August 2015: an artist’s impression of the proposed Baker Street two-way look. Below: Against: Steve Dolland. For: Cllr Julia Alexander.
Published: 26 February, 2016
by ALINA POLIANSKAYA
REVISED plans to make Baker Street two-way to traffic have been unveiled this week.
A new consultation has been launched following a wave of objections to initial designs citing more congestion, cars clogging up side streets and not enough being done for cyclists.
Activist Steve Dollond, who stood in a Bryanston and Dorset ward by-election last year as the “Baker Street: No Two Way” candidate, said the scheme was still a “waste of £15million”.
He said: “I think it is going to be a complete fiasco. I think it is not going to work. Traffic is going to jam up terribly.
“And reducing traffic dominance is a lie – as to do that you would have to reduce volume and that won’t happen. All they are doing is squeezing into less lanes. All the crossings are going to become more dangerous.”
Westminster Council said the changes would deliver “public realm improvements” and be safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
More than 1,400 people responded to the last consultation which ran for 10 weeks last year.
It was found that 57 per cent of respondents opposed the project as a whole while 39 per cent supported it. Residents were more opposed to the scheme than local business owners – with 70 per cent of residents against the whole scheme.
Support was slightly higher, at 49 per cent, specifically for making Baker Street and Gloucester Place into a two-way system.
Following the consultation the designs were changed. The left turn from Gloucester Place into Marylebone Road will be retained and York Street will also stay a two-way system west of Gloucester Place.
The Marylebone Association said most of their concerns had been addressed in the revised proposals but they would “be taking more time to study the details before making a formal response”.
Bryanston and Dorset ward councillor Julia Alexander, who was elected in the by-election last year, said: “In principle I am in favour of the new Baker Street two- way proposals, especially those for green man crossings on Gloucester Place and Baker Street.
“I’m pleased that the planners have come up with detailed solutions designed to prevent rat-running in the Dorset Square area.
“I hope people may take the time to visit the consultation meetings at St Cyprian’s Church and The Sherlock Holmes Plaza, so as to see the overall plans on some big maps before they form very definite conclusions.
“Let’s hope residents will feel able to embrace these proposed changes. But let’s see.”
• The consultation period runs until March 20 with public exhibitions to be held at St Cyprian’s Church, Clarence Gate, Glentworth Street, on February 27 between noon and 4pm, and at the Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes hotel, Baker Street, on March 9.