What's coming up?

 

BRAG will try to keep readers aware of things that are coming up for which we - or you - or other local groups - need support.  

 

We will update this web page when we have any relevant information to pass on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closure of Judd Street to motor traffic from the north (Euston Road) and the south (Lansdowne Terrace)

On Wednesday 27 June 2018 the Leader of Camden Council made the decision to stop all access by motor vehicle from Euston Road into Judd Street. No vehicle will be able to enter Lansdowne Terrace from the south..

This is expected to

  • Increase travel times, and add to congested traffic and pollution on surrounding streets, endangering pedestrians and cyclists.

  • Increase journey times, especially to and from hospitals.

  • Disempower the elderly, infirm, disabled and all those who rely on vehicular transport.

It will be more difficult and expensive for:

  • Deliveries - everything from groceries to prescribed medications. It will impact on:

  • Tradespeople, plumbers, electricians and delivery of services.

Judd Street is a haven for small, independent businesses, most of these rely on regular deliveries, and deliveries may become too expensive and difficult.  Commuting cyclists will have a through route from Elephant & Castle to Kentish Town, but what about the residents whose daily lives will suffer the consequences of this decision?

 

Vehicles entering the area from Euston Road will have to weave their way through the narrow historic streets of Duke's Road, Burton Street and Cartwright Gardens.

The small green roundabout at the south end of Hunter Street will be lost permanently, paved over, with the loss of the grass, trees and shrubs which many of us pass every day without noticing.

This is the latest information about the scheme that has been sent to a local resident from Louise McBride, Head of Transport Strategy for Camden Council - and passed on to us.

Consultation process

A public consultation was held concerning these proposals in February 2016, although I recognise that this was some time ago.  A number of schemes proposed in the area were consulted upon at the same time which may have led to some confusion on what the proposals were and how they would impact on residents and businesses.

 

However both TfL and LB Camden took steps at the time of consultation to ensure that the consultation material reached residents directly affected by the proposals.  This took the form of paper mail drop and via an online consultation process.  Public meetings were also held at council offices attended by officers from both highway authorities and elected Members. 

 

It is acknowledged that it is likely that some people may have moved into the area since the consultation who may not be aware of the proposals. 

Access

 

Access to the area is maintained although it is recognised that the closures will result in some journeys taking longer:  

 

Westbound

  • Travelling westbound drivers will have to use Gray’s Inn Road or Guildford Street-Woburn Place-Upper Woburn Place (also Gower Street once WEP is built) to access Euston Road. 

  • Access to the local area (i.e. destination being a residential or business property in the area) will be possible through Guildford Street-Herbrand Street-Bernard Street and Sidmouth St-Handel Street.

 

Eastbound

  • Drivers will have to use Gray’s Inn Road, Upper Woburn corridor or Gower Street depending on where their final destination is.

  • Access to the local area (i.e. destination being a residential or business property in the area) will also be possible through Russell Square-Bernard Street and for smaller vehicles also through Dukes Road which is narrow and cobbled.

Access for emergency vehicles

 

In regards to the issue of access to emergency services, this was discussed in the consultation report.  Specifically access for emergency vehicles from Euston Rd to GOSH will still be available via Judd St southbound.  The entry to Judd St that will be given to cycles will be of sufficient width to allow vehicular access from any direction on Euston Rd so that the emergency services will be able to use this route when on blue light.  To stop the general public from accessing Judd St a sign prohibiting motor vehicle access will be erected and / or a demountable bollard. 

Other schemes in the area

 

With regard to the Tavistock Place corridor scheme, it will be considered at the September Cabinet meeting.

In addition, it should be noted that this scheme and the schemes that have recently been given approval are independent of one another, however, there is clearly a need that the proposals are considered together and the co-ordination with other schemes in the area is highlighted in the decision report. 

 

The decisions on the Brunswick Square and Midland / Judd schemes were delayed in order to allow comments made at the public inquiry relating to these schemes to be considered, which has been done. 

 

In relation to the predicted traffic impacts, traffic modelling tested a number of scenarios (including the possible reversal of the traffic on the Torrington / Tavistock corridor) and the results of this modelling is detailed in section five of the report and is in more detail in appendix C.  It is therefore considered that it was appropriate to take the decisions on the Brunswick Square and Midland / Judd schemes and the Inspector’s report and recommendations do not prevent this from happening. 

Camden has been working on these proposals with Transport for London and will continue to do so to monitor the impacts of the scheme and consider any future mitigation measures, should they prove necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camden Town Hall, Judd Street

Camden will soon submit a planning application for work to refurbish and modernise the 80 year old Town Hall. If successful, this means the building will be closed for 3 years. The intention is to convert existing office areas into spaces to be leased out on a commercial basis. The Camden Centre will close in May 2018. According to Camden's website, "the Events Team will work with community users to relocate their events where possible or deliver them by other means. The Camden Centre space will then be leased to a commercial operator."

For further details, click here.

Work on the Town Hall will inevitably impact on the neighbouring residential community, who have been kept in the dark about these renovations.  There are several concerns:

a) The issue of how works will affect the wellbeing and daily lives of residents who live nearby;

b) The impact of construction traffic on nearby residential streets

c) We are also aware that a decision to appoint contractors has already been made.

From Monday 20th August 2018, most Committee meetings will take place at the Crowndale Centre, 218 Eversholt Street, London NW1 1BD. All services at the Town Hall will move whilst refurbishment work takes place. 

After the closure of the town hall, a planning application will be submitted in October 2018 and following that, subject to approval, work will begin. The town hall refurbishment is scheduled to be completed by Autumn 2021.

Changes to the road network

 

A.  Between the Euston Road and Guilford Street, WC1

 

The proposals are complicated because Camden is responsible for some roads and TfL for others. They will interact in ways which are probably not currently predicted by the computer traffic modelling (given the unpredicted consequences of the Tavistock trial) and will have a profound impact on our community.  Changes to the road network make ordinary life very difficult for ordinary residents, who are pedestrians and cyclists needing a safe environment; who need to be able to access their own homes; and they will impact particularly on older and disabled people, and others needing to use taxis and cars, as well as local businesses who need access for delivery vehicles.

For more details on these proposals, which were inadequately consulted on in 2016, see the page 'Local Plans'.

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1.  Tavistock / Torrington closure to westbound traffic

We await the Inspector's Report and Camden Cabinet's eventual decision, perhaps on 5 September 2018 .

2. Holborn Junctions road safety and public realm proposals

The changes to various junctions around Holborn has been approved, 

 

:The decision was made on 13 June by Councillor Harrison, Cabinet Member for the Environment. We are told that 

"some journeys by motor vehicles may result in delay of around 5-10minutes in the morning and evening rush hour. However we consider the changes necessary to improve safety in key areas and make the area more pleasant to walk and cycle in."

https://consultations.wearecamden.org/supporting-communities/holbornjunctions/

3. Tavistock Place/Judd Street North-South Cycle Superhighway 

 

This is going ahead. It will follow the existing cycle route along Cubitt Street, crossing over Gray’s Inn Road into Sidmouth Street, Regent Square and Tavistock Place and turn north onto Judd Street towards the Euston Road.

 

Some work to the road has already been carried out in Sidmouth Street, Regent Square, Torrington Place, and will (we assume) continue on to Judd Street as soon as the decision on the Tavistock Place 'trial' has been confirmed.

Residents have been assured that the cycle lanes on each side of Judd Street will not impact on parking on this street, which is available on a yellow line after 6.30pm.

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It was originally proposed that a zebra crossing would replace the Pelican crossing on Judd Street near the RNIB headquarters.  Following demonstrations outside the RNIB in April 2016 we understand the pelican crossing will remain. 

4. Judd Street/Euston Road Junction 

The decision to close ALL motor vehicle access to Judd Street from Euston Road was made on Wednesday 27 June 2018

This proposal, also consulted on in 2016, offered two options

  • Option 1 – Full closure of Judd Street at Euston Road / Midland Road junction to allow a dedicated cycle crossing across Euston Road.This option states that motor vehicles would still be able to access Judd Street using other routes, but these would be very limited if all the proposals are implemented, with no westbound access at all onto the Euston Road.

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  • Option 2 – Judd Street entry only for motorists going south from Midland Road, with a segregated northbound contraflow cycle track on the approach to the junction. As with Option 1, Judd Street would have no entry or exit to the Euston Road and the same limited access from other routes would apply.

5. Brunswick Square 

 

The decision to close the access to Lansdowne Terrace from Guilford Street was made on Wednesday 27 June 2018

​This proposal was also consulted on in 2016. For more details, click here.

  • Closure of Lansdowne Terrace where it meets Brunswick Square. Northbound motor traffic would no longer be able to access Hunter Street/Judd Street.

  • All southbound traffic from Hunter Street to Guilford Street would go down Grenville Street

Interestingly, this intervention was mentioned a number of times at the Public Inquiry in relation to traffic modelling, although we have been assured that no decision has been made on the issue.

B.  Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street

The West End Project is currently on site.

Known as the 'West End Project' this will, according to Camden Council's website "transform the areas around Tottenham Court Road, Gower Street, Bloomsbury Street, Princes Circus and St Giles, cementing the area’s reputation as one of London’s premier commercial, cultural and academic districts.  New public and green spaces will be created while new street layouts will reduce traffic and pollution, making bus routes faster and cycling safer." 

But what about residents?

Inevitably, this will impact on people who actually live in the immediate neighbourhood, and in the wider area south of the Euston Road.

 

Those who live to the east of Gordon Street weren't even consulted on the West End Project.  The decision to go ahead with this was decided by Camden's Cabinet on 21 January 2015.  It was at this meeting that the intervention to "trial" Torrington Place / Tavistock Place as one way eastbound only, got the go-ahead.

You can sign up to the West End Project newsletter for further information. Accessed from here.

C.  Changes to the Kings Cross gyratory

This was consulted on in 2016. According to Camden's website, the results were updated in August 2017.

 

TfL state that they "will now work in partnership with stakeholders including the London boroughs of Camden and Islington to further develop the design of the scheme with a view to consulting on detailed proposals for the wider Kings Cross and Euston Road area in late summer 2018."  WATCH OUT FOR THIS ONE

D.  Pedestrianisation of Oxford Street

 

Westminster Council said 'No' to Mayor's plan to pedestrianise West Oxford Street due to opposition from local residents & retailers. 

BRAG supports the many residents in Marylebone, Mayfair, Fitzrovia and Soho who are not convinced by the various pledges and assurances given by the major parties concerning the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street.

 

To repeat the words of the Better Oxford Street website, “the only pledge that is wanted is the one which promises to work to get rid of the terrible scheme that the Mayor, TfL and Westminster Council propose to inflict on this central London area. This is a scheme too flawed in its basic concept to be altered by pledges and it should be scrapped before it is allowed to cause havoc on the streets of the West End.”

 

“With Council elections taking place on the 3rd May 2018, a new party has been formed in the borough of Westminster called CAMPAIGN AGAINST PEDESTRIANISATION OF OXFORD STREET.  Its single purpose is to oppose pedestrianisation and to show that there is a better way to improve the area. It is neither affiliated to, nor does it support, any political party; its stance is above party politics.  Candidates are standing in the three wards that surround Oxford Street: Bryanston and Dorset Square Ward, Marylebone High Street Ward, and West End Ward. Each of the candidates fielded is a prominent, long-standing, non-political residents’ representative from the local area. They know what residents are saying, they know what residents want, and they intend to give them a voice.”

 

BRAG endorses this statement, as we firmly believe that 'Residents Matter!"

Camden Transport Strategy

 

We are told that the overarching plan for transport in the borough is set out in the Camden Transport Strategy. This strategy is currently being updated and will be subject to consultation in November 2018. WATCH OUT FOR THIS.

 

A workshop for stakeholders was held on Wednesday 4 July 2018.

Camden Transport Strategy - Objectives

 

  1. Transform our streets and places to enable an increase in walking and cycling

 

  1. Reduce car ownership and use, and motor traffic levels in Camden

 

  1. Deliver a transport system and streets that are accessible and inclusive for all

 

  1. Substantially reduce all road casualties in Camden and progress towards zero killed and seriously injured (KSI) casualties

 

  1. Reduce and mitigate the impact of transport-based emissions and noise in Camden

 

  1. Deliver an efficient, well-maintained highways network and kerb-side spaces for the movement of goods and people

 

  1. Ensure economic growth and regeneration is supported by, and supports a sustainable transport network.

For details about the 2017/18 transport investment programme, click here