Labour Councillors are supporting the pleas of the St Marylebone Society and the Marylebone Association who are calling for Westminster Council and Transport for London to take more notice of residents’ views on plans to return Baker Street and Gloucester Place to two-way working.
At this week’s Environment Scrutiny Committee, Councillors heard from Gaby Higgs of the St Marylebone Society and Michael Bolt of the Marylebone Association. Gaby Higgs told the Committee of residents’ concerns that the current proposals would cause ‘rat-runs’ through residential areas and that insufficient information had been provided on how bus and coach traffic would be managed. Michael Bolt told the Committee that residents were concerned that the proposed ban on left turns into Marylebone Road at Gloucester Place would force traffic through York Street and on to Seymour Place. He told the Committee;
“Whilst we are generally supportive of the overall aspirations involved in making these roads two way but we are not supportive of a gold plated scheme which fiddles around with the carriageways to such an extent that we see substantial traffic displacement within our area, and the present scheme is in grave danger of doing just this. The effect of all these changes, plus the reduction in carriageway width on Baker Street and Gloucester Place, will be to move more traffic onto residential streets and spread the pollution noise and disruption to surrounding areas.”
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Labour Built Environment spokesperson said;
“The principle of returning Baker Street and Gloucester Place to two way working after over 50 years might be a good idea, but the devil is in the detail of how it will operate at the key junctions. The consultation so far has not convinced many long-standing residents and more needs to be done to show people how the new road system would work in detail. The weakest link for many people is the proposal to ban the left turn at the Gloucester Place/Marylebone Road junction and the impact that this will have on forcing a great deal of traffic through the residential streets north and south of Marylebone Road. Westminster and TfL have a lot more work to do and listening to residents should be the top priority.”