West End project

Plans for each area

On this page you’ll find details of the proposed changes and improvements for each area of the West End Project. These plans were developed as part of the consultation phase and may be adapted slightly throughout the design process. 

Tottenham Court Road

Tottenham Court Road is a busy shopping street with narrow, crowded pavements and fast traffic.

New Oxford Street after

What are the plans?

  • Make Tottenham Court Road two-way for buses and cyclists only (from 8am-7pm, Monday to Saturday)
  • From 8am-7pm, Monday to Saturday local access for cars, taxis and loading will be allowed on short sections of Tottenham Court Road via side roads
  • Wider pavements with trees and safer pedestrian crossings
  • New diagonal crossings at the junction of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street
  • New public space between Percy Street and Windmill Street with trees and seats
  • Raise the road to the same level as the pavement, in certain areas, to slow traffic
  • Bus passengers will be able to arrive and leave from Tottenham Court Road
  • Replace existing kiosks with a more attractive design and a wider range of goods for sale
  • Relocate the historic street lights from the middle of Tottenham Court Road to the pavements next to Whitfield Gardens. The other lights on Tottenham Court Road will be improved
  • Improvements to Whitfield Gardens, including improved seating and planting and restoring the mural.

New Oxford Street after

The plan is shown in two parts for Tottenham Court Road - northern and southern

Here are the proposed traffic routes

Gower Street and Bloomsbury Street

Gower Street is a Georgian Street and includes one of Bloomsbury's finest squares, Bedford Square, University College London (UCL) and University College London Hospital (UCLH).

There is a speeding problem in the northern section of Gower Street and a congestion problem in Bloomsbury Street.

Bedford Square before

What are the plans?

  • Make Gower Street and Bloomsbury Street two-way for all vehicles
  • Protected cycle lanes in both directions (which will require some sections of pavement to be slightly narrowed). The protected cycle lanes would separate cyclists from traffic using some 'stepped cycle tracks' between the pavement and the road, similar to those used on Old Shoreham Road in Brighton
  • Declutter pavements so it becomes a more pleasant environment for pedestrians
  • Move all bus routes to Tottenham Court Road
  • Provide safe and convenient pedestrian crossings
  • Remove all parking from Gower Street and Bloomsbury Street (loading bays would be available on Gower Street between 10am and 2pm, Monday to Sunday)
  • Raise the road to the same level as the pavement, in certain areas

Bedford Square before

The plan is shown in two parts for Gower Street and Bloomsbury Street - northern and southern

Here are the proposed traffic routes for after the changes are implemented.

New Oxford Street

New Oxford Street is congested, with a large number of buses. The street is not attractive for walking and cycling. 

Bedford Square before

What is the plan?

  • Provide safe and direct pedestrian crossings
  • New diagonal crossings at the junction of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street
  • Remove unnecessary signs and railings

Bedford Square before

Public spaces

Improvements to the public spaces include:

  • A new park on Alfred Place
  • A new plaza for St Giles - next to Centre Point
  • A new public space at Princes Circus - the junction of Shaftesbury Avenue and High Holborn
  • Improved public spaces on Tottenham Court Road - Whitfield Gardens and "Windmill Square" (between Percy Street and Windmill Street)
  • Improved public space on Huntley Street

Alfred Place

Alfred Place links North Crescent and South Crescent, just off Tottenham Court Road. The street does not have much traffic, largely used only for parking, and could provide much-needed public space.

What are the plans?

  • New park with grass, trees and seats
  • Access for loading on Alfred Place will be allowed between 7am and 10am Monday to Friday
  • Remove pay and display parking bays
  • Relocate the cycle hire station to Windmill Street

See our initial ideas

St Giles area

St Giles Circus is the junction of Tottenham Court Road with Oxford Street. This junction is one of the busiest pedestrian areas in London with approximately 12,000 pedestrians an hour. There will be a big increase in pedestrians with the opening of Crossrail in 2018 and we need to make sure the area is safe and welcoming.

St Giles area before

 What are the plans?

  • New plaza next to Centre Point and the Crossrail station
  • New trees, seats and street lights
  • New diagonal pedestrian crossings to make it quicker, easier and more convenient to cross the road
  • Pedestrianise St Giles High Street from Denmark Street to New Oxford Street
  • Wider pavements and slow traffic on Denmark Street
  • Some bus stops and bus stands would move to Earnshaw Street and Great Russell Street

St Giles area after

Princes Circus area

Princes Circus is the name for the junction of Shaftesbury Avenue and High Holborn. The area is busy with pedestrians and traffic and the existing public space is unpleasant. The pedestrian crossings are poor and this makes the routes to the British Museum and Covent Garden unattractive.

Princes Circus before

What are the plans?

  • New large public space in front of the Shaftesbury Theatre
  • New planting and seats
  • Make Shaftesbury Avenue two-way for all vehicles (between New Oxford Street and High Holborn)
  • Protected cycle lanes in both directions
  • Pedestrianising the road between the Shaftesbury Theatre and Grape Street
  • Make pedestrian crossings safer and easier between St Giles Circus, Covent Garden and The British Museum
  • Loading bays will be available in the Princes Circus area 8.30am-6.30pm, Monday to Saturday

Princes Circus after

Have a look at the plans in detail

Huntley Street

The section of Huntley Street between University Street and Grafton Way has several hospital and treatment centres but there is little space for patients to rest and relax when they are not being treated. The street could provide much-needed public space.

Huntley Street before

What are the plans?

  • New public space with wider pavements, trees and seats
  • Allow cycling in both directions
  • Relocate existing parking to surrounding streets

Huntley Street after

Whitfield Gardens

Whitfield Gardens is a popular public space for residents and visitors. There are sometimes problems with anti-social behaviour.

Whitfield Gardens before

What are the plans?

  • New seats, lights and plants. These will be designed to make the area easier to clean and reduce anti-social behaviour.
  • Restore the mural

Windmill Square

Tottenham Court Road is a busy street for pedestrians but lacks seats and place to rest. Windmill Square will be a new public square on Tottenham Court Road between Percy Street and Windmill Street. The space will be created by widening the pavements.

Windmill Square before

What are the plans?

  • Remove unnecessary signs, railings and phone boxes
  • New seats and trees

Windmill Square after

Other streets

There are also plans for other streets including:

Pocket-parks

Pocket-parks will be created at Bedford Avenue, Bayley Street and Capper Street. These streets will be closed to all traffic (except cyclists) at the Tottenham Court Road end, with new seating, cycle parking and trees.

Cycling

An additional 15 streets will allow cycling in both directions to improve routes through the area and encourage people to cycle (see cycling section for more information).

Upgrading pavements

Pavements on University Street, Torrington Place, Great Russell Street, and Grafton Way will be upgraded with either York stone or granite materials.



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