Paddington Cube safety concerns over 'blue light' access to St Mary’s Hospital still to be addressed

In a decision about the Paddington Cube planning application made on Monday 6 February, the Mayor of London has acknowledged our serious concerns about the safety of the scheme’s proposed new road access for St Mary’s Hospital. While the Mayor decided not to use his powers to take over the Paddington Cube planning application, he states in his letter to Westminster City Council, that he is “mindful of the road safety concerns raised to date by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and the London Ambulance Service.”

The Mayor has instructed Transport for London (TfL) “to ensure that outstanding issues relating to these safety concerns are resolved … prior to them signing the section 106 legal agreement” (the legal agreement between Westminster City Council and the developer about the measures they must take to make their scheme acceptable — which TfL will be a party to).

Michele Wheeler, the Trust’s director of redevelopment, said: “While we are very supportive of the regeneration of the Paddington area, we have not been able to resolve our long-standing concerns about the Paddington Cube development in terms of future access to St Mary’s Hospital, especially for the safety of patients in ‘blue light’ ambulances. This is despite several months of continued liaison and discussion with the developer Great Western Developments and its development partner Sellar Property Group, and with Westminster City Council, both before and since the planning application was approved by the Council in December.

“The Trust believes it is vitally important that our road safety concerns are resolved to protect patient safety and the operation of St Mary’s as the major acute hospital and trauma centre for north west London serving a population of two million people.

“We remain committed to working with TfL and all parties to ensure that the safety concerns raised by the Trust and the London Ambulance Service are fully addressed and resolved.”

The planning application is also due to be considered by the Communities Secretary, and the Trust and London Ambulance Service are working with other stakeholders to ensure the serious implications for safety and the continued safe running of St Mary’s Hospital are fully understood.