70% back North-South Cycle Superhighway

TfL has today published the report on its consultation on the North-South Cycle Superhighway.

Nearly 1,400 responses were received. 53 per cent fully supported the proposals, rising to 70 per cent once those who partially supported them are included.

In our area the route is planned to go along Judd St, east onto Tavistock Place, Regents Square and Sidmouth St to Grays Inn Rd. The consultation question on this section was answered by less people and the result was closer than for the route as a whole – but still in favour. Of those that answered, 49% fully supported the plans, 7% partially supported and 41% opposed.

There was higher opposition to the plans for the Judd St section than other parts of the route, and the report highlights that one of the key issues mentioned in feedback was the concern raised by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), and others, that running the route along Judd St would make the area less accessible for visually impaired people. Another concern was the plan to take away the pelican crossing outside the RNIB headquarters, and replace it with a zebra crossing.

We can expect this to be an issue that TfL will continue to work on. What happens at the top of Judd St, at the junction with Euston Rd and Midland Rd, is a different consultation with the results of that still awaited.

TfL says it plans to announce how it will proceed in the autumn.


Hotel group and taxi drivers make Tavi Place proposals

Further Tavistock Place ideas ….. for those that missed it, the exhibition run by Imperial London Hotels last week-end, with support from the ‘Mayfair Mob’ taxi drivers, proposed – as we predicted – a return to the pre-trial set-up.

MV has searched in vain for any details of the proposals online. In their absence, the main details are: –

• A continuous bi-directional cycle lane between Judd Street and Malet Street, on the northbound side of the road – but on a wider lane (4m) than the 2m that existed before the trial. The carriageway would theefore be reduced from 8.5m pre-trial to 5.5m.
• Return to two-way traffic between Woburn Place and Malet Street. Traffic between Judd St and Woburn Place would remain one-way east-bound.

Exhibition boards_finalproof

The exhibition also presented a second option, of keeping the one-way traffic movement, but switching it to west-bound only.

The organisers were running a survey at the event and will no doubt tell us what it found soon. They are also talking to LB Camden about their ideas and would like them adopted as the Council’s preferred option when it goes out to consultation in early September  –  though worth noting that Cllr Phil Jones tweeted this ….

poor quality proposals designed to prioritise taxis over others


New uses for old kiosks

The urban activist Jane Jacobs used to love old buildings because of their great suitability for economic re-use. But MV wonders if even she could  have anticpated the  refurb ideas that entrepreneurs are trying out in Bloomsbury’s abandoned telephone boxes.

According to this week’s CNJ a New York based firm called Bar Works has been given the go-ahead to open their first Pod Work office kiosk in the UK – in the phone booth opposite Senate House.

Bloomsbury seems to be the chosen test-bed for a range of these urban retrofit ideas of the British design icon – other recent schemes have been the salad bar in Bloomsbury Square and, more predictably, a proposed coffee stall in Russell Square, which has not been taken forward.


This latest is an entire “office pod”,  with a 25-inch screen that can be used with laptops or phones, wi-fi and a printer/scanner. The business owners claim it’s aimed at those looking for “affordable, convenient work space in attractive locations”.

Presumably you won’t have to keep feeding it with 20p pieces to save your work.



Mary Mary

On a dark and stormy night during 1816 – the “Year Without Summer” – a young Mary Shelley, challenged by Byron, sets out to write the ultimate horror. In the turmoil of Mary’s mind, past and present blur, and the created becomes the creator.

The Frankenstein story is now being re-told in ‘Mary Mary’, a play by Theatre Mensch showing as part of  the Camden Fringe on 20th and 21st August at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre. The play celebrates the lives of Shelley alondonremnd her mother Mary Wollstonecraft – an extraordinary mother and daughter who never had the chance to know one another.

There’s a strong local connection to the Frankenstein story. Wollstonecraft married political philosopher William Godwin at St Pancras Church, and died giving birth to Mary in Somers Town. Marchmont St can even stake a claim as the birthplace of Frankenstein, since a house on the site of the current No 87 (now the Russell Supermarket) was Mary and Percy Shelley’s home when she started to write the novel 200 years ago.

Book tickets via http://www.camdenfringe.com
More information about the production can be found on our website: https://theatremensch.com/mary-mary/ and tickets can be purchased at: https://cam.tickets.red61.com/performances.php?eventId=3113:1331

Taxi Leaks … but who to?

MV has just had its best day ever – 244 views in one day. I wondered why. Helpfully WordPress offers a stats service so we can track who is viewing, from where in the world and who are our ‘top referrers’ – basically the websites people have connected to us from. The answer to the puzzle is this web-site …. Taxi Leaks, which has run a story today about a counter-proposal to the Tavistock Place scheme, worked up by Imperial Hotel Group.

MV doesn’t know the details of this Imperial Hotels’ proposal, and none are given on the web-site, though IH did approach us to discuss their concerns a while back. Does anyone else? Our  guess is that it will be a return to two-way road traffic, with space squeezed for both cyclists and pedestrians.

We should re-iterate – for the benefit of the Mayfair Mob as well as anyone else – MV doesn’t have a position on the Tavistock Place scheme. There is a link on the Taxi Leaks web-page to one recent post on MV. But there are mixed views amongst local residents.

According to Taxi Leaks,”Imperial Group are to hold an exhibition in mid July to showcase these proposals” and “it is hoped that Camden will include this proposal into the permanent consultation in September as their main choice”
The exhibition will take place on –
Thursday14th July 19.30 – 21.30
Saturday 16th July 10.30 -16.00
in the Emmerson Room,Mary Ward House on Tavistock Place.