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Stretch of the Strand could be pedestrianised in £28million shake-up

Council says it is prepared to pump millions into project

01 February, 2019 — By Tom Foot

Cars could be banned from ‘gateway’ at the Aldwych

A SMOG-RIDDEN stretch of the Strand could be pedestrianised under “ambitious” plans unveiled this week.

Westminster Council said the one-way system around Aldwych, leading to Waterloo Bridge, should be rebranded because of the large number of educational and creative organisations in the area.

The “historic” road is a “gateway” into the West End, according to the council, but despite the impressive location “those who live, work or visit get a poor experience”.

Councillors have already approved a potential £28million of public money to be spend on the new “Strand Aldwych” overhaul. The changes would create two-way traffic in the Aldwych and pedestrianise part of Strand.

The area around St Mary Le Strand Church would be hugely improved with a new “plaza” and the changes would improve air quality and make it safer for cyclists.

Planning chief Cllr Richard Beddoe said: “This historic gateway into the West End is home to some of the capital’s most famous cultural and academic institutions, as well as a major leisure destination in its own right with landmark theatres, hotels and other attractions. But the future success of the area is at risk because of traffic, poor air quality, and inadequate public spaces. So working with local organisations we’ve developed some fresh ideas for the Strand Aldwych. These concept designs have come together following a great deal of discussion with local groups and we now want to get as much feedback as possible.”

The concept for the changes was first put for- ward by the Business Improvement District – the “Northbank” – which aims to represent the interests of around 400 businesses in the area, and major landowners, including Land Securities and Capco, around Strand.

There are five theatres, three 5-star hotels, two churches and two high commissions, Australia and India, in the proposed “Strand Aldwych” area.

The council wants to hear responses from members of the public concerning the draft designs.

The consultation runs until March 13. For more details visit: www.strandaldwych.org

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