We have called for clean hybrid trains to replace the dirty, polluting diesel trains currently operating from Marylebone to Birmingham. We have written to Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris calling for the new contract from Marylebone to stipulate that all diesel coaches are converted to diesel/battery bi-mode hybrids as quickly as possible and certainly within a short time period.
The RIBA is to launch a design competition for the redevelopment of its grade II* art deco headquarters at 66 Portland Place. New president Simon Allford said the building is “tired” and inaccessible and needs to be brought up to modern standards. He outlined a vision that included creating three new galleries aimed at public, profession and policymakers, as well as upgraded office space.
Oxford Circus pedestrian piazzas
Plans to part-pedestrianise Oxford Street by creating two pedestrian piazzas at Oxford Circus have been axed by the Council following widespread opposition voiced by residents who were concerned that it would lead to traffic being displaced to residential streets north and south of Oxford Street. We have welcomed this decision which is a victory for common sense following the recent £6 million Marble Arch Mound fiasco.
Residents have contacted us to say:
“I heard with colossal relief the announcement on the News that the plan for a pedestrianised Oxford Circus have been postponed – let us hope permanently. I am so grateful to the whole Labour Team for working so hard to investigate the financial and impact details of this scheme, because both the cost and the effect of dispersing traffic into narrow and often residential streets totally incapable of coping with it seem never to have been fully investigated nor the findings revealed.”
We have again urged the Housing Department to take action against the regular anti-social behaviour at Holcroft Court. Residents say:
“For the fourth night running we have people in the communal gardens of Holcroft Court, some of these individulas do not live in Holcroft. For those whose property faces the communal this is becoming a regular inconvenience. Residents on this side of Holcroft do not have double glazing.
Bad behaviour breeds behaviour and absolutely nobody from Westminster Council is taking any responsibility in addressing this. Nobody is making an effort to manage these problems and at some point there will be a serious incident.”
A number of residents in Carburton Street have expressed concerns about plans to designate the street a ‘play street’. Residents say:
“We are concerned on several counts with the proposals to turn Carburton Street into a ‘play’ street. With no access for vehicles, we are concerned about hospital transport, rubbish collections, deliveries, emergency services not being able to get through. People are concerned that no consultation has been carried out and that these plans will be pushed through against residents wishes. We already struggle to get items delivered and often have to pay congestion charge on top of delivery costs, and if firms have to park further away will make getting large items delivered almost impossible.”
The Council has told us that there are no plans to turn Carburton Street in to a play street.