Plans have been shown off to reduce the width of the road along Regent Street and widen the pavements, in time for Christmas.

The two-lane road will be — mostly — reduced to a one-lane system, with the reduced space given over to new cycle lanes and wider pavements. In total, some 5,000 square meters of additional space for pedestrians is being proposed. New seating and planting will also be installed along the street. The existing narrow pedestrian space in the middle of the road will also be widened.

Construction commenced on the new designs this week, following on from the measures put in place to widen pavements using temporary barriers.

It’s another of the schemes that are cropping up, often planed to happen at some point anyway but getting an urgency due to the current environment.

The works are being carried out by the Crown Estate, which owns most of Regent Street.


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  1. Phil says:

    It’s disappointing that they’ve not separated the cycle lanes from motor traffic. A bit of white paint isn’t going to make people feel safe cycling there. Even in the image shown you can see the cycle lane being interrupted by a bus stopping, so they evidently expect cyclists either have to wait behind a bus or go out around it among the rest of the traffic. I hope TfL have a good reason for this.

    • Charles says:

      I wholeheartedly agree! It would’ve been a good opportunity to create a segregated cycle lane. A lot of the newer cycle superhighway and Streetspace lanes are segregated, so it’s odd they didn’t decide to continue the trend here.

    • Tim says:

      If cycle lane is segregated, cyclists will use it as velo track. This would create danger for tourists, families and visitors.

  2. SK says:

    Am I the only one who is not a great fan of this project? Regent Street looks best with 4 lanes and honestly trees don’t seem to go well here…

    Trees bring greenness but why at Regent Street? The elegant, grey buildings are what make the Regent Street special and beautiful. Anyway it’s too much here. Sometimes simplicity is the best.

    • JP says:

      I wholeheartedly agree.
      As is being said more and more, you can’t just re-forest areas with any old tree and care plans have to be put in place for their first few years.
      Bringing this down to streetscape, Regent Street’s architectural elegance would not be enhanced by these additions. As for the pavement, so be it: there’s never enough room outside Hamleys at the best of times.

    • TomH says:

      I’m a fan of trees which can soften so many harsh cityscape views but in this case I agree that the architectural look of Regent Street would be compromised by this planting.

    • Chas says:

      Agree. The graceful curve of Regent Street respected by the majestic architecture is rivalled only by Grey Street in Newcastle upon Tyne and should not be obscured by random foliage.

    • SK says:

      It kinda feels like the person who came up with this idea wanted to put trees at Regent Street just for the sake of “planting trees”, with the popular idea of making cities greener and eco-friendlier etc etc.

      But I’m sure that there are a lot of places in London that are much more suitable for this.

      Can’t they leave it as it was before the Corona pandemic? These days there are green barricades (to maximise social distancing) and it sucks too but to be honest having only the barricades seems better than this project.

    • Tom says:

      I do agree with you. they should keep it as it is…

  3. RG says:

    Exciting headline but the reality from the artist’s impression is woeful.

    Wider pavements are welcome, naturally, but intermittent painted bike lanes that give up at every bus stop?! And what is the point of that wide “median strip” that the Crown Estate and/or Westminster seem to love? Look how little space is left when a bus is occupying a bus stop? Far better to have a painted line in the middle of the road and use kerbs to protect the bike lanes.

    Shocking design, really, and completely at odds with current guidance.

  4. Adam Bowie says:

    Like others say, this feels like a missed opportunity. There’s plenty of space to build a protected cycle lane. Instead you’re going to have bus stops every 50m or so, and more than that – it’s Regent Street after all – lots of taxis pulling in and out collecting shoppers with heaving bags.

  5. James says:

    This is terrible. All over London the authorities are turning roads into pavement and cycle lanes, all at the same time. And without much consultation. I was never consulted about the new cycle lane literally outside my front door. It just suddenly appeared over the weekend. As well as congestion charge being 7 days a week it makes London a nightmare to get across now. It’s fine to cycle on a sunny day or if you can shower and dry off at the office but this is seriously impractical. I look forward to government agencies such as ambulances and fire engines also getting angry at being delayed. Then maybe they’ll wake up and reverse the changes.

  6. RNG says:

    Maybe they should go the whole hog and make it fully pedestrian with something nice in the middle. An extra half lane for pedestrians won’t do much here at Christmas. Can the other north-south roads take the overflow traffic from buses and taxis?

  7. Tom Bird says:

    It’s one of the few remaining architectural beauties in London, with majestic curved buildings. That will be obscured by the trees. Shame really, lost another beautiful part of London.

  8. Adam Edwards says:

    Lots of comments on Twitter that this scheme does not fit with the new LTN 1/20 ( rules for cycle paths, presumably because it’s designed to the old standards?

    The new Sustrans design standard is must be safe for an unaccompanied 12 year old. Does this whitelines and no cycle lanes at bus stops design do that? I’m not convinced.

    • ianvisits says:

      They’re not rules – they’re guidance, you are free to follow them, or ignore them as you wish or need depending on the situation.

  9. Gerry says:

    Looks like buses can’t overtake each other, so all traffic will be restricted to the speed of the slowest bus. That bus will become more and more delayed by all the extra passengers arriving at downstream stops, starting a vicious circle.

    The wide pavements will certainly be needed: it’ll be quicker to get off and walk ! The traffic queues will probably stretch back towards Marble Arch.

    • ianvisits says:

      How do buses overtake each other on all the other single-lane roads that make up the majority of roads in the UK?

    • Gerry says:

      The majority of roads in the UK don’t have a central reservation that prevents a bus from pulling out to avoid a stationary bus at a stop.

      Nor do the majority of roads have a double decker every minute or two picking up and dropping off dozens of passengers.

  10. Chris Rogers says:

    Phew! Glad so many here share my immediate thought that trees aren’t right for Regent St and spoil the architectural effect.

    • WrongPlace says:

      Young planted trees can easily be pulled up and moved. Thats not going to be a problem at least.

  11. Biker MAN says:

    Scooter riders will love the new pavements

  12. Angry man says:

    This is a complete joke! Another blatant attempt to block traffic. In a time of economic crisis, they waist money on pointless cosmetic changes! The buses can now no longer overtake and will cause carnage for the traffic! They treat this city like sim city & change things for the worse overnight. Idiots!!!!

  13. StuckInJam says:

    Single lane traffic. Slowly making central london a no-go zone, surely introducting another pay to drive scheme in the near future. Oh, all under the guise of Covid too, obviously.

    This will not end well…

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