A green link between St James Park and Regent’s Park could be created under plans to revamp Regents Street into a less traffic-focused thoroughfare.

Regent Street – Photo by ZR Lin on Unsplash

Most of the work will be on Regent Street up to the BBC offices, but the recent consultation saw the plans expanded southwards down Haymarket to St James Park and eastwards around Piccadilly Circus.

The plans, inspired by the recent changes at Strand Aldwych, are being partly funded by Westminster Council and the area’s largest landlord, The Crown Estate, and will build on the temporary changes implemented during the pandemic, which will be refined and made permanent.

Strand Aldwych (c) ianVisits

When the bus lanes were replaced with cycle lanes, there were a lot of online complaints about how this would make congestion worse and buses slower, but the council says that road traffic data and bus journey times did not find a “detrimental impact on traffic flow or an increased level of congestion”.

Even though there’s more pedestrian space than before the pandemic, last year’s public consultation highlighted that more is needed, or at least desired.

Taxi drivers, who made up an unexpectedly high percentage of the online responses (the consultation was discussed in the August issue of Taxi magazine), wanted more road space for taxis. Taxi drivers excepted, most of the feedback highlighted the need to improve the area for pedestrians, public transport, heritage and environmental improvements.

Although Westminster Council has now approved the changes in principle, there will be at least another two rounds of public engagement over the next year or so to flesh out the details.

The council has a £20 million pot for the Regent’s Street scheme, of which £16 million is coming from developers and external sources and £4 million from the council. The final sign-off to start work is expected around August 2025, so there will be a while before we start to see a Strand Aldwych-style Regent’s Street arriving.

Currently, the section north of the BBC offices up to Regents Park isn’t included in the scheme, as it is currently funded, but the council says it is working with landlords there for a future expansion to create a “park to park” route.


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One comment
  1. R Bobb says:

    That Aldwych scheme is a bit mixed, because most pedestrians still do not walk on the ‘road’ bit.

    They’re all packed into the pavements which seems to defeat the purpose of the whole scheme somewhat.

    If they put large paving slabs in that area, perhaps that would improve the low number of pedestrians using the large open area?

    Hopefully they won’t make the same mistake with regent street

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