Friday, April 19, 2013

Haymarket, Are Westminster's Planners of this World?

The summer of 2013, sees work resume to complete phase 2 of the Piccadilly two way scheme.
This phase will see lower regent street reduced in part to two lanes traveling north. The existing pavement areas will be extended out towards the middle of the road,

As you can see from this artist impression, the Taxi rank spaces that used to be in the middle of the road have gone, along with the congestion. It's amazing what an artists brush can remove!

Meanwhile back in the real world...Ever wondered why Haymarket hasn't been resurfaced for god knows how long?

Empty Bus Lane

The perspective of the photograph taken by the artist tries to give the impression that the street is mainly void of traffic, when in reality we are looking down the 24hour bus lane which excludes most of the traffic, causing congestion all the way back to Piccadilly Circus for most of the day.

Just when you thought the West End couldn't get any crazier, Westminster spring this bombshell on us...Haymarket is to go from the current FIVE lanes to TWO, with Carlton, Norris & St James Market all pedestrianised.

The artists brush strikes once again.

Notice in this impression, the queue of traffic has mysteriously been photo shopped out, along with the Bus, Taxi and Cycle lane.

Even the cycle lobby groups are up in arms about it. In the new scheme it is imagined that cyclists will wander along in harmony with the traffic as cycle lanes, along with Taxi ranks are consigned to the past.

At present, the Taxi rank spaces in the Haymarket play an important part in our night time trade. They allow drivers to queue patiently, waiting for the theatres to burst and after, offer refuge from parking restrictions for drivers seeking to use nearby toilet facilities. Something else Westminster has removed from the streets.

Most important is the retention of the rank outside Tiger Tiger which at present discourages a free for all from touts and sexual predators, illegally plying for hire.

It is time that the illusive joint ranks committee made their presence felt by getting back all the rank spaces in this area that have been silently removed by both the council and TfL, who are part funding this scheme.

Although work on this phase of the Piccadilly two way scheme doesn't start till 2014, our representative groups must insist that the Taxi ranks in this street are not removed as were the ones in Lower regent.

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