Environment

Over the last eight years significant changes to the district’s infrastructure have taken place, with transformative developer-led schemes creating new public spaces. The BID has made great strides towards improving the setting for business and tourism, ensuring that all sectors can flourish in a welcoming environment.

Trading Environment

Westminster City Council is responsible for district-wide waste collection and cleaning, and this is underpinned by a statutory Baseline Agreement between the City Council and the BID. The role of the BID is to provide services over and above those provided by the Council. During the Covid-19 pandemic the BID led the way improving the external environment, providing queue markers for 70 businesses in over 100 locations and carrying out hot washing up and down Edgware Road and side streets.

The BID funds a dedicated Neighbourhood Co-ordinator within the City Council to draw on Council services like waste, cleansing and enforcement, directing a rapid response. Similarly, the Marble Arch Street Team make regular reports to Westminster about fly-tipping, waste, damaged street furniture and highway assets.

The BID installs Christmas lights the length of Edgware Road every year to bring a welcome and necessary boost to our retail and leisure members over the Christmas period. From 2024 light installations for Ramadan were introduced on Edgware Road, supporting our restaurants and cafes who welcome so many families to celebrate together during Ramadan and Eid.

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Environment

Junctions and crossings

Pedestrian movement and safety were among the highest priorities when we first asked businesses to vote on proposals to establish the BID in 2015. Since then, through our strategic relationships with TfL and Westminster City Council we have brought about junction and crossing improvements in nine separate locations.

The BID’s role at each of these nine locations has been one of advocate and lobbyist, providing the evidence base for green man crossings and socialising proposed schemes through exhibitions and consultation events. The goal of maximising buy-in from businesses for these schemes was achieved, with every single crossing and junction project receiving a resounding majority in support.

In 2023 we supported TfL with proposals to improve the junction of Edgware Road with Sussex Gardens and Old Marylebone Road. We brought together different agencies for early site visits in the design phases, to ensure commercial waste collections from our members could be accommodated within the scheme and that the proposed rain gardens did not impede pedestrian flow and kerbside activities that support business operations. The BID secured a venue for consultation events in November and December 2023.

Following lobbying from the BID, TfL undertook a wholesale resurfacing and re-paving of Old Marylebone Road between October and December 2023, providing a quieter and improved setting for businesses and residents.

2024 sees the completion of TfL’s Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) below the Marylebone Flyover, converting the Joe Strummer subway system into delightful rain gardens, with hundreds of plants and new trees to prevent flooding.

Environment

The BID’s work in bringing forward safer junctions and crossings has been overwhelmingly welcomed by all colleagues at York House and Marble Arch House.

Will Scott, British Land, Seymour Street

A Placemaking Strategy for Edgware Road

Work to create a place-shaping strategy for Edgware Road began early in 2023, jointly with the Portman Estate and The Church Commissioners. This work will help us to create a shared vision, identify opportunities for public realm improvements, underpin future leasing strategies and provide a townscape design code for emerging Neighbourhood Plans. Workshops with local residents and Neighbourhood Forums were held in November and December 2023, and with businesses and community organisations in February 2024.

The strategy will be published in summer 2024.

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Environment

Gateway Schemes

In 2019 we successfully bid for £250,000 through the Hyde Park Paddington Neighbourhood Forum for Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to bring forward small scale improvements at two gateway locations – Burwood Place and the corner of Sussex Gardens. The schemes involved the creation of new seating to provide vital rest opportunities, plus small-scale planting. At the corner of Sussex Gardens and Edgware Road new surfaces and a bespoke tree pit ensure that surfaces are safer for pedestrians at this key gateway to Edgware Road. Both schemes were completed in 2022.

Improving the environment at transport gateways is vital to ensuring a pleasant and safe welcome for all who arrive in the district. At Edgware Road (Circle, District and Hammersmith & City Line) station the BID worked with London Underground to deliver a facelift for the station which included improved signage between the two stations, a new roundel, painting, re-tiling and replacement entrance signage and frames. The BID’s contribution funded a large Legible London map in the ticket hall, the first of its kind and size to be implemented by TfL for its stations.

At Marble Arch station a new installation in the subway was completed in 2019, sharing the little-known history of Marble Arch with the 14 million visitors who pass through the station each year. The pedestrian tunnel that leads from the ticket hall to the monument now showcases over 43 panels featuring history, photographs, maps and illustrations of the district.

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Environment

Public Realm Schemes

One of the biggest opportunities in our second term is the delivery of two major public realm schemes; at Oxford Street and Marble Arch. Westminster City Council has ambitious plans for Oxford Street including creating world class gateways and strengthening the status of the entire district. Marble Arch London BID will play a key role in ensuring that pedestrian improvements are prioritised at Oxford Street west.

At Marble Arch a transformative scheme led by The Portman Estate will create a high-quality, safe civic space. The scheme aims to improve road safety, alongside better walking and cycling connections, creating an accessible and healthier environment with improved air quality. The proposals were launched in December 2019 and a funding package is being assembled with both public and private sector contributors.

At Marble Arch a transformative scheme will create a high-quality, safe civic space, aiming to provide economic uplift for the district.

Simon Loomes, The Portman Estate, Portman Marylebone

Environment

Local Interventions

The BID has built up a wealth of data over the past six years and our Insights Study, completed in August 2021, has enabled us to define catchment areas and demographics for each of the main sectors and identify zones in which further action is required either in planning policy terms or public realm interventions.

Likewise we know which parts of the district are more susceptible to rough sleeping, organised begging, encampments, fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour and we tackle these hot spots with businesses and landlords to take concerted action, designing out issues where practical.

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Environment