Anyone who has visited the area over the past few months can’t have missed the huge amount of street works going on, as part of plans to revamp the road layout around Aldwych and Strand. The works have been preparing for Aldwych, which is currently a one-way road to become two-way so that the section of Strand next to it can be pedestrianised.

After some 8-months of works, they are ready to make the main switch-over, which will take place between 19th-22nd August as the roads are redirected around Aldwych and Strand becomes a pedestrian zone. The builders are warning that the roads will be closed/heavily diverted over those days as they finish off the road alignments.

Change of Aldwych to two-way operation is proposed to be undertaken between 19th and 22nd August 2021. Both Strand and Aldwych will need to be closed to traffic while this operation takes place.

In the early afternoon on Sunday 22nd August, this part of Strand will reopen as a Pedestrian/Cycle Zone.

The buses that previously stopped on Strand will now stop at new locations on Aldwych.

Road layout changes – Westminster Council

Having now closed this section of Strand to motor vehicles, it’ll still be basically a closed-off road, so more works will be needed to fully pedestrianise the area with new paving to match what’s been used around the rest of the area.

The switch of Aldwych to two-way traffic marks the mid-point of the public realm improvement works, and after the switch, works will continue until the completion of the scheme in late 2022.

The final design for Strand – Westminster Council

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10 comments
  1. Jonathan Rix says:

    Never ceases to amaze me where the money for these schemes comes from. I thought the country was broke.

    • ianVisits says:

      As you work in the House of Commons, I am sure you can pop into the library and read the financial reports that confirm that the UK is not broke.

    • Marek says:

      If previous generations through the centuries had adopted the same attitude we would be much poorer now.

    • Paul says:

      There’s always as much money as anyone wants, so long as they can guarantee to repay it with interest…

  2. Ed says:

    Do the latest plans show a segregated cycle lane through the pedestrianised bit? From the render above it looks like it will be a ‘shared space’/bikes not welcome.

    • Martin says:

      According to an LCC post from when the scheme went to consultation:

      “The current plans expect the 2,000 plus people who cycle through here daily to either mix with multiple lanes of motor traffic around Aldwych, dodging sharply manoeuvring vehicles, or to cut through the proposed pedestrianised section on The Strand – a recipe for conflict between people on foot and bike, the result of which could even be a cycling ban there.”

      I don’t know if anything has changed since then.

  3. Michael says:

    That looks fantastic! India house’s little outdoor bit, previously kind of isolated and strange, will hopefully get tarted up a bit too, creating a seamless … thing … from the theatres to the church. I dig it.

  4. MilesT says:

    @Rix The correct question is whether this was the best possible use of Westminster council funds, which are not infinite and constrained by central gov’t policy. No directly related to financial health of the nation As a ratepayer I would need some convincing. Enforcement cameras on Zebra crossings seems a better use of funds, as an example to benefit pedestrians.

    @ianvisits not entirely sure HoC library would have Westminster Council budgets immediately available, although I agree national financial information would be available and show the nation is not (yet) broke, but maybe not in optimal shape either.

    • ChrisC says:

      Well WCC councillors obviously thought it was a good use of resources because they approved the funding for the scheme in their 2020/21 budget as referenced in the decision record

      https://committees.westminster.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=1281

      Local Government activity is constrained by the law not mere government policy.

      In some areas the legislation covering local government is very tight – especially when the council is the agent of the government in such things as registereing births and deaths and conducting weddings.

      In others it’s very loose and generally permissive and as long as the spending isn’t specifically ultra vires then they have complete freedom.

  5. Paul says:

    WCC has always been one of the richest LAs in the country with one of the lowest council tax rates. Even now I would say their business rates take is pretty high, they’ve just got so much high value commercial property in the borough.
    Didn’t they also fund the ridiculous Hyde Park mound?

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