Having only just cancelled plans to pedestrianize Oxford Street, Westminster Council has now announced plans to pedestrianize part of Strand instead.

The £28 million scheme, if approved, could see a section of Strand around Aldwych pedestrianized and road traffic diverted around the former BBC building instead. That’ll see the famous St Mary le Strand church become far more accessible as it’ll cease to be marooned in a traffic island.

Once the vehicular traffic is largely removed a 350m long public space is created. Historically, the Strand has always been an important east/west route connecting Westminster Abbey to St. Paul’s and has been used as a processional route for ceremonies such as Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. It is no longer used as a formal processional route, however the plans have had to allow for that possibility once more.

The new space is not exclusively for pedestrians either, as the paved space will be shared with cyclists, probably in recognition that it would be anyway, so better to design that usage into the project at the start.

There’s also suggestions in the consultation documents that they want to increase the amount of commercial space in the area, although that’s not fleshed out in any detail.

As for the semi-circle road that will remain, it will also be narrowed so that the pavement space can be roughly doubled in width.

The documents are rather rich on aspiration, but currently fairly weak on the details of the pedestrianization, mainly focusing on the research carried out so far rather than the final product they aim to deliver.

The consultation will run until 13th March.


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  1. Christopher Benjamin says:

    Youve got to hand it to Westminster Council for sheer brass neck. They scuppered the Oxford Street plans for naked political purposes and then have come up with this idea.

    • Tom says:

      Christopher, it wasn’t really the council’s idea. The idea came from North bank BID.

    • Christopher Benjamin says:

      Tony time and time again they have proven themselves woeful when it comes to dealing with measures to reduce air pollution. They objected to Cycle Super Highway 11, spent money earmarked for cycling on car park spaces,scuppered the Oxford Street plans. This plan whoever proposed it will make very little difference to air quality..but it allows the Council to claim its doing something.

    • Christopher Benjamin says:

      Sorry Tom not Tony. Fat fingers

  2. Neil Evans says:

    Seems crazy after they so stubbornly shit on the Oxford Street plan

  3. Melvyn says:

    Makes one wonder where all those terminating bus routes will go …. Oh wait a minute given how High Holborn has lost most of its buses under Mayor Khan I doubt if a couple of routes left will make much impact!

    • Zebedee says:

      I read those plans as the buses terminating in the bit at the bottom right between Arundel and Surrey Streets that says bus, taxi and access only. Plenty of bus size lay-by there.

  4. Andrew Gwilt says:

    Actually I think its brilliant idea. Since most of London’s roads are already congested (with congestion charge still in place). And with lots of traffic passing through Central London. I think it should be given the go ahead.

  5. Mark Ellis says:

    The Aldwych one way is not terribly bike friendly at the moment (too many lanes).If it improves things for cyclists I think this is a good idea.

  6. Margaret Houston says:

    Ridiculous. As with other proposals like Tottenham Court Road and Oxford street traffic will become worse on smaller residential streets where there is a lot of social housing. Disabled people will find it impossible to get taxis. This will affect a great many local elderly and disabled people and families adversely. Misplaced concern for the environment. Give incentives towards cleaner fuel instead and realise that some disabled people can’t walk and take buses and tubes.

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