Vision for Harrow Road


A report from Queen’s Park, Harrow Road and Westbourne Road Ward Councillors

As part of continuing campaign to improve the Harrow Road shopping area, we asked local residents for their views. This is what you said;

ENCOURAGING THE BEST – the existing shops you like

 “By the market is a coffee bar run by Italians which provides exceptionally good strong coffee, as well as a very friendly ambience”

“The cafe on the market is very good and reasonably priced and friendly.”

 “The shops that are useful are the Caribbean shop that is just off Harrow Road, I think it’s the turning on right just after Iceland and the Coop. It’s a lovely little shop, just after the turn, with lots of Caribbean food items. Also the Cooperative store is quite useful. And many of the cheap grocery shops that sell ethnic foods as well as the cheap pound shops, especially Wizard Video – that has absolutely everything you could imagine.”

 “I find the majority of shops friendly and helpful, and do try and shop at independent shops as much as I can. I have made some wonderful (and some frightful) new dishes using unusual ingredients, I have no idea what they are! I think a shop that deserves special mention is Aqua Rep at 548 Harrow Rd. Stan and Steve are always happy to chat and answer all of my quite frankly tedious questions about reptiles and other assorted creatures. The aftercare I have received since buying my pets has been fantastic. Steve has an instinctive feel for how to look after animals as well as an encyclopaedic knowledge. It’s really lovely to see children in the area looking at the animals and hopefully learning the respect that both brothers have for our scaly friends. In these days of computer games and virtual pets it’s heart-warming to think that old fashioned values and care still exist. Give the lads a community award!”

“Harrow Road has an excellent MOT centre for motorbikes has been there for over 30 years run by the same friendly and knowledgeable chap, He does have a problem with parking and a not too co-operative council But his efforts to run a local business are commendable & should be encouraged.” 

“I value especially the various ethnic grocery stores on Harrow Road.  They stock many products not available in the supermarkets and therefore make Harrow Road a frequent destination for me.”

“Fudges Cycles – people do like it, and it’s known London-wide, Prince’s Pharmacy – Mr Patel has the patience of a saint and supports local people well beyond what he needs to do and Four Corners Framing, which has stayed the course despite ups and downs”

“Fudges cycles is very a popular and well-kept store” 

“The grants given to shop owners to improve their signage has helped a number of businesses look so much better”

“The most dignified places in the road currently are the old-fashioned pharmacy, the library and the undertakers”

“I love the specialist shops – the pet shop, the hardware shop, the bike shop, the fishmonger – we are privileged to still have them.” 

THE EXISTING SHOPS – what you don’t like

“I’m local resident of Queen’s Park and have lived here all of my life. Harrow Road used to be a thriving road and a good place to shop according to my mother who came here in the 60’s. However now it’s full of fruit and veg shops and poor quality furniture shops and fast food chicken shops and butcher shops that don’t sell the meats that we all eat. “

I’d add my voice to those that complain about the second hand furniture shops at the bottom of First Avenue. They’re more of a dumping ground than a row of shops. They seem to think they own not just the pavement but half the road as well.”

“The second hand shops at the corner of First Avenue are a blight on the road and take up most of the pavement and often leach into the road. Even when the shops are closed the ‘excess ‘ furniture still hangs around on the corner of First Avenue. The state of repair of these shop also needs to be addressed as the frontage is extremely tatty.”

“I never understood why on earth the council kept issuing licences for more betting shops and cheap eateries/takeaways (that I am sure don’t satisfy H&S laws) that besides looking awful, putting away good business and customers only serve to attract the local misfits.”

“Whilst there are cafes, they are exclusively used by shisha smoking men and there is nowhere for women to sit and have a coffee.”

“No more greengrocers – there must be 10 on a couple of hundred yards around the junction and half of that would be more than enough… no more pound shops (they may not be called that but are selling nick-knacks of that value)”

“Too many betting shops and boozers, too many off licences masquerading as newsagents, too many scruffy looking little grocers, enough halal butchers/not enough other types of butchers, too many fried chicken shops and other horrible takeaways”

“Let’s control the number of betting shops and loan shops”

MAIDA HILL MARKET – what you think of it so far

“I’ve lived in the area for over eight years and have seen a fair few changes, mostly for the better. The Maida Hill market area is much improved, but still plays host to street drinkers.”

“Maida Hill Market seems to be dying a fairly slow death, which is a great shame. I’m not sure how you improve a market like this – other than encouraging more stall holders to set up there. At times in the past it’s been good, but it seems that stall holders very quickly decided it wasn’t worth their investment.”

“Unfortunately, the open area at Elgin Avenue – Harrow Rd junction that could be an oasis of green and piece (perhaps with a Café Rouge) has been turned into cheap and dirty (and visually very unattractive) couple of tents that nobody ever buys anything from and during day and night only local drunks and drug addicts gather there, so nobody else can.”

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE – the shops you would like

 “Why don’t we have shops like Marks and Spencer, more banking facilities, an Argos, a shoe shop- not like Shoe Express !.Shops like in any other high street are lacking tremendously.”

“We need more restaurants a delicatessen, antique shops, Starbucks!! They would be great. But maybe I’m dreaming!”

“I don’t think Harrow Road needs to be changed too much. It would be a shame if it became too gentrified and like any other high street.”

“I’d like the shops to reflect the population of the area, as now all decent people have to go either to Maida Vale or Westbourne for everything, be it a quick coffee with friends, shopping or dinner… In short, can we please have a few trusted chains where at least you always know what you are getting (Costa, Nero, Ask, Zizi), M&S foodstore, Boots …”

“It would be nice to have the laundrette that was at the market back.”

“A Boots and M&S would be good to have, a bookshop, toy shop or decent bakery and women-friendly cafes”

“Please no franchises for ‘typical’ high street shops, let’s keep the independents and the diversity”

“Encourage the new credit union that covers this area (London Mutual) to open here”

THE ENVIRONMENT – what needs to be done?

“I’m sure everyone agrees that the area is pretty tatty and could do with sprucing up.”

“The few shopfronts that have been re-designed are beautiful, why can’t all new shops be expected to meet higher standards to fit in with the original design”

“I live next to the police station.  That section of road is pretty bleak; the pavements are narrow, the traffic is moving fast in four lanes and there is no street parking.  It’s a speedway that ends abruptly with the Prince of Wales junction and the narrow section of high street going north west.”

“I would like to see it made more of a boulevard, like Elgin Avenue, with parking, street trees, better lighting etc.  By improving the approach to the Prince of Wales junction – and indeed the approach from the other end – the shopping area would seem less beleaguered – the shops less like mussels clinging to a rock in a fast tide. We have had to suffer the Crossrail lorries; it seems appropriate that we now get something good out of something bad”


“Canal Terrace seems a particularly poor stretch of the road, which always surprises me. There can’t be many stretches of the Grand Union Canal that back directly onto the water (presumably with the possibility of developing floating terraces on the water, like the restaurant right next to Halfpenny Steps?) which should make them very attractive…?”

“Cafes, delis, a bar, a shop hiring out kayaks/canoes for use along the canal? You would’ve thought it would do very well. “


“Much attention is being to safety measures for cyclists. Little concern is shown for elderly pedestrians. Cyclists race along pavements. Many cyclists appear to disregard traffic signals and plough on regardless, quite literally terrifying elderly people. Metropolitan Police are not apparently concerned about this menace.”

“I find the raised sections of the road at junctions scary, as cars often act as if this means the pavement is theirs irrespective of the pedestrians (and children & buggies) who are standing there waiting to cross.”


2 Responses to Vision for Harrow Road

  1. John James says:

    Harrow Road:

    I am aware of falling masonry being an issue on Harrow Road, clumps of brick and plaster often fall to the ground or are spotted on the ground. These are isolated incidents but a spot check of roof fronts and shop fronts above the stores is advised as fatalities are possible here. Property above stores is all too often in a very poor state too! Who owns these? Can they not be let as flats? Pavements are far too often littered with fallen fruit from fruit and veg stalls, again a hazard. The best example of a conscientious shop is the Fishmonger on the corner of Harrow Road, who always hoses down the frontage of his shop with detergent.

    That is my main concern, frontages and pavements.

  2. gary freeman says:

    Bring back “The Need” public house instead of turning it into some rich little boys play things and demoralising the entire area with the real people who live in this area for years!

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