Uncertainty over Hammersmith Bridge refurbishment

I have written before about the controversial question of what colour Hammersmith Bridge should be painted.

The work is due to take place this year but the colour – and other matters – have yet to be resolved.

Tom Ryland, Chairman of the Hammersmith Society says:

“We have been pressing the Council – so far unsuccessfully – for us to be involved in decisions regarding the refurbishment of the bridge which is due to take place later this year. As you will all be aware, the bridge is in need of strengthening so that it can support the weight of double decker buses and some lorries. This a joint project between Transport for London and the Council who have responsibility for the maintenance of the bridge. Several short term closures have been necessary for temporary works and we understand further closures are necessary to allow detail survey work to be carried out. There still does not seem to be a formal programme for the main works. For obvious reasons we do not expect to be involved in the technical detail and our main interest is in the lighting and redecoration. Since the last lighting upgrade for which the Hammersmith Society gave its Environment Award in 2000 for the ‘blades of light’ created on each side of the bridge, lighting technology has moved on in leaps and bounds so that the individual incandescent bulbs will almost certainly be replaced by strips of modern LEDs. In the same refurbishment, the bridge was repainted in the olive green – often described as ‘Harrods Green’ as this was found by research to be closest to Joseph Bazelgette’s original colour scheme. Does this mean that the bridge must always be this colour which is not universally liked? After all Bazelgette was an engineer not an architect. Apart from the green colour fading quite badly – looking awful when patched – it now merges with the green tint of the new Queen’s Wharf/Riverside Studios buildings so that the bridge, when viewed from up river, is all but lost. The bridge has had other colour schemes in its history and we suggest that the colour scheme should be re-visited so that the bridge can rightly be seen and appreciated in all its glory.”

TfL must replace the missing tiles on the A4 underpass by Black Lion Lane

Tony Devenish, our member of the London Assembly, has agreed to press Transport for London to replace the missing tiles on the A4 underpass which connects Black Lion Lane with South Black Lion Lane.

This is after I passed on to him the exasperation of residents over the delays in this pretty basic and straightforward piece of maintenance.

Let’s hope his intervention prompts them to get on with the work.

Cracked paving stones in Dalling Road

Uneven or wobbly paving stones can be a safety hazard especially for the elderly. Various of you have mentioned that you have noticed a deterioration in standards regarding the pavements locally. Point noted. But it would be very helpful if you could send me any specific details of defective paving stones (ideally with a photograph) and I will pursue.

The example pictured above is from Dalling Road. I have asked the Council’s Highways Department for their comments…

Ugly new street lighting preventing residents getting to sleep

The Council has been “rolling out” ugly new street lights – rather in the style of floodlights used on football pitches. It is excellent that there is switch to LED lighting – they use only half the energy and thus save the Council money as well as helping the environment. But there is no reason why the design of street lighting for them has to be so hideous. LED lighting could being used in a traditional lamp post.

Another difficulty is that the new lighting has been too bright – in some cases (such as Rylett Road) making it harder for people to get to sleep. “We are able to address problems of light leakage into residents’ homes where this occurs, if residents notify us of this,” the Council tells me. But getting this achieved in practice is proving a slow job. Absurd as if excessive brightness is avoided this means the financial and environmental benefits would be greater.

All this has been done without consultation – yet again making a mockery of the Council’s mantra about doing things “with people not too people”. I have asked for a schedule of when the new lights are being brought in to each street.

I have written previously about the Council refusal to allow residents to switch form the ugly, modernist “tooth brush” lamp posts to the traditional lanterns. The was something that was allowed for Black Lion Lane and St Peter’s Square when the Council was Conservative-run but others are being prevented from following the example.

The toothbrush lamp posts are ugly enough. Not content with blocking residents from adopting a more attractive alternative the Council is imposing replacements that look even worse.

Let’s bring in LED lighting but at the same time let’s have lamp post designs that make the borough more beautiful rather than  more ugly.

H&F parking meters still won’t take the new pound coin

In just over a week’s time, on midnight Sunday October 15th, the old pound coin – the “round pound” – will cease to be legal tender. After that only the 12 sided new pound coin can be used. Except, that is, if you won’t to park your car in Hammersmith and Fulham. Our parking meters STILL don’t accept the new pound coin.

This will mean that few people will the relevant pound coins available. I suppose any of the old pound coins the Council does continue to collect will be accepted by its bank – at least for a while. But even so there would seem to be an entirely avoidable delay that will inconvenience residents and visitors to the borough, harm local businesses and deny the Council of revenue.

There was plenty of notice given of the replacement.

I have asked the Council for an explanation….

 

Homeowners in H&F renting out driveways as parking spaces for £12 a day

Justpark_LogoA guest post from Sam Mellor of JustPark

New stats show that Hammersmith & Fulham homeowners have now made over £575,000 by renting out their private driveways online.

A growing number of Hammersmith & Fulham residents are advertising their spare parking spaces on website JustPark, with over 40% more using the scheme to make extra income now as there were 12 months ago  taking the
total in the borough to over 200 rentable spaces.

Local homeowners are charging an average of £12 per day for drivers to park in their space, but those living closer to local amenities such as Stamford Bridge, Fulham Broadway and Imperial Wharf stations are making considerably more – charging up to £40 per day.

The number of driveway bookings in Hammersmith and Fulham has also grown considerably in the last 12 months – increasing by over 60%, as driveway rental becomes more and more popular as a cheaper alternative to overpriced public car parking.

From April 2017, homeowners will also pay no tax on earnings made through JustPark – up to £1,000 per year – thanks to the new ‘sharing economy’ tax breaks for property-related income announced in George Osborne’s most recent Budget in March.

JustPark founder Anthony Eskinazi said:

“It’s really encouraging to see the government supporting micro-entrepreneurs with this new legislation. These families and individuals are resourceful enough to be making a bit of extra money from their property, and are offering an important service at the same time – in this case, cheaper parking for drivers in Hammersmith and Fulham.”

“By unlocking these spaces that are otherwise underused – and allowing people to reserve them online, usually at a much reduced rate – JustPark is saving drivers money and putting it back into the pockets of local residents.”

It also eases congestion. According to IBM:

“In addition to the typical traffic congestion caused by daily commutes and gridlock from construction and accidents, reports have estimated that over 30 percent of traffic in a city is caused by drivers searching for a parking spot. Not only do inefficient parking systems result in congestion and increased carbon emissions, they also waste commuters’ time, lead to lost productivity and economic opportunities and can lead to inefficient city services.”

Homeowners and drivers in Hammersmith and Fulham can view the going rates for a local driveway space here:  And, to see how much your empty driveway could be worth, check out JustPark’s rental price guide here.