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The proposed Crossrail 2 Station entrance at Rathbone Place should be added to the “site allocations” as this is a large site where some community benefit such as housing could be built. If the station is to be built at this location it will mean a lot of demolition and the loss of important heritage assets. It will also cause another round of local disruption in Fitzrovia. However, FitzWest should identify potential uses for the site which would benefit the area above the station. The location can be seen here http://crossrail2.co.uk/stations/tottenham-court-road/
Newman St should be added to the list of streets that require traffic calming/pedestrianisation.
The new Crossrail 1 station at the bottom of Newman St will debouch enormous numbers of pedestrians who will need to be dispersed quickly and safely. Under present conditions they would be likely to get run over. I would suggest considering the pedestrianisation of the bottom section, south of Eastcastle St, and pavement widening/a chicane further up, to prevent the current problem of speeding taxis and white vans, who will however continue to need access.
I am writing on behalf of Westminster Cycling Campaign, the local group of the London Cycling Campaign. Thank you for the considerable time and effort that has gone into producing the draft Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Plan.
Car parking standards:
Policy 13 Parking A: Car Parking states that “New development will be car-free and will provide no off-street private parking with the exception of:” … “dedicated parking spaces for electric cars with accompanying charging points”. We foresee that the draft policy would result in an unchanged level of car parking provision, with more charging points, but likely used by ‘plug-in’ hybrid petrol or diesel vehicles or abused by conventional petrol or diesel vehicles. Does the Forum want to reduce congestion on Fitzrovia’s roads and release development space for affordable housing , live-work units and small businesses? If so, we recommend that this policy is revised to genuinely encourage car-free development.
Census data shows that two-thirds of households in Fitzrovia West do not own a car. In order to show general conformity with Mayoral and Westminster policies, it is worth stating that London Plan Policy 6.13 Parking states “b. in locations with high public transport accessibility, car-free developments should be promoted (while still providing for disabled people)” and draft Westminster Walking Strategy highlights reduced-car or permit-free development as an opportunity.
Cycle parking standards:
We are pleased that the draft Neighbourhood Plan recognises that Mayoral and Westminster cycle parking standards fall short on the provision of publicly accessible cycle parking. Policy 13 Parking B: Cycle Parking states that “All major development over 1,000sqm will be required to provide permanent publicly accessible cycle parking in accordance with standards set out in Table 14.2 [13.2?]” … “These standards have been set up on the assumption that all buildings only provide cycle parking for their occupants. In the Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Plan these numbers are to be met by publicly accessible cycle parking, expect [except?] where indicated in residential schemes.” We recommend spelling out more clearly to developers the meaning of this policy. Does it mean that for development over 1,000sqm all cycle parking must meet the following requirement quoted from the London Plan paragraph 6A.13, but additionally be available to people who have no connection whatsoever to the development site, e.g. people working or shopping on the opposite side of the street?
“Short-stay cycle parking should be available for shoppers, customers, messengers and other visitors to a site, and should be convenient and readily accessible. Short-stay cycle parking should have step-free access and be located within 15 metres of the main site entrance, where possible.”
We also have a minor suggestion that the Forum should consider referring to ‘London Plan Table 6.3 and subsequent revisions’ rather than reproducing the table, as such standards are subject to change.
What are the Forum’s cycle parking standards for development under 1,000sqm? A typical ‘Metro’/’Local’ supermarket may be under 1,000sqm, and it is this scale of development that often fails to provide short-stay cycle parking, resulting in the insecure and unsightly locking of bikes to street furniture.
Transport improvements and CIL:
We are pleased that the Forum supports 20mph speed limits for the benefit of pedestrian and cyclists, and supports improvements including the removal of the unpleasant gyratory system around Great Portland Street Station.
We would be pleased if the Forum would show to Westminster its support for the three proposed Central London Grid Quietway routes that pass through the Fitzrovia West area (https://www.westminster.gov.uk/cycling-consultations). The Quietways are essential to attract new people to cycling, including more women, families and older people.
Westminster’s Cycling Strategy explains the proportion of local residents living in flats is higher than the London average, which increases their difficulty in finding space to park a bike and enjoy this healthy, active travel mode. Our experience as the local cycling campaign group is that the most common requests of local residents are cycle parking and Cycle Hire. These are very positively received by the local community when they are provided, for example the Bike Hangar parking that exists on housing estates in Westminster and has recently been installed on-street in Ilbert Street (http://www.cyclehoop.com/product/shelters-canopies/bikehangar/). We request that a set proportion of Community Infrastructure Level (CIL) money is ringfenced for provision of additional cycle parking and Cycle Hire facilities.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss these comments further.
Secretary, Westminster Cycling Campaign
The local group of the London Cycling Campaign
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