Residents invited to discuss West End Project and rough sleeping

Camden’s Bloomsbury ward councillors have invited residents in Fitzrovia to attend a public meeting this week to discuss plans for Tottenham Court Road and concerns about people sleeping on the streets.

Motor traffic in street at night.

Camden Council is redesigning Tottenham Court Road to create two way working for buses and to restrict private motor vehicles including taxis during the day time.

In an email to residents councillors Adam Harrison, Sabrina Francis and Rishi Madlani say they will give an update on these two issues.

The West End Project — the planned changes to Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street — is due to be completed in time for the opening of the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station in December 2018.

“We will hear from the Camden council officer leading on this, Kevin Stears. Many people are keen to have an update and to ask more detailed questions about the changes,” say the councillors.

The project, which will cost around £41 million, is now fully funded and will see the removal of the current Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street one-way system and a new public park created at Alfred Place.

Street with people walking.

Alfred Place is to be re-landscaped to create a new public park as part of Camden’s West End Project.

Tottenham Court Road will become two-way and mostly restricted to buses, cyclists and pedestrians only during the daytime along a redesigned street. Gower Street will become two-way for all vehicles, with cyclists using separate cycle tracks.

Residents will be raising concerns about the taxis and other vehicles displaced from Tottenham Court Road into the side streets and asking for measures to record and mitigate the effects of this.

Camden did initially work with local people on a design for the proposed park at Alfred Place but this initiative was cut short. Residents and community groups will be pressing the council to consult and work with residents on a high quality and interesting design for the new open space.

Rough sleeper in rain.

Everyone can count the rough sleepers, except Camden Council.

The meeting will also hear from Ian Bangay of the Camden Safer Streets Team about the extent of rough sleeping in Fitzrovia.

There are scores of street homeless across the London Borough of Camden but the council has officially only reported very small numbers in its annual return to central government. In 2015 it told the government there were only 15 rough sleepers in the whole of the borough and the year before only five.

Fitzrovia News will be asking the council to commit to carrying out an accurate count and reporting of rough sleepers in the borough.

Public meeting: 6.30 to 8.30pm on Wednesday 18 January 2017 on the West End Project and on rough sleeping. Fitzrovia Centre, 2 Foley Street, London W1W 6DL. Read the invitation from councillors.

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