Transport written answers from the Mayor

Flooding, Courtland /A1 pedestrian subway

Question No: 2016/2109

Andrew Dismore

Since the tunnel was renovated it has never worked properly and it floods to at least 1 metre deep and by the marks on the floor, it must have risen to ceiling height at some point. The water has also begun to lift the tar from the surface and someone is likely to trip over it. This affects children attending the schools at Courtland Primary and Mill Hill Secondary and some have been seen jumping the A1 central barrier. What will you do to make this subway usable and to stop the flooding?

Written response from the Mayor

There has been flooding at this location caused by faults to the pumps that are designed to evacuate flood water from the subway.

TfL installed a temporary pump in April as an interim measure, while new equipment was sourced to replace the electrical control system for the pumps. Due to unseasonal levels of rainfall at the end of May, the temporary pump became inundated. The control system was replaced shortly after this event and subsequently has been operating well.  TfL has made the surface safe and are evaluating different materials that will better withstand the high level of pedestrian traffic.

A5 at Staples Corner Flyover

Question No: 2016/2110

Andrew Dismore

Will you look into the condition of the A5 at Staples Corner Flyover? A lot of vegetation is growing out of the side of the road (in both directions) which growth could cause serious damage to both the road surface and the concrete infrastructure.

Written response from the Mayor

The A5 is not on the Transport for London Road Network, so TfL has no maintenance responsibility, which falls instead to the relevant local highway authorities.

The boundary between the boroughs of Brent and Barnet runs along the centre of the carriageway at the Staples Corner Flyover, however, TfL understands that by agreement Barnet maintains the highway.

Following public complaints on conditions TfL has already contacted the borough.

night tube

Question No: 2016/2111

Andrew Dismore

I have received a number of representations from residents living near overground stretches of tube lines and near tube stations, about the noise impact once the night tube starts. What are you doing to reduce the impact on these residents, who were not consulted by the previous mayor about the night tube scheme?

Written response from the Mayor

Please also see my response to oral MQ 2815/ 2016. I am aware that London Underground’s services can lead to noise concerns from some of its neighbours, and that the Night Tube could be a particular issue in some areas. This is one of the first issues my Deputy Mayor for Transport raised with the Commissioner of TfL.

I am determined that the Night Tube shouldn’t mean sleepless nights. Tube trains already run for 20 hours a day, with additional trains at night, so TfL does not anticipate significantly more noise for their neighbours. However, as Mayor, I will ensure that issues that are raised are dealt with effectively and sensitively by TfL.

TfL have established a specialist group, bringing together experts from across the organisation to investigate concerns to ensure there is the comprehensive, speedy response I expect. That team includes TfL’s engineers, noise and vibration experts and maintenance staff, as well as community relations specialists.

Pedestrianisation of Oxford Street

Question No: 2016/2114

Andrew Dismore

Plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street are contentious with residents north and south of Oxford Street who are concerned as to where the many buses will go and the risk of their displacement down smaller residential streets. Will you consider a range of other actions to improve air quality and increase safety such as phasing out diesel buses from routes that travel along Oxford Street, widening pavements and getting rid of street clutter, pedestrianising the side streets wherever practical and allowing cafes to set up and banning pedicabs?

Written response from the Mayor

Oxford Street is London’s high street, with some of the highest footfall anywhere in the capital, but it is also one of the most dangerous and polluted streets in the city. This situation cannot be allowed to continue, and the plan to pedestrianise the street will not only tackle these issues, but transform the shopping experience for millions of Londoners and visitors every year.

Local residents have genuine concerns about the impact transformational schemes like this one can have on the local area and it is, as you say, essential that any scheme successfully deals with any potentially negative impacts on local communities. The GLA, Westminster City Council and TfL are working together to ensure that the proposed changes work for visitors and residents alike and all of the measures you describe need to be assessed.

The West End Partnership (WEP) has begun work on proposals to transform Oxford Street and we will engage widely with local residents, visitors and businesses as these proposals develop.

Grafton Way air pollution

Question No: 2016/2115

Andrew Dismore

At the moment taxis have to drive below residential windows in Grafton Way, Euston because they cannot go straight ahead, unless they want to drive down the underpass onto the Westway. This means that taxis and other vehicles queue below residential windows throughout the day which is very bad for the health of those who live there, especially those who work from home.   Camden Council monitored NO2 here last year resulting in readings well over the EU legal limit. There are no residents on Euston Road where the bus lane is, only the hospital which has air filtration unlike Grafton Way residents. Will you allow taxis to drive on the (newish) bus lane on Euston Rd in front of UCH, to reduce the pollution experienced by these residents?

Written response from the Mayor

The original decision to not allow taxis into this bus lane was due to concerns regarding taxis picking up and setting down passengers, which could have an impact on ambulances arriving at University College Hospital (UCH).

I have asked TfL to investigate, in conjunction with the London Borough of Camden (the relevant highway authority), whether taxis should be allowed to use the bus lane on Euston Road in front of UCH.