Wednesday 25 July 2012

Flooding on Kilburn High Road

We've just received this message from Camden about flooding in Kilburn High Road:

As you may be aware there has been a burst water main on Kilburn High Road which has caused some significant flooding.

Following the incident Kilburn High Road is now open. The only road now closed is Christchurch Avenue (within the London Borough of Brent). Christchurch Avenue (the source of the Thames Water leak) will remained closed for repair works until 30/07/2012 – according to TFL Olympic Games Desk.  No other roads will be affected by Thames Water carrying out repairs at this time. There may, however be further remedial works required in Kilburn High Road after the Olympic Games.

Some properties (both in Brent and Camden) have been affected by flooding - the Fire Brigade were pumping out properties affected  but have now left the scene of the incident . NHS London have advised that the GP Surgery at 279 Kilburn High Road is closed due to being affected with the flooding.  No council properties have been affected.

Camden Council's Network Management Team have sent the Network Coordinator for this area to the scene.  The NC is working with Thames Water representatives on scene to establish the extent of the damage.

Thursday 19 July 2012

Camden and the 2012 Games

This is the information sent to Ward Councillors

Travel and  Transport
• Javelin train is the high speed link from Central London to the Olympic Park, taking just 7 minutes. This service will be departing from the South Eastern platforms at St Pancras Station. At peak times (mornings) the service will transport up to 9,000 passengers per hour. This will result in queuing round the station; there is a strategy in place to manage this.

• London 2012 Media Transport Hub will be based in Russell Square, Bloomsbury. This will be in operation 24/7 from 25 July to 15 August. From this location 5,000 media will be transported to sporting venues around London. There will be restrictions on vehicles using certain roads in the area, but access for residents and businesses will be protected. Russell Square Gardens will remain open throughout.

• The Olympic Route Network (and Alternative ORN) is the network or roads used to transport the Olympic family around London. In Camden this includes Kingsway, Southampton Row, Russell Square, Woburn Place, Tavistock Square, Upper Woburn Place and Euston Road. Changes include dedicated 2012 Family Games Lanes, banned turns, suspension of some pedestrian crossings etc. Details of the changes can be found here:

• Camden has been working closely with partners to ensure we minimise the disruption where possible and to inform residents and businesses what they need to do to prepare. Our communications (with partners) have included direct mail, web presence, e-newsletters, resident’s magazine, drop-in sessions, events and workshops and door-knocking. Residents and businesses are being advised to where possible, reroute or retime journeys.

• Camden have agreed a light touch approach to night time deliveries – Due to the transport disruption during the Games the council has agreed that businesses in impacted areas can make night time deliveries and that the council will take a light touch approach to noise and parking enforcement, providing businesses try to minimise noise and disruption to residents.

Service Changes
• Camden has been planning to maintain business as usual for the majority of services. Most residents and businesses will see very little change to services. Residents and businesses should continue to contact the council through the usual channels – Contact Camden on 020 7974 4444.

• Waste collection and street cleansing – Due to traffic restrictions some waste collection and street cleansing services in the south of the borough have been shifted to overnight or early mornings. Affected residents and businesses have been informed about these changes.

• Parking – Residents parking bays in Russell Square and some surrounding streets have been suspended. All affected residents have been offered alternative parking provision in nearby streets, or if they prefer in the underground car park at the Brunswick Centre.

• Torch Relay – There are some short term changes to services for businesses and residents along the Torch Relay route, including changes in waste collection times, loading and stopping restrictions and suspension of some parking. Affected residents and businesses have been informed about these changes.

Safe Games and Olympic Coordination
• Camden will have a Borough Olympic Coordination Centre (BOCC) for the duration of the Games period performing a reporting function to Central Government and coordinating the borough’s response to Olympic activity. The BOCC will be based in the Dennis Geffen Annexe. The contact details are and 020 7974 3400.

• With the spotlight on London there is an increased risk of protests and occupations in the borough. Over the summer we will be closely monitoring key locations such as Russell Square, where there is a heightened risk of occupation.

Camden Torch Relay, Summer Programme and Olympic Dressing
• Torch Relay in Camden on Thursday 26 July from 06:45 to 07:57. There are events along the route at the Roundhouse (start point), St Pancras Gardens (community breakfast), Granary Square and St Pancras Station. All events will feature performances and activities from artists and groups with strong Camden links. Councillors are encouraged to come along to any of the events and all events are open to the public.

• Camden Summer 2012 Programme – Camden showcasing our local talent. Specific stories and events are aimed at the media to gain profile pieces and sustain our reputation as a visitor destination, whilst providing lots for Camden people to do over the summer period.

• Olympic Dressing - Most of central London is being dressed in Olympic branding, Camden has dressing in most of the south of the borough, and routes north from the main stations towards Camden Town. The Torch route is also being dressed, from Chalk Farm southwards. Additional dressing has been secured for each outdoor gym including those in the north of the borough. We also have bespoke pieces created by local students in our main train station concourses, and additional bespoke dressing on key iconic buildings.

Securing a Legacy and involving children and young people
• Camden has 12 Legacy Projects linking residents and businesses to the opportunities and excitement of the Games. These initiatives have a focus on using the games as a catalyst to improve uptake of healthy lifestyles, cultural activities and volunteering, as well as making the most of the economic benefits of the Games and improving the public realm.

• 69 Camden schools have signed up to London 2012’s official education programme, qualifying Camden young people for 2,212 free tickets the Games.

• Every school child in Camden will receive London 2012 badges and every school will receive official London 2012 dressing to help them celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

• With an estimated 3 million additional visitors in London during summer 2012 Camden is preparing to welcome the world. 160+ local volunteers will provide information and advice at visitor hotspots and 200,000 Time Out branded Camden guides will be distributed to residents and visitors.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Olympic Torch Comes to Camden

Join the celebrations for the Olympic Torch as it moves through Camden on Thursday, 26th July, the last day before the Games begin. The first Olympic torch will be lit at the iconic Roundhouse at 6:45am, before it makes its way along the Camden leg of the route. The best choirs in Camden will come together to welcome the flame.

If you can’t make the start of the relay, you may wish to attend one of the other celebratory events being hosted by Camden along the route.

Community breakfast and events in St Pancras Gardens from 7am-10am and the torch will pass about 7.10am.

Special music and youth performances in Granary Square from 7am to 9.45am with the torch passing at 7.30am

Final performance and music event at St Pancras International from 7am-9.45am with the torch passing at 7.35am.

For further details of the Olympic Torch Route go to

Monday 16 July 2012

West Hampstead Interchange during the Olympics

This is the response your West Hampstead Councillors have had from TfL about our concerns as to whether the West Hampstead Interchange would be adversely affected by increased passengers and congestion during the Olympics, given that there are two lines to Stratford and one to Wembley. We are grateful to Caroline Pidgeon, Chair of the GLA Transport Committee for raising this on our behalf.

The website highlights stations where it is predicted that demand for services during the Games will exceed available capacity if people do not change their regular travel behaviour. TfL has made this information available to enable people to make informed choices about their travel and to provide advice on how they might reduce, re-route, re-time their journey or travel in a different way.

West Hampstead does not appear as a ‘hotspot’ because the additional travellers predicted to use the station during the Games is within the available capacity for both the station and the lines serving it. For example, on one of the busiest days of the Games, Friday 3 August, approximately 16 per cent more passengers are predicted to use West Hampstead station. Based on this prediction, London Underground expects to be able to manage with minimal customer impact. Further, if regular travellers do change their travel habits during the Games, the situation will be further improved.

However, it is important to remember that these are only our best predictions of where and when travel hotspots may arise. The travel situation in London will be different each day and may change throughout the day, as crowds travel to and from the different sporting and cultural events. Therefore, my advice to customers using West Hampstead station, and indeed any other part of the transport network, is to refer to to plan their Games-time journeys and to check before they travel in order to avoid disruption to their journey. TfL will also provide real-time information to assist Londoners and visitors with their travel at stations.

We hope TfL are right. 

Meanwhile, I found out last night that First Capital Connect has included West Hampstead Thameslink station in its Enhancement Plan as a station that will require extra resources during the Olympics as they anticipate thousands of extra passengers on their routes. The station will be manned 24 hours a day and tensile barriers may be installed to manage any crowding.

I have also asked Camden Council to arrange to install additional signage on Iverson Road and West End Lane to give clear directions between the three stations and four entrances, particularly from the new Thameslink exit to the Jubilee Underground and the Overground stations.