Baker Street 2-way
We have reported many comments from residents to the Council, including:
“I often cross the road from Crawford Street and the traffic lights there are out of sync. I mentioned this to the council man stationed on the crossing there in a hi vis jacket- he did not seem interested in reporting it. May explain accidents there”
“I wish to report my experiences in crossing at the George Street and Gloucester Place crossing. Crossing Gloucester Place on the south side is perfect with the green-man crossing. The other three crossings are in my experience dangerous and very frightening. There is no safe time to step on to the road to cross. I think many car drivers assume there are pedestrian lights as is the case on most crossings in Gloucester Place and Baker Street, and so are not alert to the possibility that there will be pedestrians trying to cross. I have experienced cars hooting at pedestrians and car brakes screeching to a halt. Traffic certainly seems to be flowing freely there, then to be delayed when it reaches Marylebone Road or Baker Street.”
“The Park Road-Baker Street junction, and others, which were once three lanes is now just one. There are long queues. Worse, the Baker St and Gloucester Place roads have been given traffic lights that not only stay at red for needlessly long periods, they have been fixed so instead of a stream of green lights to push traffic through – you’re trapped with a deliberate blockade of reds.”
Traffic lights on Oxford Street
We reported the following to the Council:
“Residents are reporting that the pedestrian phases on some traffic lights on Oxford Street have been shortened, and less able residents are finding it
difficult to get across the road before the traffic starts moving. This is happening even if they started to cross immediately the green person light
This is frightening for those pedestrians. It is also dangerous, because even if the car, bus, or van directly by the lights can see the pedestrian
who is still crossing the road, the speeding cyclist or motorbike from behind them, slipping along between the vehicles and the kerb, might not.”
We received this response:
“The issue is that the signal timings had been switched on Orchard Street and Portman street before the two way was introduced. Therefore it appeared that pedestrians were being held on red when there was no traffic turning. Now that BS2W is live there is trafficking turning into Orchard Street and out of Portman Street when the pedestrian lights are on red. It’s true that some movements now have less green time for pedestrians but also that some now have more. If this is still causing issues locally please do let us know.”
The Gentle Author writes about Old Marylebone
Electric charging points
You can request an electric charging point near you. The Council has a new scheme to install electric charging points in lamp posts across the city. If you own or plan to buy an electric vehicle you can apply to have a charger installed in your road. The council plans to install over 100 new lamp post charging points across the city. The charging points can be installed in just 20 minutes. Priority will be given to those who already own electric vehicles.
Ultra Low Emission Zone
To help improve air quality, an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be introduced in central London from 8 April 2019, covering the same area as the Congestion Charge. Most vehicles including cars and vans will need to meet the ULEZ standards or be liable for a daily charge to drive in the area. The Mayor of London has launched a new vehicle scrappage scheme to help small businesses. Eligible micro businesses and charities can apply for funds to scrap up to three vehicles that do not meet the new criteria.
We have called for a change in the law to introduce strict controls on who is able to let out flats on Airbnb and other short-let platforms after an undercover BBC investigation found that property management companies are encouraging landlords to break strict short-term letting laws in London. Landlords cannot legally rent out their homes in the capital for more than 90 nights a year under current regulations. However, some firms were secretly recorded by the BBC undercover team explaining methods to get around Airbnb’s system which stops properties exceeding the 90 nights’ limit, such as using new photos to make listings appear as new.
Karen Buck MP, who has campaigned for greater regulation on short-term lets, described the undercover footage as “absolutely shocking”. “It undermines everything we were told about how short-let accommodation would work and it’s really deeply dispiriting”, she told Inside Out London on BBC One on Monday 25 February.
We have put forward the following change in the law, based on suggestion from a local resident, to curb unauthorised short-term lets. We suggest that only those living in a property as a primary residence should be allowed to rent their property out for short-term lets. This would make the short terms less of a full-time business and more of an opportunity for bona fide residents to rent out their flat or rooms in their flat for extra income while they are away on holiday or if they have an empty room. The responsibility would fall on the owner to log their dates of rented activity with the council. It could operate in the same way that car owners are responsible for logging congestion charges.