Community group calls for low traffic neighbourhood

Map of low traffic neighbourhood.

The Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association (FNA) has called on Camden and Westminster councils to consider making Fitzrovia a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN), in line with the Mayor of London’s Streetspace plans to help people with social distancing and enable walking and cycling. The FNA has asked for both the Camden side and Westminster side of Fitzrovia …

The New West End Company wants more car parking and no road charges

New West End Company values parking.

Plans released by the largest commercial group in the West End to steer a path to recovery when the lockdown is eased show it to be completely out of touch with the stark reality facing London. In a week when Westminster council were approving more ambitious plans to tackle air pollution and encouraging a modal-shift …

Westminster council will be ‘more ambitious in its commitments to reduce air pollution’

Air Quality Action Plan front cover.

While often (sometimes unfairly) seen as the rotten borough with regard to taking action to clean up its air, Westminster Council has now decided to "be more ambitious in its commitments to reduce air pollution". Fitzrovia News understand that reports put before the council's cabinet on Monday 11 May have been approved, paving the way …

We need Camden to make good on its promise for safer streets in Fitzrovia

Fitzrovia safer streets map.

Camden Council is asking people living in the borough to put forward their ideas for making our streets better for safe travel by walking, cycling and social distancing. In some parts of the borough they have already made improvements. Now it's our turn. "We want to make it easier and safer for people to walk …

Developer of underground hotel is ‘abusing planning system’ to increase number of rooms – and Camden Council is letting them get away with it, say neighbours

Construction workers unloading materials.

The developer of an underground hotel in Great Russell Street has taken the first step in seeking planning permission to squeeze an additional 42 guest bedrooms into the former car park four and five storeys beneath street level, in a move the Bloomsbury Association says is an "abuse of the planning system". Centro Planning Consultancy, …

Pedicab Bill postponed until Parliament begins debating members bills again

Commons business.

Nickie Aiken's Bill to regulate pedicabs in London, due to be presented on Tuesday 21 April when Parliament opened, had to be postponed due to MPs having to take time to debate setting up a "virtual Parliament". The MP for Cities of London and Westminster said: "I was due to present my Bill to the …

MP for Cities of London and Westminster to introduce pedicab regulation Bill

Passenger and cargo bicycle.

Nickie Aiken the MP for Cities of London and Westminster is to introduce a Bill to Parliament on 21 April for the regulation of pedicabs to carry paying passengers. The Pedicabs (London) Bill would allow Transport for London to regulate the use of pedicabs in public places in Greater London for hire or reward, and …

Artist Harry Jonas was helped by actor Oliver Reed in a campaign to save buildings on Maple Street

Row of buildings.

An early campaigner to preserve the Georgian and Victorian buildings in Fitzrovia was artist Harry Jonas, who lived at 35 Maple Street. Our attention was drawn to this recently from a reader who is researching the life of artist Harry Jonas (1893-1990) and wanted to know if we had any information on the campaign to …

Soup kitchen appeals for financial help after record number of homeless and hungry people queue for a meal

Sign on soup kitchen fence.

A soup kitchen feeding the homeless and hungry in central London has issued an urgent appeal for financial help after experiencing its busiest day ever where they struggled to serve a long queue of people while maintaining social distancing to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Alex Brown the director of the long running Soup …

Short term letting in Charlotte Street building granted permission after enforcement action fails

Front of flats.

A bungled attempt by planning enforcement officers in Camden Council to stop illegal short term letting at a building in Charlotte Street ended with permission being granted for AirBnB-style use to continue on a permanent basis. In a case which is believed to be the first of its kind in Fitzrovia, Camden Council have issued …

Camden criticised over mural restoration contract

Cherry picker on open space.

Camden Council has been criticised for its choice of contractor to undertake the restoration of the Fitzrovia Mural and the way it handled the competitive tendering process. Kristina O'Donnell, whose father and uncle are depicted in the mural, says she is "heartbroken by the decision" to award the contract to Global Street Art to restore …

Registered housing provider A2 Dominion left front door to homes on busy street open and broken for weeks

Door broken and on floor.

Social housing tenants in a block of eight flats on busy Mortimer Street in the West End ward were left without a front door for weeks on end as registered housing provider A2 Dominion "waited for a quote" to carry out the repair. The street door at block on Mortimer Street, Fitzrovia appeared to have …

Sleepless residents’ anger makes McGee apologise for overnight work

Contractors McGee working for American private equity firm Westbrook Partners apologised to local residents after they ignored environmental protection regulations to erect a crane on a street in Fitzrovia overnight denying local people the chance to sleep. Residents contacted Fitzrovia News after they endured a noisy weekend where operators of huge vehicles ran diesel engines …

Great Portland Street crown post office to close and pass into private hands

Front of post office building.

One of the last remaining crown post offices in the West End and the only one serving Fitzrovia is to close this year and be taken over by a private operator. "Great Portland Street Crown Post Office workers were given the bad news at a staff meeting this morning," said the Communication Workers Union. Seventeen …

Westminster council has a problem with air pollution and FOI requests

Sign saying: "Switch off engine. Reduce emissions.

Westminster council wants people to help it improve air quality by reporting drivers running their engines when parked but hasn’t got a clue where the worst offenders are located, according to a Freedom of Information request made by a Fitzrovia resident. Yet despite what the FOI response revealed the council maintains it does keep a …

Gower Street resurfacing and a confusing set of diversions

Road closed signs.

People living on Grafton Way as well as staff and patients at University College Hospital are taking the brunt of the current traffic diversions as Camden Council's West End Project grinds towards its final act. The air on TfL's gyratory around the hospital is thick with traffic fumes and drivers and cyclists are confronted with …

Museum is keeping the drama of toy theatre alive with a new exhibition

Man standing in museum.

A special exhibition featuring 14 artists will reflect on the unique collection of dolls, teddy bears, and toy theatres, at Pollock's Toy Museum in Fitzrovia this month. A Pollock's Gallimaufry will be a month long event showing works by contemporary artists working in a variety of crafts and media inspired by the unique, mostly Victorian, …

Crucial decisions on ‘Oxford Street District’ by Westminster council sound alarm bells for community groups

Cars and vans queuing on street.

Community groups in Fitzrovia and Marylebone are bracing themselves for another battle with Westminster council in advance of crucial decisions being taken on the future of Oxford Street this autumn and winter. While full pedestrianisation of Oxford Street is off the agenda the council have been pushing forward with a plan to pedestrianise part of …

TfL limits buses to 10mph on Tottenham Court Road after ‘a number of collisions’ with pedestrians

Bus at night.

More than five months after Tottenham Court Road changed from one-way to two-way traffic a woman has become the fourth person to be struck by a southbound bus on the same pedestrian crossing. The woman, who has not been named, was hit by a route 29 bus operated by Arriva driven southbound on the central …