Supporting Crossrail 2 but only if station development is low key

I was concerned, but not surprised, to read reports in the media that the Crossrail 2 project could be derailed or side-lined because of cost and competing infrastructure demands.

Residents will know that the Council is a staunch supporter of a Crossrail 2 Station on the King’s Road. We believe there is an overwhelming case for a station in an area that many people visit but is poorly served by public transport. Continue reading

Advertisements

Heathrow consultation – make your views known

While I don’t claim to be an expert in the history of aviation a couple of key dates are lodged in my memory.

On the 17 December 1903, Orville Wright did something no human had ever done before by taking to the air in a powered airplane. He flew the prestigious distance of 120 feet at 6.8 miles an hour. There was to be no going back. Wilbur was next up and distances increased and things were never to be the same again. Continue reading

In praise of Westway CT

shopping-service-lr

Shopper service 

I sloped off early the other day, uncharacteristically I can assure you.  The reason was I wanted to watch the presidential inauguration from the comfort of my own sofa.  Anyway there I was, G&T in hand, mixed nuts at the ready, when by way of a warm-up the BBC showed a montage of highlights from previous inaugural speeches.  It was really interesting.  JFK’s famous “ask not what your country can do for you…” was included and so too was Ronald Reagan’s “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”   But the inaugural phrase that really caught my attention was from a president not known for his soaring oratory: George Bush – H not W.

 

At his 1989 inauguration, President Bush spoke about “a thousand points of light” by which he meant the voluntary organisations “spread like stars throughout the nation, doing good”.  It was a fine simile.  I like to think that we in Kensington and Chelsea are similarly blessed with points of light, maybe not thousands of them, but hundreds certainly and sitting there on my sofa one of those that sprang most readily to mind was Westway Community CT, perhaps because I had recently been on a visit there.

Westway CT was 25 years old in 2016.  In that time, it has transformed itself from a small scheme with six minibuses, to a thriving, social enterprise with 48 vehicles, 60 or so employees, a huge pool of volunteers, 500 group members and 2,300 individual members.  But it wasn’t just the scale that impressed me, it was the good they do and how positively they get it done. Continue reading

Fall in road traffic collisions and casualties in Kensington and Chelsea

Politicians, even local ones like me, tend to spend a lot of time on bold initiatives and big capital projects.  But, very often there is as much progress to be had from the everyday bread-and-butter business of government as there is from high-profile grand projects.

Our recent road traffic accident figures are a case in point.  Recently released by Transport for London (TfL), they show that Kensington and Chelsea had fewer road traffic  accidents and injuries in 2015 than in any year since records began in 1990. Continue reading

Make the switch to electric

As regular readers will know, I’m not backward in coming forward about the problems caused by noisy supercars. You know the ones: the exotic-looking speed machines which swish and roar around Knightsbridge. Particularly in the summer.

Here at the Council we’re continuing to crack down on inconsiderate drivers and encourage residents to report any issues to us. But, problems aside, I think it’s only fair to say that some of these bling’d-out cars are simply stunning. Beautiful, even. The other day, however, I must admit my head was turned, not by a Lamborghini but by another stylish road machine: the electric Renault Twizy.

Coming a long way from the Sinclair C5s of the 80s, today’s electric vehicles are better looking, more practical and, more importantly, come with top-notch environmental credentials. And here’s the science bit: driving an electric vehicle means reduced air pollution due to no NOx or particulates, plus no CO2 emissions. Continue reading

My response to a Crossrail 2 petition discussed at Council Meeting, Wednesday 29 June

Petition:

We, the undersigned strongly object to and oppose the proposal to build a Crossrail 2 station at the Kings Road Station site. We already have excellent tube services and bus services serving Chelsea. The building of a main line train station and large retail development would destroy the special character of Chelsea.

Routing the line to avoid the diversion to Chelsea would save both over £1bn and longer journey times on Crossrail 2.  Full petition

Can I start by thanking Chris Lennon for his presentation and thank Councillors for their contributions.

Let me start by saying that I know proposals for a new station are controversial and I recognise the strength of feeling about it in Chelsea. Many residents have told me directly that they oppose a station and feel that it will damage the neighbourhood.

However, some of the information surrounding this project, especially in its early days was deeply misleading. Even the prayer of the petition before us tonight conveys inaccurate information. Let me quote: Continue reading