Marchmont Association
Bloomsbury London WC1

'Residents and businesses improving
the local area for the benefit of all'

Public Realm by staff

  Public Realm


Public Realm

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We have worked with our partner organisations since 2004 to bring about extensive improvements to the 'public realm' throughout our area of benefit. Improving the look and feel of local streets benefits residents, businesses and visitors to the area, whilst helping to engender 'pride of place' in the local community.

In 2004/05 we worked in partnership with Camden Highways, Allied London Properties and Brunswick TRA to introduce a range of environmental improvements to the streets surrounding the Brunswick Centre, including raised road surfaces at the Coram/Marchmont junction and in Bernard Street, one-way traffic in Marchmont Street south, pavement widening and crossing nibs in Bernard Street and a new zebra crossing at the Marchmont/Bernard Street junction.

We then persuaded Camden to carry out improvements to the public realm in Marchmont Street in 2011/12, which enhanced the pedestrian experience, improved parking and loading facilites and reduced the negative impact of through traffic. We lobbied for similar improvements to Brunswick Square, with the result that all footways in the square and adjacent streets have been upgraded (see photo opposite). Our lobbying for much needed improvements to the dysfunctional shrubbery on the north-west corner of the square finally paid off, with new paths, lighting and the repositioning of the recycling station combining to improve pedestrian connectivity and public safety. Our proposals for improving pedestrian crossing facilities on the south-east corner at the square at the Grenville Street/Bernard Street junction were incorporated into a scheme which Camden consulted on in March 2016.

Virtually all redundant street furniture, including bollards and signs, have been eradicated from local streets since we began our work; and defects which we report to the Council are usually dealt with promptly. We have also kept an eye on illegal street trading. We remain concerned about the plethora of unsightly telecoms cabinets and 'redundant' telephone kiosks which utility firms are constantly introducing to our streets, primarily for the extremely lucrative advertising revenue they generate (the phones are rarely used). We launched a campaign in 2013 for the removal of all 'redundant' kiosks, which has been supported by local Councillors, but this has proved a difficult nut to crack. Many roads in the locality have been resurfaced and most footways have been upgraded, with the notable exception of the south side of Handel Street west (the patchwork concrete path leading to the north entrance to Waitrose), which we have been lobbying the Council's Highways department to upgrade for years. We have also been pressing for improvements to the footways in front of the entrance to the Coram Arcade leading into the Brunswick and outside 40 Bernard Street (opposite Russell Square station). See Opportunities for Improvement.

We want to hear from you if there are other areas we could be working to improve, but if you see defective street lighting, broken paving stones, trip hazards or other such defects in local streets, please don't hesitate to report them to the Council via their excellent on-line street repairs service (link below).

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Created On 04 November 2010

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