Strand Resurfacing: Enabling works starting Friday 25th February

Westminster City Council has commissioned its service provider, FM Conway Limited, to resurface the Strand (between Savoy Street and Charing Cross Station) and Adam Street Carriageways. This work will be undertaken in late March (starting 28th March) and finishing in early April (ends 7th April); formal notification of the resurfacing programme of works will be distributed in mid-March to affected businesses and residents.

The resurfacing will be undertaken in seven (No.7) separate phases, three eastbound (on 28th, 29th and 30th March), three westbound (on 4th, 5th and 6th April) and Adam Street; which will be resurfaced on Sunday 3rd April. When resurfacing the eastbound carriageway, the westbound carriageway will remain open to traffic; and vice versa.

The FM Conway team will be working extended hours to complete sections in one day; with works expected to continue into the late evening. During each phase there will be no vehicle access or egress allowed within area being resurfaced; these are between:

Eastbound Phases –

1.     Duncannon Street to Agar Street on Monday 28th March

2.     Agar Street to Lumley Court on Tuesday 29th March; and,

3.     Lumley Court to Burleigh Street (includes the junction mouth) on Wednesday 30th March

* Thursday 31st March is a reserve day should there be bad weather or should unknown issues arise.

4.     Adam Street will be resurfaced overnight between 18:00pm and 05:00am on Sunday 3rd April.

Westbound Phases –

5.     Savoy Street (includes mouth of junction) to Adam Street on Monday 4th April

6.     Adam Street to just beyond George Court on Tuesday 5th April; and,

7.     George Court to Trafalgar Square on Wednesday 6th April; this includes resurfacing in front of Charing Cross Station where only emergency vehicle access and egress under “blue lights” will be available during the day.

Thursday 7th April is also a reserve day.

During the directional closures of the carriageway TfL Surface Network Buses will be on diversion.

Pedestrian access to businesses will not be affected by the resurfacing; however, there will be closures of pedestrian crossings during each phase and alternative, safe crossing points will be available.

Once the resurfacing is completed, we will then strengthen all drain and utility covers in both carriageways; this will be done during the working day under localised lane closures (not full closure of the carriageway).

Works will be noisy at times for which FM Conway do apologise in advance.

In the meantime, some enabling works started on 25th February. This is to realign kerb stones and small areas of paving that have been damaged by vehicles. Nearby businesses have been notified of these works.

Should you want to find out more about these works and how they may affect you, please do contact Bob Burton, the FM Conway Public Liaison Officer for the Strand Resurfacing Project. Bob can be best contacted by email on robert.burton@fmconway.co.uk

Mayor announces bold plans to secure a green, clean and healthy future for London

  • A new net-zero by 2030 report, commissioned by the Mayor and released today, outlines the bold action required to reduce air pollution, tackle the climate emergency and cut congestion in the capital to create a greener, healthier city fit for the future
  • Mayor says the report must act as a stark wake-up call for the Government on the need to provide much greater support to London to reach net-zero by 2030
  • The new report states that in order to meet the climate change targets, car traffic must reduce by at least 27 per cent in London by the end of the decade
  • More than a third of car trips made by Londoners could be walked in under 25 minutes and two thirds could be cycled in under 20 minutes
  • Mayor today announces potential approaches to be considered to reduce vehicle use in London – saying the cost of inaction to our economy, livelihoods, the environment and the health of Londoners would be far greater than the cost of reducing carbon emissions and air pollution
  • Report comes just a week after new analysis showed vehicle congestion cost the capital £5.1bn in the last year, and has risen to pre-pandemic levels, leading to gridlocked traffic and filthy air pollution

Read the full press release here

Working from home

Home Working: Preparing your organisation and staff

With the outbreak of COVID-19, The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have put together a cyber security guide to ensure your staff can manage some of the upcoming cyber security challenges. 

The guide highlights how to prepare to work from home and how to spot the signs of phishing emails. 

To find out more click here

More Information

Little Book of Cyber Scams

Little Book of Phone Scams

Little Leaflet of Cyber Advice

Little Book of Big Scams

Update your malware

Westminster City Council: Air Quality Action Plan

Air quality is the number one concern for people in Westminster. To help tackle this problem, Westminster have identified several priorities to help keep our air clean:

  • reducing or cleaning dirty journeys and create better infrastructure for electric and low emission vehicles
  • placing emissions and pollution at the forefront of decision making on public spaces and buildings and encouraging all those who shape spaces and buildings to do likewise
  • making environmentally-friendly options easier for everyone 
  • moving the air quality agenda forward through thought leadership and innovation

WCC have now published a new Air Quality Action Plan which provides a comprehensive overview of how they will continue to make progress on this agenda from 2020 to 2024.

The consultation period for the new Air Quality Action Plan closed on the 3rd March 2020.

Read Westminster’s full Air Quality Action Plan or find out more about Westminster City Council’s plans to help tackle air pollution by visiting their website

The Northbank BID Response – Click Image:

If you have any questions or comments regarding this consultation or the topic please contact Jade Thomas

Westminster City Council: Cultural Strategy Consultation 2020-24

The council has embarked on a new Cultural Strategy for the next five years to ensure their communities can benefit from Westminster’s world-class cultural and creative activities. With over 2,000 cultural institutions across the borough, the council believes that every single resident should be able to access the valuable local cultural offer.

The Cultural Strategy will form part of the council-wide City for All vision, which sets out the ambition for Westminster to be a ‘city that celebrates its communities’. WCC recognise that when residents take part in cultural activity it transforms:

  • their sense of health and wellbeing, and reduces social isolation
  • their satisfaction with and connectivity to people and place
  • their access to local opportunities, volunteering, skills and employment

Consultation on emerging priorities 

The council is now seeking feedback from all our stakeholders and residents on its emerging priorities for culture, which includes:

  • increased access to culture for all, with a specific focus on reaching residents that encounter physical, social and economic barriers
  • support for health and wellbeing programmes through collaboration with more local cultural partners and deepening relationships with council services (e.g. Families, Public Health, Adult Social Care) and local NHS link workers
  • delivering skills for the future by increasing cultural capital and skills opportunities for young people and improving access to lifelong learning for all
  • ensuring creative placemaking to maintain cultural infrastructure, creative workspaces and resident programmes as integral to planning and regeneration schemes

Read the full draft Cultural Strategy for Westminster Council 2020-24 on WCC’s website.

Let us know your thoughts and suggestions regarding our priorities and how you might partner with WCC by completing an online survey.

All are welcome to attend a Cultural Strategy market stall prior to the council’s next Open Forum event hosted from 3pm on 17 March (location to be confirmed). You will have the opportunity to find out more about their plans for culture in Westminster from council staff.

Next steps

Once WCC has consulted with their residents and stakeholders, the council will use the findings to inform the final strategy and action plan that will show how they intend to deliver their objectives over the next five years. They plan to publish the complete Cultural Strategy 2020-24 in spring 2020.

Have your say on busking: Westminster’s ‘Busking & Street Entertainment Consultation’

Every day the streets across Westminster are brought to life with performances from musicians, magicians, comedians, artists and dancers, who come from all over the world to perform here. 

At the same time, Westminster receives around 1,800 complaints each year about excessive noise or overcrowding caused by busking. Westminster City Council is proposing a new policy that they hope will allow street entertainment to thrive whilst protecting residents and businesses. This will include a licensing scheme in busking hotspots where they receive the most complaints

To read more about the new busking and street entertainment policy, please head to Westminster’s page dedicated new the draft policy here.

Westminster City Council Street Entertainment update December 2020

WCC Policy: This draft policy is based upon the careful consideration of evidence and engagement with buskers and street entertainers, businesses and residents, however we will also monitor the policy throughout its first year of implementation and conduct a full review after 12 months so that it can be adapted based on results and feedback if required.

  • Street Entertainment has an additional chance for feedback by 31st January ahead of coming into effect in Spring 2020
  • A new pitch at Northumberland Ave near Embankment Place has been included
  • Villiers Street has been removed from the consultation.

Find full Draft Policy/Busking Appendix here

To view stakeholder email from Westmisnter City Council click here

TfL open DVS HGV Safety Permit registration and one year until tougher LEZ standards come in

From today businesses and organisations can register for a HGV safety permit as part of our new Direct Vision Standard (DVS) coming in from 26 October 2020. On the same day, TfL will also introduce tougher Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standards for heavy vehicles. Both will operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year. This action is crucial to tackle two of the biggest challenges to Londoners’ health – poor air quality and death and serious injury on the roads.

Businesses and organisations now have one year to prepare for these changes.

Direct Vision Standard

The new DVS is part of the Mayor of London’s plans to eliminate death and serious injury on London’s transport network. Using a star system, the DVS will rate HGVs from zero (lowest) to five (highest) stars, based on how much a driver can see directly through their HGV cab windows. Restrictions in the HGV driver’s field of vision, or ‘blind spots’ have been identified as a significant contributory factor in collisions with vulnerable road users, such as people walking and cycling.

From 26 October 2020 HGVs weighing more than 12 tonnes will be required to hold a HGV Safety Permit when operating within Greater London (the same area as the LEZ). There will be no charge for permits. Permits will be available a year in advance, from today, and can be applied for at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/direct-vision-permit.

Low Emission Zone

These vehicles will also need to meet tougher emission standards from the same date of 26 October 2020, when the LEZ standards are getting tougher for heavy vehicles travelling within Greater London. Emission standards are tightening from Euro IV Particulate Matter only (PM) to Euro VI Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and PM.

The LEZ emission standards will be changing for the following heavy vehicles with diesel engines:
• Buses, coaches and minibuses over 5 tonnes
• HGVs, lorries, vans and other specialist heavy vehicles over 3.5 tonnes including motor caravans, motorised horseboxes, breakdown and recovery vehicles, snow ploughs, gritters, refuse collection vehicles, road sweepers, concrete mixers, fire engines, tippers and removal lorries

There is also a video available on TfL’s YouTube channel to explain more about DVS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-P20wdrcAQ.

City of Westminster: City Plan 2019-2040

On Monday 28th October, Westminster City Council published on their website the latest version of the draft City Plan and all accompanying papers that will now be considered by Full Council on 13th November.

The overarching aims of the City Plan are to create more affordable homes, the right environment for business success and more open, green spaces to enjoy in the heart of London. The new planning framework will set a clear direction for developers and householders, in order to meet a number of key targets:

• 1,495 new homes every year for ten years and over 22,000 new homes up to 2040
• 1,850 new affordable homes by 2023
• Create new business floor space for 63,000 new jobs
• Six in ten affordable homes to be intermediate housing
• A clearer policy on tall buildings that rules them out across most of the city – with most new developments to match surrounding skyline.

Subject to consideration by Full Council on 13th November, the City Plan will then be submitted to the Secretary of State for inspection.

You can see the full set of City Plan Cabinet papers at www.westminster.gov.uk/cityplan2040. This includes details of minor textual changes following the Regulation 19 consultation stage.

Winner Announced! Makerversity City Co-Labs: Re-Making Place Civic Hack

The winner of Makerversity’s City Co-Labs: Re-Making Place Civic Hack in partnership with The Northbank BID is… Hydro-Commons!

Makerversity’s Civic Hacks address the big social issues of our time. Fostering collaboration between makers and the public, exploring design’s role in creating radical solutions to the problems we face. The Re-Making Place Civic Hack explored the future city via the way we use and design its public spaces. In partnership with the Northbank BID, drawing inspiration from the ongoing project to pedestrianise the Strand-Aldwych area, as a starting point to develop innovative ideas around the function of public city spaces in London and beyond.

Helen Tartaglia and Nasra Abdullahi teamed up during the Civic Hack this summer and displayed their proposal in Somerset House as part of a Makerversity exhibition for London Design Festival. Helen and Nasra seek to explore how sustainable drainage systems can be developed, which also act as public spaces.

London receives 6 billion tonnes of rain water each year: their research began by an exploration of ways to reutilise this excess rain water. The final proposal is a 1500 mm x 1500 mm tank with a surface that sits above ground. The underbelly of the tank absorbs or stores rain water. The bed acts as a public space, be it a micro beach, splash pad or hydroponic seating area.

They will receive a £1000 grant and a 6-month Northbank BID residency at Makerversity to develop their project further.

Inspiring Schools

Encouraging our future generation

We have been working closely with St Clement Danes Primary School to help raise awareness of air quality issues and promote clean walking routes to school. Our charity partner, Groundwork London, has been delivering a series of educational sessions, inspiring students to do their bit to help address air pollution. Groundwork is also running a competition for students to design a poster to promote the Cleaner Air Routes. You’ll be able to see the winning poster on display at our pop-up events and in local business windows.

 

 

Healthy Streets for Businesses

Making delivery consultation work for your business

We’ve been working with businesses like Somerset House to help reduce our collective impact on the environment, with cost benefits too. We will be publishing a report with TfL and Somerset House soon but in the meantime please contact us if you would like to find out more.

Businesses asked to pledge their support for pollution-busting campaign

Westminster suffers from the worst air pollution in the country with almost 10 million drivers in London contributing more than half of the deadliest emissions.  Research suggests that thousands of Londoners die prematurely because of poor air quality.

To help cut pollution, Westminster City Council’s #DontBeIdle campaign encourages road users to switch off their car engines when parked at the side of the road.  Over 10,000 people have already signed up to the pledge.

Business users of Westminster’s road network can support the campaign by displaying #DontBeIdle stickers in their vehicles, training their drivers not to engine idle unnecessarily and funding an air quality marshal to engage directly with drivers.

Find out how your business can get involved at westminster.gov.uk/dont-be-idle-business

Delivery giant Deliveroo is the latest business to sign up to #DontBeIdle.  Leader of Westminster City Council, Cllr Nickie Aiken, with Deliveroo riders