Plans to rethink London's West End in preparation for Crossrail visitor surge
With construction of London¬ís Crossrail having now reached its halfway point, a new study has been commissioned which will highlight ways to improve the West End shopping district in preparation for the increased number of visitors that the new rail service will bring.
Transport for London, Westminster City Council and the New West End Company have commissioned consultants Arup and Publica to look at both the short and long-term improvements needed to enhance the West End's public realm.
The study will look at ideas such as widening pavements and revamping public spaces as well as introducing “relaxation” areas and closing Oxford Street to traffic.
Due for publication in the Spring, the study will focus on Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street and the surrounding area. It will respond to the revised pedestrian figures announced in Arup's 'Impact of Crossrail on Visitor Numbers in Central London' report, published earlier this month. These show that Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and Farringdon stations could be serving as many as 250 million visitors into and out of central London by 2026, which is 65 million more passengers than previously projected.
Sir Peter Hendy CBE, London's Transport Commissioner, said: “This study sees all key partners working together to agree on what the West End of the future will look like, and the practical solutions needed to achieve this, particularly for how people move around the area. It means that when the hugely modernised new Tube stations and Crossrail open, we will be prepared to give workers and visitors the world class welcome they'd expect from London's West End.”
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