Your Marylebone Councillors continue to hold the Council to account about the consultation details relating to C43 Cycle Way.
Out of the 1,400 responses to the consultation we are anxious to know what proportion were from local people and businesses based in Marylebone Ward.
In line with Conservative practice relating to consultations we have requested a map illustrating where responses were received.
Your Marylebone Councillors have had several exchanges with the Council’s Director of Highways and the Programme & Contract Manager responsible for C43 and although no decision has yet been made relating to C43 cycleway, we are extremely alarmed that the Council is determined to proceed with plans for C43.
Your Marylebone Councillors raised several concerns with officers at the Council. Our questions are below, and their answers are shown in italics.
Your Marylebone Councillors asked: There were major omissions notifying local people of the consultation.
Council response: ….consultation went significantly above and beyond the existing Council standards for local consultation and formal TMO consultation is still to come.
The Council is referring to:
• eight light lamp column wraps were placed along George St vs over 3,000 postcards mailed locally at the cost of £800 and over £3,000, respectively.
Lamp wraps were responsible for 14% (~200) of responses vs 6% (~80) from postcards
• The Council mailing went to addresses 50 metres from the proposed C43 route. In 2019 the Conservatives sent their proposal to addresses 100 metres from the proposed route.
• Social media was geographically targeted and was by far the most effective means of reaching people.
• The Council’s newsletter reaches residents within Marylebone.
Your Marylebone Councillors said: The lack of residents responding to the consultation demonstrates the heart of the problem. Young able-bodied people will respond to the lamp column wraps and social media, but many of those respondents probably don’t live in the Ward and don’t depend on currently available options to get them to the next medical appointment.
Local councillors were not asked where to send notifications. To disrupt people’s lives when the response rate to the notifications sent by Royal Mail was just 6% sums up the quality of the Labour administration.
Your Marylebone Councillors asked: Better options exist for an east-west cycleway especially as George Street is one road down from the east-west cycleway starting at Harrowby Street.
Council response: Numerous route options have historically been considered and George Street was found to be the preferred option in terms of current and future demand, ability to meet parking and servicing needs in the proposals, cycle connectively to the surrounding network and adherence to cycle infrastructure standards.
Your Marylebone Councillors said: No evidence is provided.
The map shows C43 in red as it meanders from Hyde Park Ward and continues along George Street. It’s difficult to believe cyclists will follow this route. Clearly, the simplest route is shown in blue along Seymour Street. An existing route is shown in green and is one road down.
Your Marylebone Councillors asked: Disruption to local people’s lives is disproportionate to the cost and need of non-residents.
Council response: It’s not envisaged that unfair disruption will take place as a result of proposals. Resident parking will be still be readily available, services will still be able to take place, and local access to safer, sustainable and active travel options will be improved.
We said: How can there be no disruption if all parking is taken away on George Street with no provision planned for loading and unloading? This statement is made without any evidence.
We asked: We anxiously await the report outlining the frequency of road works on George Street.
Council response: As above and not related to C43 proposals.
We asked: George Street should be reserved for emergency bus diversions.
Council response: TfL Buses have been consulted on proposals and bus standards (3m wide general traffic lane) are met.
On a road with a width of 10 metres there’s a lot to fit in. Loading and unloading and bus diversions will cause chaos.
As reported in our July Newsletter at the last Full Meeting, Cllr Rachael Robathan, Leader of the Conservative Group, called on Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management, to ensure that the views of local residents in Hyde Park and Marylebone as well as the local Resident Amenity societies would be given priority in the current C43 cycle lane consultation. He failed to do so and said that all representations would be given equal priority. He replied that residents will be treated “very carefully indeed” and concerns will be given “very high/strong consideration” but he refused to say that they would be given priority.
This consultation is an example of the new administration's inability to represent residents' concerns. The Community is very concerned about this scheme as expressed by the Marylebone Association in their August Newsletter.