Did you like catching that convenient bus from outside Clement House? Did you like the quick bus route to Waterloo or just generally south of the river? What about the direct bus route from Islington to the Strand? Well not anymore folks! Westminster council has plans to pedestrianise the Strand Aldwych area.
The proposal is to invest £28m to significantly cut traffic, and even ban it, in the Aldwych area.
The idea was set in place because ‘the area suffers from significant challenges – poor public spaces and safety, traffic congestion and air quality issues – which means those who live, work or visit get a poor experience.’ Air quality has also been a huge issue, with the air quality around Holborn being some of the worst in London, a lot of this due to the amount of traffic. Adding more green spaces and places for people to walk and sit would provide a calmer and healthier environment.
The plans include a raised lawn, an activity zone, and a ‘flexible open space’. It would also bring greater accessibility to St Mary Le Strand Church which currently stands isolated in the middle of the busy roads.
The traffic is proposed to be moved north in order to maintain the flow and decrease traffic. The pedestrianisation is due to start as early as 2020 if the consultation process, happening now, runs smoothly.
However, this isn’t the first time plans like these have been set into place then faded from existence. Last year, Oxford Street had plans to go car-free. However, due to residents and taxi drivers being unhappy with the idea, the plans are but a distant memory. It will still receive a £150m renovation, but now with very little, if any, pedestrianisation.
The proposals for Aldwych are available to view at King’s College London (171 Strand), with the consultation open until 13 March 2019. There will also be two consultation events at the LSE on the 7th and 18th of February to talk with the team directly. Proposals can also be found on the Strand Aldwych website.