Camden's Consultations (and others that affect residents)
As a volunteer local group with limited time and resources BRAG tries to make sure as many local people as possible know about Camden's consultations that are taking place.
Here are the latest (December 2019) PLEASE look at these links and RESPOND
There are a number of On-line Consultations with Surveys to fill in on-line, or by email to the planning officer responsible for the project.
Responding to consultations seems to be a full time-time job, and most people are juggling work and family commitments - so it does start to feel like a 'tick box' exercise whereby the Council and other organisations can say they've "engaged with the community". But how effectively?
Although there is a certain natural cynicism that this is just a ‘tick-box exercise’, and that the Council ‘never listen’, it is proven that in some consultations a well-organised group can sway the statistics. Although BRAG has concerns about the way consultations are run and assessed, residents do need to make their voices heard, and this seems to be the only way to do so.
Photo of the top of Gray’s Inn Road at night – when one assumes
there will be less traffic!
Gray’s Inn Road Cycling, walking and road safety proposals
Email to: email@example.com
Consultation ends: 20 December 2019
Camden is consulting on measures which it claims will improve conditions for people cycling and walking along PART of Gray’s Inn Road, and to provide wider road safety and public realm benefits.
To quote from Holborn Voice (https://www.holbornvoice.org.uk/) “The consultation is tied up in awkward language with a littering of 'positive' words such as 'improvements', 'safer', 'minimise impact'... But the reality is that a segregated cycle lane is being proposed on both sides of Grays Inn Road from Harrison Street all the way down to Argos at Chancery Lane. Have a look at the removal of bus stops - the one outside Co-op is going, the one outside The Blue Lion is being move south to opposite ITN., and the one near to Pret is being removed. A less cynical person may observe that by removing bus stops the bus timetable can be maintained with slower traffic…”
We note in particular that the information stops at Frederick Street and we question what will happen further north of that – which seems to have been totally excluded. North of Frederick Street is the one-way system (already totally gridlocked) that feeds from Pentonville Road and round the top of Gray’s Inn Road and along Euston Road in front of the stations. This is surely THE most dangerous area for ALL road users? What is the point in adding cycle lanes on the Gray’s Inn Road up to Frederick Street and then all road users have to enter the four-lane mayhem at the top?
The Council’s own information shows that the proposals will cause more dangerous conditions for cyclists and pedestrians, increase pollution and damage local business and employment:
Contrary to Council undertakings
The whole scheme is totally contrary to undertakings made by the Council at a public meeting on 10 March 2016 [at Camden's offices in St Pancras Square] when they stated that their plan was to move traffic from the small residential streets on to the Strategic Road Network. These streets are designed to take heavy traffic. It appears they have forgotten this plan, as the new scheme will cut the vehicle capacity on sections of Gray’s Inn Road by 50%, forcing traffic on to quieter side roads. As well as being designated part of the SRN, Gray's Inn Road is also a route for emergency vehicles.
Dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians
The scheme is perilous for cyclists who will find themselves, when the cycle lane stops abruptly at the north end of Gray’s Inn Road, thrust into the frenetically busy, traffic-packed Kings Cross gyratory system. It should be borne in mind that when the Tavistock-Torrington Place cycle lanes were installed, accidents increased by 57%.
The Council, which claims to put pedestrians first, is removing the mini pedestrian traffic island (‘refuge’) at the junction of Calthorpe Street and Gray’s Inn Road. Local people say this is an excessively busy pedestrian route, used daily by large numbers of school children, and this refuge is very important for pedestrian safety.
Pedestrians will have to cross cycle lanes (which the Council tells us will be very busy) to get to bus stops. This increases the risk of collisions; and is of even greater concern as we know that potentially frail patients attending the planned new hospital will also have to negotiate their way across busy cycle lanes in order to get a bus.
Existing bus stop [outside former Eastman Dental Hospital]
at 256 Grays Inn Road
Proposed ‘floating’ bus stop outside former hospital
at 256 Grays Inn Road
The Council admits that there will be more queueing traffic under their new scheme, which means of course more pollution.
The narrowing of vehicle lanes will mean that buses will stop on the main carriageway, leaving cars waiting, with idling engines behind them, at bus stops, again causing more pollution.
The narrower vehicle lanes and extra queuing traffic planned by the Council must inevitably result in delays for buses (and yet the Council claims bus journey times will be the same or better - without any evidence)
Big problems for local businesses
Loading bays for the many businesses on Gray’s Inn Road will be removed; vans will have to park on side roads (again contrary to the supposed policy to keep vehicles on main roads) and carry heavy goods along the pavements (supposedly being ‘improved’ for pedestrians).
We advise local businesses to make their views known as invited on page 5 of the leaflet.
Details of the proposals are explained here:
Consultation on Camden’s Green Spaces
Over the last five years Camden has been working with their partners to deliver the Camden Green Space Investment Programme 2015 – 2019, which has improved and upgraded many green space sites and facilities across the borough. Whether it is a small neighbourhood green space, like Bramber Green, Regent Square, or larger spaces like Russell Square and St George’s Gardens, residents want to see safe, attractive and accessible spaces that everyone can enjoy. Camden now has to develop a new investment plan for green space in Camden, building on what we have achieved so far by incorporating the views of Camden’s residents.
Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Consultation ends: 8 December 2019
Proposed Road Safety and Public Realm improvements at Cartwright Gardens
In order to improve access by foot to the green space along the western side of the street, Camden is proposing to create a new 2-metre wide footway and a crossing point for pedestrians crossing between the university building and the entrance to the green space. Two-way traffic will continue.
From an historical perspective, the original kerbstones should be left as they are, and any paving should preferably be in York stone flagstones. With a very wide pavement on the east side of the road, one wonders whether one on the west is really necessary and changes might affect the historic ambiance of these Georgian Gardens.
Link to consultation: https://consultations.wearecamden.org/supporting-communities/cartwrightgardensprrs/
Email contact: Transportconsultations@camden.gov.uk
Consultation ends: 6 December 2019
Proposed Secure Cycle Parking Regent Square, WC1H
A cycle hangar can store 6 bikes. Currently a space in a Cycle hangar costs around £30 / ex VAT a year. There is also a one-off deposit for the key of £25. More details and consultation survey can be accessed from Camden’s website.
Consultation ends: 12 December 2019
We note that in this consultation, respondents are invited to submit their response using the following free post address (no stamp required) to Freepost LBC Mailroom, Transport Strategy. We assume that for those people who are not internet users, this is the way to write an ordinary letter in response to all Camden’s consultations.
Tybalds Estate Regeneration Programme
For those readers who live in the Holborn area, there is information on Camden’s Consultation website about the Tybalds Estate Regeneration Programme. The Tybalds estate is located south of Great Ormond Street, between Orde Hall Road and Boswell Street.
The Council’s Regeneration team are working with the Green Space and Environmental Services teams to develop proposals to deliver new homes and landscaping improvements on the Tybalds estate, additional to the proposed Better Homes programme of repairs and renewals. As a result of feedback from residents there have been significant changes to the original proposals. Following Drop-In events in May and June 2019, the design team has been reviewing the architectural designs again. There is a commitment to engage further with residents before beginning a formal consultation which is part of the planning application process.
Information can be found here: