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Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) – update

A special item at QPARA’s monthly meeting on 8th October discussed Brent’s proposals for LTN19 Queen’s Park / Brondesbury Park and LTN20 Kilburn (which includes some streets east of Salusbury Road). Some 90 members and other residents who attended heard updates on the latest position and expressed continued strong concern at the lack of consultation on the proposed scheme (see News article 30 Sept explaining QPARA’s stance). 

Members of QPARA’s Streetscape Group had taken part in a Brent Council briefing for residents’ groups on 22 September. This revealed that LT19 would now be phased, with only the closure of Tiverton Road at the Chevening bridge junction being implemented first and other changes placed on hold unless ‘needed’ in future. In contrast, all the planned closures in LT20 would proceed as planned originally. Maps of these two updated proposals were shown.

QPARA pressed Brent for the official notes of the meeting and the maps for over three weeks since the 22nd. The notes finally arrived on 14th October (but no maps) confirming the ‘Tiverton only’ proposal for LT19, for the present, but also now showing that point closures on Victoria and Donaldson roads in LT20 were now on hold. Other point closures in LT19 outside QPARA’s area would proceed (for example Brondesbury Villas, causing concern to QPARA members in Brondesbury Road due to displaced traffic). No firm dates were given for any closures. The notes also showed that  closures would now be reviewed at 2 and 4 months rather than at only 6 months intervals as envisaged before. There were still no plans to consult on schemes in advance, as this was to follow once implemented, running in parallel. Without updated maps yet provided by Brent, out website can show only the out of date originals .

Hearing news of the changes and also that many members had collected figures on the mass of vehicles entering Queen’s Park area in the morning peak, the meeting on 8 October agreed immediate actions. Again putting on record strong concerns about the lack of prior consultation, it was agreed to fund Traffic Engineer expertise to advise QPARA if needed, and in addition to make a submission to an upcoming Extraordinary Meeting of Brent Council 16 September.

The Council had given no real notice of this special meeting, and certainly none to interested parties including residents’ associations, even when these were actively engaged in LTN issues. On 14 October QPARA’s Chair Virginia Brand therefore submitted a formal letter to the Meeting on behalf of the association. It was circulated to all Brent councillors, and complained about the inadequate consultation process, the lack of data or projections to show how the schemes would impact, the absence of assessment on consequences for disabled people and the lack of consultation about the Meeting itself (live streamed at http://democracy.brent.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=180&MId=6345&Ver=4 ).

The Meeting approved a motion endorsing going ahead with LTNs but QPARA awaits clarification on its full meaning.

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ICMP music college is planning to open in Salusbury Road in September 2021

The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) have reached an agreement to take over the lease of the former Corrib Rest and have applied to Brent Council to approve a change of use from A4 (a pub) to D1 (Education and Health).

QPARA members may be interested to see and comment on the planning application which can be found here: https://pa.brent.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=DCAPR_151666&activeTab=summary

Plans for use of this site, the renewed ACV and the Section 106 provision are kept under active consideration by our Corrib action group and discussed extensively at QPARA’s monthly meetings.

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QPARA news: What is happening on Brent’s plans for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) for the Queen’s Park Area and Kilburn Area?

First of all a personal thanks from me to all of the almost 60 people who took the trouble to provide our Streetscape team with your feedback on the plans. You expressed a wide range of views sometimes cogently and often with passion! 

A lot has been going on since then and our Chair and the Streetscape team have provided the following update in advance of the next QPARA monthly zoom meeting on Thursday 8th October. Members will get their invitation in the next day or so. Anyone wishing to join QPARA and have your say, can do so here: qpark.org.uk/join-us.

QPARA supports efforts to reduce pollution stemming from through traffic and congestion in its area and around (i.e. on so-called through roads which are also heavily residential). The Association has long campaigned for action on these issues but does not regard Brent’s current Low Traffic Neighbourhood approach as the answer.

On Tuesday 22 September Cllr Shama Tatler, Highways lead for Brent Council, and Tony Kennedy, Head of Highways, held an online meeting with some 15 representatives of local residents’ associations and other groups. She showed maps of the two Traffic Order schemes being proposed for Queen’s Park and Kilburn.

These were the same as those circulated unofficially, except that all road closures and ‘no turns’ etc in the Queens Park proposal were  shown in green with a legend stating that they are ‘Potential Future Closure if Needs Be’ or ‘Potential Future Banned Turn if Needs Be. The one exception was Tiverton Road at the bridge into Queen’s Park, still shown as a red ‘Proposed Street Closure’. She emphasized that she was keen to have dialogue with QPARA and other residents’ groups from hereon.

The Kilburn TO map still had all changes in red – the same as seen already. – Cllr Tatler explained that this would now proceed, subject to full clearance from the relevant emergency services and letters to all residents. Tony Kennedy said actual implementation of both schemes would be at least two weeks away.

Of the many questions and comments which followed several centred on asking what traffic and air quality data had been available for scheme design and could it be shared. Tony Kennedy said there was little data available but that some monitoring strips had been installed in the last few days.

While waiting for the promised official note of this meeting QPARA has been busy collecting its own data on vehicle movements during the morning rush hour and assessing the likely impact of the revised scheme. Fundamentally QPARA seeks proper consultation, supported by data, and is ready to give positive consideration to any scheme which improves air quality and reduces congestion both inside the planned LTN area and on the roads which surround it such as Salusbury and Chamberlayne.

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Brent are supplying a community skip this Saturday, September 26th for the residents of Queen’s Park Ward to dispose of bulky waste. It will be situated at the junction of Kingswood Avenue and Harvist Road from 10am to 12 noon

You can dispose of up to 5 items free, but you must bring some identification to prove you live in the area (your driving licence or council tax bill.) There will also be a caged lorry to take furniture or electricals away that have life left in them /are working. These will then be able to be reused by others in need who need furniture for their home. Please see the flyer for more details and come early, as once the skip is full no more waste can be put in the skip.

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Have your say on new traffic measures around the Queen’s Park area

QPARA has written to members asking for their views and feedback on Experimental Traffic Order TO/30/019 NP Queen’s Park Area. 

We were dismayed to learn at September’s monthly meeting last Thursday that Brent planned to block certain streets in our area without prior consultation in pursuit of a TfL Healthy Streets initiative. QPARA supports initiatives which promote healthy lifestyles, but these plans, which would reconfigure many road traffic flows locally, are rushed and most have already caused considerable local concern. We have long been in favour of a traffic management plan for the area produced following due process and consultation. 

We have produced a position paper and our Chair has written an email to Councillor Shama Tatler, the lead Brent councillor for this scheme, asking for an immediate meeting or an assurance of enough time for a proper consultation.

Brent’s maps of the proposed changes are reproduced below.

To give QPARA your feedback, please email qparamail@gmail.com saying if you agree or disagree with the action so far, as outlined in the position paper. This is a fast moving situation and we want to make sure that we represent the views of our membership as closely as possible. We recognise that members affected by morning rush hour rat runs, e.g. in Summerfield Avenue and Dudley Road, see an advantage in the proposals, but as our paper explains there are very serious disadvantages to weigh against the package as whole.  

The petition on change.org against the scheme which has already gained over 1,000 supporters is not a QPARA initiative but is in line with our response to the Council to date.

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Queen’s Park gets its first school street

From 14 September Kempe Road (from Peploe to Chamberlayne) will be designated a “School Street”. It will be one of 30 such Streets in Brent, brought in as a response to the opportunities for improving air quality and road safety as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. TfL are behind the plan.

The aim is to make the street motor vehicle free (with limited exemptions) during the hours of 8.15 to 9.15am and 2.30 to 4pm Monday to Friday during term time. These are the normal drop off and pick up times for parents of children at Ark Franklin school who use their cars to deliver and collect them.

Important exemptions from the rules are emergency and residents’ vehicles (including bona fide visitors and deliveries). However the scheme will work best if movements by exempted vehicles are kept to a minimum.

Brent have made emergency orders under the Road Traffic Regulation Act, which do not require prior consultation. Despite this QPARA has established a dialogue with the Brent team about details of the scheme since the relevant road signs were spotted by an eagle-eyed Street Rep in August.

You can find all the details available to the general public at this link on Brent’s website: https://consultation.brent.gov.uk/highways-and-infrastructure/ark-franklin-emergency-schools-streets-zone/ . This includes the letter sent to individual residents. It will be for the school staff to operate the temporary barriers across the street during the restricted hours.

There will be a running consultation on the scheme during the next 6 months, but QPARA plans to see how it goes before formulating conclusions. Meanwhile we wish the school and the residents well. For a number of years we have been working to see the end of pick up/drop off by car at primary schools in the area for safety and air quality reasons. This scheme has some loose ends, but that is inevitable considering the speed of its introduction.

More generally we want to support all our local schools as they manage the return of pupils after the lockdown. This is by far the most challenging aspect of the next phase of living with the pandemic given the constraints and the numbers involved.

QPARA Streetscape Group

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How to report crime and get help – flyer from Brent Safer Neighbourhood Board

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Meet your local Queen’ Park and Brondesbury Met Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams at Queen’s Park Cafe on Wednesday 29th July between 12-1pm

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Closure of St Andrew’s United Reform Church and London Inter Faith Centre

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Keslake Pocket Park: Proposed improvements to the Chamberlayne Road end of Keslake Road

In July 2019 Brent Council led a consultation on the Kensal Corridor Improvements Scheme focussed on Chamberlayne Road. Following this process there has been much discussion on redesign of Keslake Pocket Park in response to some local crime and anti-social behaviour issues and as such alternative designs have been explored in a joint working group of Keslake residents, QPARA, senior council officers and local councillors. The emerging preferred layout and design are featured in the leaflet (link here) and we seek further comments on this from the community by Friday 31 July via the online survey link in the leaflet. Implementation depends on community support and securing funding, this design will form the basis of a bid via QPARA for Brent’s Neighbourhood Community Infrastucture Levy (NCIL) funding in late 2020.
 
All Keslake residents have received a letter from local councillors drawing attention to the consultation and inviting them to comment. QPARA’s Street Reps in adjacent roads are being alerted to the consultation and the leaflet is on our Keslake notice board.
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