Beckenham High Street Improvements
Frequently asked questions about the scheme
Answers to questions raised by town centre businesses and local residents.
How long will the whole scheme take to complete?
The improvements are programmed to be completed in August 2018. The works will however will be implemented in seven phases to minimise disruption, with work ‘paused’ during the run-up to Christmas, as part of the council’s across the borough commitment not to have works in this important trading period.
Will businesses be able to get any reduction to their business rates as a result of the disruption?
This is not something that the council is responsible for - the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is responsible for setting the rateable value of commercial properties and has been notified about the extent and timescales for the Beckenham scheme. In line with similar schemes in other boroughs, the VOA is intending to apply a temporary reduction of up to 10% of the rateable value of retail properties which are directly affected by the works. These reductions will be phased to reflect the phasing of the scheme itself and will be applied to affected businesses only for the duration of the applicable phase. For example, a business located in the High Street between Thorntons Corner and Rectory Road would be provided with a temporary reduction between the start of Phase 1 (13 March 2017) and end of Phase 2 (circa August 2017).
Changes can now only be made to the system from 1 April but reductions will be applied retrospectively for businesses who were impacted by the scheme prior to this date. During April the VOA will be writing directly to businesses affected to provide full details of the proposed temporary reductions for their individual properties.
What support is on offer to the local businesses to help them through this period of disruption?
We are working with Beckenham Business Association (BBA) to support local businesses in a number of ways. There is an ongoing information initiative to explain what the nature of the work is and what share what Beckenham has to offer. Look out for the street banner, vinyl banners and posters or leaflets containing a car parking map bus diversion information is being produced and will be widely distributed.
We are also working with the BBA to arrange a number of workshops/training sessions for independent businesses to include proven coping strategies during major town centre improvements.
Where is the money coming from to fund this scheme?
The majority of the funding is coming from the Transport for London Local Implementation Plan and Principal Road Maintenance programme. These funds are ring fenced for local transport improvements with some funding from the council, which has been allocated for projects such as town centre improvements.
Will the High Street be pedestrianised?
The High Street will not be pedestrianised. Improvements will however greatly improve the pedestrian environment with wider pavements, improved lighting and more and better road crossings.
Will the High Street be one way after the works are completed?
After the work is completed, the High Street will revert to two way traffic as prior to the improvements.
Where can we find out about road closures bus diversions?
Road closure information is included in the phasing timetable. Bus diversion information at Transport for London bus service changes. Transport for London has also put information on bus stops in the area.
Will there be any extra on street car parking or loading in the new scheme?
The potential for loading spaces and additional parking has been carefully examined. Three additional loading bays will be created outside 172, 127 and 288 the High Street. All existing loading bays will be retained. Existing on street parking will be maintained but no additional on street parking will be created.
What hours of work do the contractors keep and do they work at night or weekends?
The contractors are on site by 7am but do not start noisy work or machinery until 8am.
Finishing times may fluctuate with the timing of the programme. Generally, during the winter months October to March works finish by 4pm, depending on light and during the spring/summer months, works finish by 6pm, also depending on light.
In order to maintain access to shops and to complete certain sections in the minimum time or for vehicle access reasons; some weekend and night work will be necessary for relatively short periods. The newsletter will include details of out of hours working and FM Conway will endeavour to contact residents directly if it considered they may be directly impacted.
When complete will this be a shared use scheme (with the footway and road surface on the same level)?
No, the road and pavement is not being shared.
Will the number of pedestrian crossings be increased or decreased as a result of this scheme?
The scheme includes new zebra crossings at the bottom of Fairfield Road and near the junction of Village way and the High Street. A new controlled pelican crossing will be installed near to the forecourt of Sainsbury’s.
All existing pedestrian crossing points will be improved by being widened and in some instances crossing distances will be reduced.
Why were the improvements at the junction of the High Street with Rectory, Albemarle and Southend Road done in two phases?
Whilst the funding streams are different for the two phases, the council has sought to minimise disruption to businesses, visitors and traffic, within the town centre as far as possible. The junction improvements implemented in 2016 were the longest and most disruptive element of the improvements and therefore, it was considered that they were best implemented during the summer holidays when traffic levels were at the lowest.