A quick survey of Museum Street Traders

Backdated from previous BA website

This was to get feedback on the recent works carried out in Museum Street – from traders. It has been sent to Camden. Ckick title for more…..

A quick survey of Museum Street Traders 28/4/04

We carried out a quick random survey of Museum Traders to get opinion on the recent works in Museum Street.  This was hardly an academic exercise so take it with a pinch of salt.  We asked what was good and what was bad and general consensus was good but suggestions were made for further improvements to be made as follows;

·    There are no street name signs at south end of Museum Street
·    Urgent need for vehicle signage. Museum Street south side is effectively a 2 way street because of the total lack of signage in the right places to indicate ‘no through route’.  The only sign at the southern entrance indicated ‘Road Closed Ahead’ however drivers can’t see it until they are already in the street.  As a result there is much reversing of coaches and trucks and confusion at the barrier of the road closure.
·    There is NO loading and unloading in the street since it had been double yellow lined throughout.  This is an impossible situation for the traders and is costing them hundreds if not thousands of pounds in fines.  Something must be done about this as a matter of urgency but needs to be thought out carefully.
·    It is suggested that Camden issue bona-fide traders a letter to show traffic wardens that do not seem to want to listen to reason.  Most deliveries are done by car and as such are not regarded as commercial vehicles by warders. This has become a serious and expensive stress for traders.
·    Many cars have been damaged in Little Russell Street due to trucks turning right from Museum Street barrier – better signage might alleviate this.
·    The raised roadway between the bollards seems to encourage motorcyclists and bicycles to accelerate, sometime jumping the ramp and there have been many ‘close-calls’ with pedestrians who walk over the raised roadway thinking is it pedestrianised.
·    There is good consensus on tree planting in the street – into the ground preferred to large pavement planters.
·    A few people suggested benches on wider sections of pavement
·    There have been many burglaries in the early hours of the morning to commercial ground floor premises.  This seems a relatively new phenomenon – perhaps CCTV should be considered when the new lighting is done.
·    One trader. Also a resident received a parking ticket when parked in the residents bay in north Museum Street because the bay still has a double yellow line in it – how ridiculous is that!
·    Coaches are entering Museum Street from New Oxford Street thinking they can get to the British Museum causing a dangerous situation as they can only reverse back down into New Oxford Street – it is only a matter of time before there is a serious injury!
·    There is one longer term concern – that Museum Street may gradually turn into another Neal Street due to an influx of more pedestrians exiting from British Museum.  The recent Camden consultation on Supplementary Planning Guidelines (SPG) recognises that this area is renowned for the many small specialist bookshops and art dealers that have made this area their home – but the worry is that increased numbers of pedestrians and possible influx of tourist business may influence rent increases that are not sustainable by these established businesses.  The SPG needs to be official policy.  How can we help to ensure this does not happen?

Jim Murray.  Bloomsbury Association 29/4/04

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