Contentious road closures and pop-up cycle lanes in Harrow have moved a step closer to being removed.

But it has emerged that it will cost Harrow Council half as much to take out cycle lanes created as part of Covid measures as it was given by the Government to put them in.

The council’s traffic and road safety advisory panel (TARSAP) yesterday (April 22) recommended cycle lanes in Honeypot Lane, Uxbridge Road, and Sheepcote be taken out, alongside planters blocking roads in three ‘low-traffic neighbourhoods’.

The decision follows a six-month trial of the ‘Streetspace’ programme, which used government funding to encourage cycling and walking in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The council says it had to use this funding quickly following statutory guidance from Whitehall, which urged local authorities to enact emergency travel plans in the wake of the pandemic.

While many stressed the wider, long-term benefits of traffic reduction, others criticised the way the measures were introduced and suggested they caused more problems than they sought to solve.

After a feedback review in which an overwhelming majority opposed the schemes, council officers recommended they be removed.

This will be debated by the council’s cabinet on Thursday (April 29).

According to reports presented to TARSAP, this is expected to cost the council £75,000 – £50,000 for cycle lanes and £25,000 for LTNs – which would not be covered by the initial government grant.

These grants were £180,000 for low traffic neighbourhoods and £100,000 for cycle paths.

Cllr Paul Osborn (Pinner), leader of Harrow Conservatives, said it was clear throughout the process that the schemes were deeply flawed.

“We welcome the recommendations but I’m really disappointed and frustrated it’s taken us this long to get here,” he said.

“It was very clear that these schemes weren’t welcome in the form that they were proposed.

“Had we just taken a pause when we suggested much earlier on in this process, we could have saved residents a lot of stress.

“We could have saved officer time and allowed them to come forward with new schemes.”

He added the best way to move forward on these issues – or any key issues in Harrow – is to engage with residents throughout and drop the concept that “we know best”.

TARSAP vice-chairman Cllr David Perry (Lab, Marlborough) agreed the consultation “made it very clear” there is no appetite for the measures put forward under the Streetspace programme and that the council leadership has “listened” to these views.

He added the council acted with “the best intentions at heart” to try and improve resident activity and air quality but acknowledged, if it had a second opportunity, that it would take a different approach.