The following summarises the three news updates sent during September 2023.
Members were notified of a chance to get their views heard at a drop-in consultation session on Thursday 14th September, about the Connaught Villlage Green Scheme, Everyone who contributed to the earlier consultation should have received an email from Westminster council last week about this.
The council said: “Generally the project was well received, especially on aspects (sic) the public realm improvements that propose pedestrian improvements and greening. However a proportion of the comments from residents raised concerns about the traffic impacts from a proposed short section of one way working on Kendal Street, which was necessitated by the design of a wider footway and shorter pedestrian crossing distance on Connaught Street at the Duke of York pub.
“We have listened to these specific concerns and have undertaken new traffic count surveys to consider the impacts of these proposals with the new survey data and alongside the nearby cycling proposals for Connaught Square and Porchester Place.
“We would like to invite you to a drop-in session where officers can discuss the design rationale for the scheme alongside the new traffic data and any impacts the scheme may have. We will also discuss the wider consultation results and how the project can respond to these.
“A drop-in session will be held on Thursday 14th September from 11am-3pm at 39 Connaught Street, W2. Officers will be on hand throughout for discussion, and a presentation will be held at 2pm with Ward Councillors present.
HPEA responses showed no support for the one-way proposal, and it is not “necessitated” by the pedestrian improvements, which can be made without this measure. While improvement of the area was welcomed, there were strong views that seating would attract anti-social behaviour, as is the case in Burwood Place. Please send your views to the above email address, copied to us here at firstname.lastname@example.org, if have strong views and are unable to attend. http:// www.westminster.gov.uk/connaught-consultation gives the background.
Also on anti-social behaviour, a meeting was called by Councillor Chowdhury on Friday 15th September from 6 to 8.30pm at the Indigo Hotel in London Street at which police representatives and the council’s head of service for public protection and licensing were invited.
About 40 people attended the consultation meeting on the Connaught Village Green proposals. The consultation had 354 responses. Respondents were asked to enter their postcode. 245 stated that they were from W2 postcodes. The results showed a 53 % in favour/39% against split, with around 7% undecided. The split was the same for the total and for the W2 subset, with slightly more in the W2 group “strongly supporting” than in the larger group.
Your chairman stated that the “Alternative two-way” version of the scheme, shown above (apologies for the image quality), would attract more support than the original version including the one-way proposal for Kendal Street. That proposal would stop eastbound traffic between the Duke of Kendal pub and Porchester Place. This one-way proposal was strongly criticised by many at the meeting (and previously) on the basis that it would increase the tailback where Connaught Street reaches Edgware Road, and cause displacement of traffic to Porchester Place, which is narrow and congested.
The chairman also said that the proposed benches would probably attract anti-social behaviour as the one at Burwood Place has done. That drives out use by residents as a resting/socialising place. If benches go in, local businesses and residents should be consulted in a review after 6 months and the benches removed if anti-social behaviour has set in.
Counclllor Dimoldenberg has subsequently written that the council’s Highways Team will do more work on Alternative two-way, seeking to improve the safety of pedestrians on what is now a 9m distance to cross at the west end of Kendal Street, “while maintaining two-way traffic along Kendal Street'”.
The new pedestrian area will have to be slightly smaller than originally envisaged with the one-way proposal, but that seems to be a price worth paying.
Later in the month, local police asked us to publicise a crime prevention event on Friday 29th September from 11 am to 3pm, outside 5 Merchant Square in Paddington Basin. Anyone can drop in and get their bike security marked for free, putting it onto a national register. There is also a drop-in surgery at which residents can raise issues with the police.
Meanwhile, committee members are reminded of our meeting on Tuesday 3 October in the meeting room at Raynham, Porchester Place, at 6.30pm.
There will also be an opportunity to raise local issues with the Cities of London and Westminster MP Nickie Aiken, from 12-1pm at St John’s Church, Hyde Park Crescent, on 13th October.
In other news, a consultation is under way until 11 October on the location of electric vehicle charging points. Write to Colin Mant at email@example.com quoting reference 8013-03/CM.
The proposals for our area are: for EV fast charging points on the south-west side of Park West Place, outside Park West, replacing
two car club parking bays (12 metres);
(ix) on the north-east side of Sussex Place, opposite Nos. 1 to 23 Sussex
Lodge, replacing two car club parking bays (9.8 metres) – the car club
parking bays would be relocated to adjacent to No. 9 Gloucester Square,
replacing two pay-by-phone parking bays (10 metres);
(b) introduce car club parking bays
on the north-east side of Norfolk Crescent, opposite the south-eastern arm
of Cambridge Square, replacing two shared-use parking bays (11.6 metres).