The cleanliness of streets is also suffering, but weekend sweeping has been reinstated in some areas that saw cuts last year. Room for further improvement remains and we welcome the initiative by the Baker Street Quarter Partnership to provide extra cleaning in their area. Rubbish attracts rubbish and litter is dropped increasingly where bags have been placed on the pavement for collection or around recycling bin areas. The proliferation of commercial refuse contractors with varied collection times means that some streets are plagued with rubbish bags at all times of the day and night.
Air quality is a serious concern for Marylebone and central London in general. Whilst some measures to reduce emissions are in the pipeline, changes to the criteria for vehicles exempt from the Congestion Charge were not helpful. Stronger enforcement against taxi drivers and chauffeurs who sit for long periods with their engines running would make a significant difference.
There has been a major reduction in noise levels spilling out from Hyde Park events into residential areas. The concert season proved to be a much better experience under the joint management of AEG Live and the Royal Parks and we hope that the parks can achieve their aim of capping the overall number of events, whilst still raising the money they need to meet their budget. The Association continues to be represented on the Royal Parks Stakeholders Group and we voice our concern over issues such as the spread of cycling in the parks.
The Association also represents residents on the The West End Partnership Transport and Infrastructure Working Group, which is contributing to a report on the future shape of the West End, particularly with the arrival of Crossrail in mind. Many of the issues of concern to the Marylebone Association are on the Group's agenda, such as the consolidation of deliveries and rubbish collection to reduce lorry traffic; sensible traffic and cycling schemes which take into account the real characteristics of streets, rather than straight lines on a map; improvements to the public realm to ensure that the West End remains attractive to residents, visitors and businesses and generally introducing more joined-up thinking to development proposals. The report is due to be published at the end of 2014.
Finally, I must thank Monica Perez for all her hard work on the sub-committee. Thanks also to members who have raised problems or sent in comments and act as the eyes and ears of the Association. Please keep up the pressure.