Work has begun on creating a safer route for cyclists between Northolt and Southall, providing an important connection to the canal towpath on Kensington Road. This will include improvements to footways, crossing points, lighting, planting and signage that will benefit pedestrians and other road users.
Councillor Deirdre Costigan, deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, broke ground on the Kensington Road dedicated cycle route on Friday 18 August.
The project is funded by Ealing Council and the UK Government’s Levelling-up Fund.
This is the first phase of improvements proposed in the area as part of Visions for Northolt. This community-led regeneration and engagement programme aims to ensure that future investment in Northolt reflects the needs and wants of the local community.
It creates a route for cyclists away from heavy traffic. By providing easier and safer access to the towpath, riders can then travel on to Central London and the west of the city.
Kensington Road connects to the A40, which means the motor traffic volumes and speeds are higher than average. The road is currently too narrow for large vehicles to overtake cyclists safely without crossing the centre line.
Councillor Costigan said: “At the moment, cycling along Kensington Road can be very daunting, as you’re sharing space with heavy motor traffic. Creating this high-quality cycle route solves that problem.
“We are working to create a network of cycle routes across the borough that will make it easier and safer to ride your bike.
“Cycling improves people’s mental and physical health and encouraging people to cycle to work or for leisure reduces the dirty air from polluting cars on our streets.”
As part of Visions for Northolt, hundreds of residents and businesses have already told the council about their priorities, including building wider pavements, more pedestrian crossings, additional bicycle lanes and extra trees.
Taking this into consideration, plans for Ealing Road and Kensington Road were consulted on last year. Proposals for Mandeville Road and Church Road were also consulted on earlier this year.
All connections to and from the Kensington Road will be improved, with new and upgraded crossings, widened paths, and wayfinding signage. This maximises the usefulness of the cycle route, with a wide variety of journey start and end points.
A Travel in Ealing Charter was launched last year setting out how the council will work with residents to improve local transport projects. Among the commitments is investing £35m in improving roads, tracks and pavements. At least £10m will be invested in increasing cycling, walking, running and scooting and reducing polluting vehicles through active travel schemes.