The 2017 SEBRA Summer Garden Party

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The 2017 SEBRA Summer Garden Party takes place on Thursday 29 June in Cleveland Square. This year we’ll be celebrating Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s “Blue Sapphire” Anniversary marking 65 years on the throne.

We’ll be in touch nearer the time with ticket information, but please do make a date in your diary for our biggest event of the year.

Annual General Meeting 2016

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The 2016 AGM was held at The Porchester Hall on 23 November. Minutes meeting can be viewed by clicking here or following the link provided below.

To gain admittance to the AGM, SEBRA subscriptions must have been renewed – the Notice of the AGM and Subscription Renewal Invitation is sent by post to all members in late September/early October each year.

The 2016 SEBRA Summer Party

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The summer garden party was a roaring success, with the rain staying away and many guests enjoying great food and drink. The cocktail bar provided by Lancaster London was especially popular and over £200 was raised on the day for the St Mary’s Hospital “More Smiles” appeal.

For photos from the day please follow this link to our gallery page, and look our for a full report in the Autumn edition of SEBRA NEWS W2

Road Closures

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Eastbourne Terrace was reopened for buses only in February 2014. It will reopen to all traffic in 2018, when Crossrail services begin.

While Crossrail work continues at Paddington Station, Eastbourne Terrace may be closed again for short periods. During any period of closure buses will again need to be diverted along Craven Road and Westbourne Terrace, as they were for two years from 2012.

Crossrail Report

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Bayswater traffic problems – the end is in sight

Our magazine SEBRA NEWS featured many articles about the serious affects on traffic in Bayswater of the closure of Eastbourne Terrace for two years from 12 February 2012, to enable the main excavations for the new Crossrail station below. We are delighted that the road reopened on time for buses only, on 14 February 2014. At a stroke this much reduced the serious effects on the traffic in many of the surrounding streets. Once all Crossrail works in our area are complete Eastbourne Terrace will reopen to all types of vehicle – we do not yet have a date for this, but it should be before the Crossrail scheme is finally completed in late 2018.

We remain very critical of the extraordinary failure of Crossrail and Transport for London—and some of those they work with—to have anticipated and prepared for the traffic problems which inevitably followed closure of Eastbourne Terrace in 2012, a major reduction in local highway capacity; their prior planning for the transition was woefully inadequate. They did eventually accept many of SEBRA’s problem-solving ideas. Some of the major changes for which SEBRA had to fight very hard were:

  • Abandonment of the Council’s heavy-handed enforcement of an unnecessary banned left turn
  • Removal of redundant bus stop and bus stand box markings
  • Additional double yellow lines and controls in Westbourne Terrace to prevent loading and off-peak parking reducing traffic lanes from two to one during the period of congestion
  • Easing of tight corners where kerbstones were being damaged by heavy vehicles on diversion
  • Adjustment to traffic light phasing to deal with very different traffic flows.

One of the most significant changes—moving a traffic light back just a few yards at the Craven Road/Westbourne Terrace crossroads—was finally done in June 2013. It took us many months of argument and persuasion to get this simple task completed – it transformed the congestion problems at this junction.

SEBRA now a Neighbourhood Area

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In early 2014 Westminster City Council recognised the SEBRA Area as a Neighbourhood Area; this is an essential first step towards the creation of a Neighbourhood Forum. This process has registered our boundaries (click here to see the map on this website), and should inhibit any other applicant from trying to apply for Neighbourhood Forum status within them. It does not however commit SEBRA to making a second stage application to become a Neighbourhood Forum.

For a general description of the concept of Neighbourhood Forums, see pages 18 to 21 of the Summer 2012 issue of SEBRA NEWS (reproduced below). For a brief introduction to this new type of local organisation click just once on each pair of pages to read them clearly.

The President, John Walton, told the AGM on 19 November 2012 that the Committee has been considering the possibility of SEBRA’s applying to be a Neighbourhood Forum for the area it currently represents. He said that the Committee’s judgement was that there was no pressing need for such a major change in SEBRA’s status. The matter would be kept under constant review, and a future general meeting would be asked to approve any proposed change.

Westminster City Council ‘Open Forums’

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The Council announced late in 2015 that it was now going to hold a new style of public meeting entitled an ‘Open Forum‘. This is part of the Council’s ‘Community Engagement’ programme.

The meetings may still be attended in person, but anyone registered for them can also ‘attend’ on-line from home, using a computer and the Internet.

The Council requests anyone interested to:

  1. Register online at: www.openforum.westminster.gov.uk
  2. Write to the Council at: Open Forum, FREEPOST LON 17563, 19th Floor, Westminster City Hall, London;
  3. E-mail to: openforum@westminster.gov.uk