Update 9th March: this scheme has now been put on hold, pending the outcome of any future estate-wide traffic scheme to be implemented in place of the previously-proposed low traffic neighbourhood.
Westminster City Council has recently released proposals for a cycling quietway from Hyde Park to Camden. Whilst this is being described as a new cycling route, in reality it is parts of existing cycling routes joined together and improved. It follows on from original plans for a cycling “grid” in Westminster, originally consulted on in 2016.
Outline of proposals
This particular proposal is for a route from Hyde Park (at the east end of North Carriage Drive) to Bryanston Square, via Stanhope Place, Connaught Square, Porchester Place, Kendal Street and George Street. This is shown in the map below:
Full details of the proposal are contained on the Council’s website (including detailed drawings). To save you trawling through pages of technical details, we have summarised the main changes below.
Improved cycling contraflow on Stanhope Place
The biggest impact of the proposals for the Hyde Park Estate concern Stanhope Place. For the bicyclists crossing the Bayswater Road from Hyde Park, and for vehicles leaving Connaught Square to join the Bayswater Road, Stanhope Place is very narrow and tricky. Despite having a right-of-way it seems like bicyclists are going the wrong way down a one-way street which can at times be frustrating for both bicyclists and vehicle drivers. Under the plan the road space would be widened to allow much more room. Six residents parking places would be relocated to Connaught Square, Porchester Place and Norfolk Crescent. (Note the motorcycle parking bay in Norfolk Crescent would be lost to maintain residents parking.)
Improved pavement around Connaught Square
The other main impact is the improvement of the pavement around Connaught Square, which will result in the loss of some paid parking spaces. Those who frequently walk along Connaught Street between Edgware Road and the village will be familiar with the difficulty of traversing this route by foot:
The proposal is to bring the paving out further into the road and “square it” in a similar manner to the opposite corner on the west side. A wider pavement is proposed for the north side of the square.
The scheme also proposes a number of other changes to try and improve walking routes and slow traffic. These include:
- Widened pavement at the junction of Portsea Place and Connaught Street
- Widened pavement at the junction of Porchester Place and Connaught Street
- Raised table and wider pavements at the junction of Porchester Place and Kendal Street
- Raised table and wider pavements at the junction of Stanhope Place and Seymour Street
- Raised table for the existing zebra crossing on Connaught Street (east end)
Changes to parking
Any changes to parking are mainly a consequence of the Stanhope Place and Connaught Square proposals summarised above. There are other changes to improve road safety at junctions and pedestrian crossings that are fully detailed in the Council’s proposals. The table below summarizes the changes to parking by location.
|Stanhope Place||Reduction of 6 residents’ parking places. Relocation of disabled bay to opposite side of road.|
|Connaught Square||Addition of 4 residents’ bays outside number 30. Reduction in 3 pay bays on north-east corner. Relocation of residents’ bays from north-west corner to north-east corner.|
|Porchester Place||1 additional resident parking bay.|
|Norfolk Crescent||Replacement of motorcycle bay with 2 new residents’ parking bays.|
|Seymour Street||Relocation of shared-use parking to outside Victory Services Club. Shortening of residents’ parking bay on north side by 3.5 metres.|
For those interested in the specifics, we’ve pulled out the detailed “before” and “after” drawings for the Hyde Park Estate:
|Connaught Square (south)||Current||Proposed|
|Connaught Square (north)||Current||Proposed|
Have your say
What do you think of these proposals? Let us know by leaving a comment below. You can also respond formally to the council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference7567/LH, by 27th January 2021.