Getting the A6 Coaches Off Westbourne Terrace
As your councillors, we are well aware of the distress caused, especially at night, in parts of Westbourne Terrace by the coaches on National Express’s A6 service to Stansted Airport. These coaches are very large and noisy. So the council is pressing Transport for London to ensure the service is moved to Eastbourne Terrace, which is not a residential road, when Crossrail is complete in 2018. However, as a local authority, very unfortunately, we have no legal power to ban these coaches. Westbourne Terrace is a so-called “designated Local Distributor Road” and does not have any structural weaknesses that would allow us to impose weight restrictions.
The council, Transport for London and residents are among those working on the new access arrangements that will be needed around Paddington Station when the long-awaited Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) opens at the end of next year (see next story).
Helping St Mary’s Hospital Develop its Facilities
Your councillors have been working with St Mary’s Hospital since July to understand their plans to transform their site for the benefit of patients in W2 and beyond. The hospital where Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin offers world class services but is held back by some outdated buildings. Outpatients’ services are currently provided from over 40 locations, many of them expensive to maintain and below the standard now set by new buildings at University College Hospital and elsewhere across London. Plans have now been submitted for a new outpatients’ building on Praed Street that would offer much enhanced access and facilities.
The hospital and London Ambulance Service voiced concerns over emergency access to the hospital once the Paddington Cube development is built. However, following our meeting with Irvine Sellar, the developer of the Paddington Cube, his group made an improved proposal for ambulance access to the planning committee considering the application. Work continues to resolve this issue finally, along with wider consideration of access to Paddington Station as the area round it develops further. Residents can contact the hospital’s communications department on 0203 3127674, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.imperial.nhs.uk/stmarysphase1 for further information or to make a comment.
We Fight for Residents over Lancaster Gate Tube Station Seven Month Closure
Like many of our residents, we were horrified that Transport for London gave little notice of its plans to close Lancaster Gate tube station while it replaces the lifts. While we welcome the new equipment, we believe much more warning time should have been given so that users, particularly with those with limited mobility, could make other plans. Transport for London say that the alternative to full closure would be 18 months of one lift only, which would lead to long queues and put further strain on that lift, possibly leading to a breakdown. They say that the stairs are not adequate for the passenger numbers at rush hour, so that it would not have been possible to keep the station open with stair access only.
However, Westminster’s Deputy Leader and Lancaster Gate councillor Robert Davis told TfL that stations users should have been involved before the decision was made to go for full closure. We will be holding Transport for London to their promise to get the station open again in July, in time for the height of the tourist season and, in particular, the Notting Hill Carnival. In the meantime, residents can use Queensway or Marble Arch stations, or other routes.