In October, The Crown Estate and Westminster City Council unveiled interim plans for Regent Street, to help deliver a greener, safer and more accessible West End.
These plans are designed to respond to the need for more pavement space on Regent Street, to support social distancing, and replace the temporary barriers that have been in place since May 2020.
The plans have been designed on a trial basis, and will be in place for an initial 18 month period, while we welcome feedback, and learn more about what works well.
Beyond this, we are keen to continue working closely with Westminster City Council, Transport for London and our customers and stakeholders, to continue evolving this important destination, building on this interim solution, to continue evolving this important destination.
What will the interim plans deliver?
- Wider pavements – creating approximately 5,000 square meters of additional space for pedestrians, to improve visitors’ experience, support social distancing and improve accessibility
- Reduced traffic – with road space reduced to a single vehicle lane in each direction.
- Improved provision for cyclists – including the introduction of cycle lanes and new cycle parking hubs and stands
- Enhanced bus stops – with accessible boarding and space for waiting
Sustainable tree planting and greenery will also be introduced helping to boost biodiversity, improve air quality, and further enhance Regent’s Street’s iconic John Nash design. New seating will also be installed, creating places for people to pause and rest.
Answers to some of your frequently asked questions:
What do the new plans mean for cyclists? We’re working hard to achieve a balance of needs on Regent Street, ensuring we create sufficient space for pedestrians, including to support safe social distancing, as well as improving options for other forms of sustainable transport, including cycling.
Our plans will introduce cycle lanes for the first time on Regent Street, as well as new cycle parking hubs and stands. They build on other recent initiatives within our Central London portfolio to support sustainable travel, such as the introduction of BIKE-DROP - a new pop-up concept, offering convenient, safe and secure bike parking.
Creating physical barriers to segregate cycle lanes is a challenge within the space available, but we are keen to continue working closely with customers, stakeholders, to invite feedback, and consider future plans – including for cyclists.
How have you considered accessibility?
We are committed to creating accessible places, and as our plans come forward, we’ll continue engaging with charities such as AccessAble, to ensure this is a central part of our ongoing plans for Regent Street.
In designing the new street, we have considered a number of measures to help improve accessibility for visitors to Regent Street – including introducing tactile paving at crossing points for those with visual impairments and creating new seating areas to enable people to pause and rest. We’ve also made sure to maintain accessible public transport provisions, including with new bus stops that include accessible boarding and space for waiting.
What about air quality?
We’re working closely with Westminster City Council, TfL, the GLA and other local stakeholders, to help drive improvements to our air quality across the West End.
Reducing congestion and vehicle movements is a vital part of that, and our plans to reduce traffic to a single lane in each direction on Regent Street are a step in the right direction.
These plans build on our work to host a number of car-free days on Regent Street, including our long running Summer Streets initiative, and our work to reduce delivery traffic, through initiatives like our freight consolidation scheme.
However, we know that any decisions on road use need to be considered in a holistic way, ensuring that they contribute to an overall reduction in vehicle movements, without pushing road users on to surrounding streets, or impacting access for people using public transport services like buses.
We are keen to working in collaboration with Westminster City Council, TfL, the local community and other key stakeholders, to explore the best solution for Regent Street in the longer term.
What about planting and biodiversity?
We want to create a greener, cleaner and more sustainable West End. To support this we will be introducing tree planting and greening on Regent Street, initially using temporary planters.
We are working closely with experts to carefully consider the types of plants and trees we introduce, to ensure we continuing improving biodiversity and enhance the experience for our visitors. We’re also introducing bug-hotels, creating habitats for vital insect life, complementing our ongoing work as part of Wild West End.
What scope is there for further changes to Regent Street in the future?
These plans are just one step in our ongoing investment in Regent Street, to continue evolving and improving Regent Street for everyone. We want learn from these designs and feedback from the local community in order to continue improving Regent Street in the future.
How can you hear more about the plans and have your say?
As our plans for Regent Street progress, we’re keen to invite thoughts and feedback, to ensure we’re delivering the best possible destination.
We’ll be sharing more information on how you can register for updates and share your thoughts about these plans alongside the longer term future of Regent Street in the coming weeks.