNs and school streets in the new year inviting them to give their views on these changes and future proposals for the schemes.
“In normal circumstances, we would have engaged more extensively with the community before introducing the Streetspace schemes but due to the nature of the emergency and the requirement of the conditions of Government funding we had to act with unprecedented speed.”