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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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QPARA Zooms ahead

Queen’s Park Councillors, Ellie Southwood and Neil Nerva, the Vicar of St Anne’s, Mother Christine Cargill, and Queen’s Park Manager, Richard Gentry, joined QPARA members on 11th June for our first monthly meeting since lockdown and first Zoom meeting. Discussions were particularly wide ranging and informative with updates on such diverse subjects as:

  • the impact of Covid-19 across Brent and the action being taken by the council;  
  • community support coordinated by QPARA for residents vulnerable to Covid-19 in the Queen’s Park area;  
  • the Keslake Road project to address anti-social behaviour at the Chamberlayne Road end of the street;
  • the ‘virtual’ Queen’s Park Open Gardens and Studios event that was taking place on Instagram;
  • Ark Franklin school’s application to build an art studio next to Harvist Road;
  • the use of the park during lockdown and plans for the coming weeks;
  • opposition to replacing paving slabs with asphalt around the area;
  • support for local business and the suggestion of a car-free day possibly in September;
  • the need watering new street trees in the summer months, plans to cut down mature trees and efforts to get new trees planted; and
  • the latest news on the Corrib Rest site on Salusbury Road.

 It was great to have more than 50 people online, especially those who don’t usually make it to monthly meetings. Members commented how smoothly the meeting ran with great contributions from a wide range of people.

Full minutes are being finalised and will be emailed to all members next week with an invitation to July’s meeting which will take place at 8pm on Thursday 9th. 

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Queen’s Park staff have installed QPARA funded swings in the children’s sandpit area

Although the sandpit is closed, the City of London Corporation hope that this play area can safely be reopened safely soon, subject to government guidance.

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