Mixed reaction from traders to plans to ban cars from parts of Harlesden

Brent Councils proposal will see parts of notorious traffic hotspot pedestrianised

Traders in Harlesden have reacted with mixed emotions to the news that vehicles could be banned from parts of the area.

Brent Council has suggested two proposals for managing the traffic flow in Harlesden Town centre, which they claim is in need of investment.

Option A would keep the town centre as it is but attempt to address traffic flow issues, whereas option B would see a traffic free, pedestrian priority zone introduced in the High Street with restrictions on vehicles, including delivery lorries.

Although no final decision has been made, Tim Jackson, the council’s head of transportation, previously said they were ‘leaning toward’ option B.

However, traders on the bustling high street have told the Times that more thought must be given as to when delivery vehicles were allowed to empty their stock.

Zarak Kahn, manager of Food King, an international supermarket in the High Street told the Times he preferred option A.

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He said: “Sometimes our delivery comes in the afternoon and if there is a restriction what are we supposed to do?

“These are all independent shops. Making streets pedestrian priority only works when you have chain stores like Marks and Spencer or PC world when people want to take time with their shopping.”

It is currently proposed that delivery lorries would be banned between 10am and 4pm.

Andul Gan, who works at hardware store Zay Pound + said he was ‘in favour’ of the plans but also expressed concerns over delivery times.

He said: “I think it’s a good idea and will probably encourage people to shop but sometimes I get three to four deliveries a week often in the afternoons, they should reduce the traffic but allow delivery lorries throughout the day.”

However, Sylwia Bitis, manager of European grocery store Delicja said she thought the scheme would ‘transform’ the area. She said: “It is going to make the area much cleaner with places for people to sit, at the moment it is dirty and noisy. “They have something similar in Harrow and I think it will be great here.”

A council spokesman said they ‘welcomed’ suggestions from residents and businesses.

He added: “The proposed permitted delivery times are not fixed and no decisions will be made until responses to the consultation have been considered.

“If the findings show the times to be unpopular, we will amend them accordingly if Option B is put forward to the Highways Committee for approval.”