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‘Major changes’ planned for proposed A100 cycle paths at Barnet UK News

Barnet Council will make ‘major changes’ to the cycleway along the A1000 Finchley High Road with consultation now due to be held on the future of the project.

The changes, which will see some lanes reopen to general traffic, are designed to make it “more business and motorist friendly” after an initial consultation revealed concerns about congestion and parking issues.

The two-mile cycle route, which connects Bishops Avenue and Tally Ho Corner, was introduced by the council in 2020 to support the Government’s emergency travel measures during the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 200 responses received in a subsequent council consultation claimed the lane – parts of which reduced the carriageway used by cars from two lanes to one – had led to increased congestion or pollution of the air. But in January, a council report said the scheme had not led to an increase in vehicle journey times and pollution levels along the road had in fact decreased.

Council officers provided an update on the planned changes to the bike path at an environment committee meeting on March 8.

Geoff Mee, the authority’s executive director of environment, told advisers the rapid rollout of the cycleway during the Covid-19 pandemic meant it was “not the optimal design”. He added: “We’ve spent time tweaking the design to make it more business and car user friendly.”

The environment chief said “the ‘major changes’ to the design would be implemented ‘over the next few weeks’.

According to a report presented to the committee, the changes include the introduction of a shared walking path and cycle facility from Sandringham Gardens to Summers Lane, with the southbound carriageway returning to its pre-project state.

From Summers Lane to Squires Lane, the southbound carriageway will feature a 1.5 meter wide cycle lane and two general traffic lanes.

Although the A406 flyover is the responsibility of Transport for London (TfL), the council are in talks with them about options for reintroducing two general traffic lanes to the A406 flyover by creating a pedestrian lane and a shared bike path.

Other changes include the removal of lanes between Fortis Green and Baronsmere Road and the extension of a 20mph zone southwards beyond East Finchley tube station.

The council will launch a consultation on the modified scheme by June before a final decision on whether to maintain, modify or remove the lane is made in the fall.

When asked by advisers, the officers said the changes would be “low cost” and would stay within the original budget of almost £524,000, provided by the government and TfL. They also assured the committee that monitoring of traffic levels and pollution would continue.

Conservative committee member Nizza Fluss said the cycle path had caused “huge traffic jams”, adding that it had received “so many complaints” from residents.

Committee chair Dean Cohen responded that he was confident changes to the scheme that involve moving the bike lane from the road to the sidewalk would have a “positive impact on congestion and therefore quality issues of the air”.

Rachael Coleman, of the pressure group Better Streets for Barnet, said in a comment submitted to the committee that the group recognized that changes were needed in some places, but was concerned that some of the amendments “seem to prioritize vehicles rather than the safety of pedestrians and cyclists”. .

She added: “We are concerned that this will deter less confident cyclists from using the route, in turn jeopardizing the potential long-term success of the route. We would welcome the opportunity to work with the council to ensure a successful outcome for the route. ‘future of the way.’

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This notice was published: 2022-03-10 15:00:00

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