Key partners join forces to make the most of the huge investment in Crossrail and modernised Tube stations
As a result of the billions of pounds we are investing in Crossrail and the Tube improvements, thousands more people will come to the area
Construction of Crossrail has now reached the half way point and in preparation for the higher visitor numbers it will bring, Westminster City Council, Transport for London (TfL) 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 West End is a vital piece of the London and UK economy, a world-class shopping destination that attracts flagship brands and visitors from around the globe.
This work sees all partners building on the recommendations of the Mayor's Roads Task Force to create unrivalled public spaces that will improve how people move around and live, work and play in this iconic London destination.
The new study, set to be published in spring 2014, will focus on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street and the environs.
It will respond to the revised pedestrian figures announced today in Arup's 'Impact of Crossrail on Visitor Numbers in Central London' report.
These show 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, 65 million more passengers than previous projections (in 2004) suggested.
On an annual basis, this is equivalent to around 166 million additional passengers.
The study will consider the immediate, more practical steps needed, such as decluttering and sprucing up pavements and public spaces, and encouraging people to make use of routes across the wider area.
Visitor experience, safety, air quality and world leading public realm delivery will be central points of focus.
Recognising London's rapid population growth and the accompanying demands on public transport and our roads and public spaces, the study will also make suggestions for the longer-term vision for the West End, complementing the work being carried out by the West End Partnership, West End Commission and other partners.
Having local government, TfL and the organisation that represents retailers working together to make the very best of these unique opportunities is key to ensuring the right solutions can be identified and implemented.
Long term vision
Sir Peter Hendy CBE, London's Transport Commissioner, said:
'As a result of the billions of pounds we are investing in Crossrail and the Tube improvements, thousands more people will come to the area, making it busier and even more vibrant than ever.
To make the most of this immense opportunity, we will also need to invest in the environment above ground as well as below it.
'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.'
Councillor Philippa Roe, Leader of Westminster City Council, said:
'The West End makes an enormous contribution to the economic health of London and the City Council has already started work to ensure people coming here - whether by Crossrail, Tube, bus, car, taxi or bike - can complete their journeys easily and efficiently.
This includes widening of some pavements and generally improving the public realm, but this study fits in with what we are working to achieve through our West End Partnership, to ensure the West End remains the vibrant and economically strong place it is now.'
Sir Peter Rogers, Chairman of the New West End Company, said:
'It's important the West End is prepared for Crossrail and the expected numbers of people who will use it.
We are already working in Bond Street to deliver a multi million pound plan to ensure the area continues to be among the top retail destinations in the world.
We see the increased number of people who will use the stations as a massive opportunity - especially in the East End of Oxford Street where there is huge interest from overseas retailers looking for a new market.
Bringing the three organisations together means we can continue to build on the practical solutions already planned and go further in order to meet this challenge.'
- 'The impact of Crossrail on visitor numbers in Central London' ARUP report
- ARUP and Publica brief 'The way forward'