Network Rail - Deforestation - Wakeman Road
Residents on Wakeman Road have just found out about Network Rail's Proposed Deforestation i.e. chopping down of trees and bushes behind their gardens.
Here is an open letter from one of our Members about the issue:-
Last week we, as residents backing on to the London Euston line near Kensal Green, were sent the letter below (attached PDF) inviting us to a "consultation" on 28th July regarding the project. As you can see from the letter the work is scheduled to begin on the 8th August, only a week away. The basic plan is to remove all trees less than 6M from the track, but sycamore and ash will be removed entirely because they cause "leaves on the line".
1) This was not a consultation, we were TOLD what they were going to do.
2) The consultation was scheduled when hardly any of the affected residents are around, they are on holiday.
3) Nearly all the trees are sycamore so they will be completely removed leaving nothing.
4) The trees have provided natural cover that is an effective screen from the view of the track and significantly reduces noise from the trains.
5) This is a purely cost-cutting exercise - it's cheaper to hack them down than to prune them.
6) There are no plans to replace them with suitable trees, or to provide soundproof fencing to reduce noise.
7) They admitted that the vegetation management over the past 20 years has been very poor, and they (we) are now paying the price, having to put this project in place. (see item 5, page 3 of handout PDF attached)
8) Most of the trees we would like to keep are much less than 6M from the track, they are taken because they are sycamore.
The staff were less than helpful, not knowing how to respond to people who disagreed with their project.
As usual we have been railroaded (ha! - see what I did there!); this was a PR exercise ticking some invisible project planner's box on his to-do list.
Whilst I agree that safety on the track is very important, this is to enable Network Rail to hit targets for punctuality of trains, for which they get fined if they miss them, and they have chosen the cheapest method possible, and tried to sneak it past us.
The trees are a very important part of where we live, providing a natural view, a blanket for the sound, hiding the railway infrastructure, and generally improving the area - there must be a better way of doing this.
Just imagine if The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea decided that clearing up all the leaves from the iconic London Planes was proving a bit too expensive, and held a meeting at K&C's Town Hall with 10 day's notice proposing removing all the trees along Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, Holland Park, Hyde Park, the Albert Hall and around High Street Kensington. Do you think anyone would complain? And would they be able to do it?
Have a read and see what you think. Comments welcome.
Network Rail Letters
Network Rail Leaflets from Consultation
THAMES WATER ROADWORKS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
Chamberlayne Road is now due to open on Monday 1st February, two weeks ahead of schedule
PLEASE SEE ROAD WORKS PAGE - for FULL INFORMATION
There are still closures & Diversions to some Buses & Bannister Road will be closing at Chamberlayne Road end
Good News at Last!
It seems that our campaign to get pedestrian crossing facilities at the Ladbroke Grove/Harrow Road junction is creeping towards a successful outcome. The latest update from Westminster Council says:
‘All three boroughs now support the progression of the proposal to introduce pedestrian facilities at this junction through to a detailed traffic study’
This has taken two years from the time when a scheme was proposed (7th February 2014) which was presented as ‘just’ needing modelling before implementation.
It has taken ages to get agreement between all three boroughs that the scheme is necessary, but TfL are behind it, and putting up some of the finance, which can only be a good thing.
However, as the update note also says:
‘There are a number of organisations involved in approving the introduction of the pedestrian facilities at this junction.
This may take some time to agree and, if approved, a scheme should not be expected to start on-street until late this year / early 2017.’
So… not quite there yet, but definite and positive progress. We won’t be dancing on the streets until the work actually starts, but will keep up the pressure to ensure that it actually happens.
Harrow Road / Ladbroke Grove / Kilburn Lane
Proposed Improvement Scheme from Westminster Council
Update Note 14th January 2016
All three boroughs now support the progression of the proposal to introduce pedestrian facilities at this junction through to a detailed traffic study. This will enable the potential impacts of the pedestrian facilities, such as increased queuing and effect on bus reliability, to be evaluated and mitigation measures identified. TfL have provided the funding for this detailed investigation subject to the study including an appraisal of potential bus priority measures.
It had been expected that by now the development and detailed design of the pedestrian crossing facilities together with the investigation of potential bus priority measures on this part of the highway network would have been nearing completion. However a key element in the development of the proposals is the traffic modelling which is used to assess the potential impacts of any changes in layout. Owing to utility works in Harrow Road it was not possible to carry out the necessary traffic surveys until early December. This has meant that the building of the traffic model has been delayed and will not be completed until March. The intention is to complete the traffic study report outlining the impacts of the pedestrian and bus measures by May.
There are a number of organisations involved in approving the introduction of the pedestrian facilities at this junction. This may take some time to agree and, if approved, a scheme should not be expected to start on-street until late this year / early 2017. It is worth pointing out that this time-frame would meet TfL’s aim to renew the traffic signal equipment at this junction as this site is on TfL’s 2016/17 Modernisation programme.
Update Note 19th May 2015
TfL have confirmed that this scheme can be funded through the Bus Priority Development Portfolio Programme and the scheme can start now with a two year programme from 2015/16. TfL will be able to fund most of this work but do expect WCC to contribute a proportion of the cost of the scheme from its LIP Corridor Programme. On this basis instructions have been issued to WCC’s service provider WSP to commence the processes to deliver the scheme. A draft delivery programme and an initial cost estimate are expected to be available next month.
Whilst Brent have given their support to the scheme being progressed RBKC have raised a number of issues. These issues include:
• No over-riding safety case and difficult to make a case on convenience grounds
• High cycle time and limited operational resilience throughout the day
• Extent of queuing in Ladbroke Grove
• Developments in the area adding to traffic pressure
The above are currently being addressed and further discussions will be taking place with RBKC. RBKC consider that at the moment they are not in a position to take the scheme to their Cabinet Member and gain a positive outcome.
Update Note 5th March 2015
The feasibility scheme design has recently been the subject of a Road Safety Audit undertaken by TfL’s Road Safety Audit team. As a result of issues raised in the Road Safety Audit report the feasibility scheme layout (drawing number KU076000-PRDWG-0001-01 B) has been revised slightly. In addition the revised layout has also taken into account the comments made by the Kensal Triangle Residents Association.
The revised scheme layout is shown on drawing number KU076000-PRDWG-0001-01 C. The traffic modelling has been updated to reflect the current design. Overall the traffic modelling results are not significantly different to those for previous designs. The traffic modelling results indicate that throughout the day the junction will probably have to operate with a high cycle time at all times. At the moment the indications are that if the signals are to operate at / within capacity i.e. vehicles will pass through the junction on the cycle that they arrive at the junction then the cycle time during the peak periods could be 120seconds and 100 seconds in the off-peak. It is apparent that during the further development and design of the scheme the balance between pedestrian wait times to cross the road and delays to traffic, including buses, will be an important issue to address.
A meeting was held on 4th March with Brent and RBKC to brief and provide both boroughs with the information obtained by Westminster through the feasibility study, to learn their level of support for the scheme and to discuss how to take the scheme forward. Both boroughs were supportive of the intentions of the scheme. RBKC expressed concerns about the impact of the proposals on the queues and possible delays to buses in Ladbroke Grove. It was agreed that Westminster would produce a briefing note for the scheme that would be used by all 3 boroughs to gather Members’ views / approval to the proposal.
At the same time as this Member briefing is taking place Westminster will be producing a programme for the delivery of the project and seeking funding. As soon as possible the scheme and traffic modelling will be submitted to TfL Outcomes Delivery for audit, approval and preparation of the Traffic Signal Supplementary Report. Once this has been signed off, detailed design and the implementation process will then be progressed. As Harrow Road is part of the Strategic Road Network (SRN) early discussions will be held with TfL to ease the delivery process.
The Kensal Triangle Residents Association is a group of local residents from within the "Kensal Triangle" area within Kensal Green. Our goal is to work together to improve life within our area.
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Whilst the area is improving all the time, there are many issues which, if dealt with, would significantly improve the quality of life for those of us who live here.
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