Construction update

6319 Strand Meanwhile CMP

Strand/Aldwych

Construction Update

 

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Westminster City Council have been delivering public realm improvements in the Strand Aldwych area since the 4th January 2021 and will finish in late 2022.

The closure of the Strand to vehicular traffic will make way for a new public space, created to balance the daily needs of the local community through this world-class scheme. The vision is for the area to become a global creative and cultural quarter which will be an international beacon for creativity, enterprise and learning.

The scheme converts busy roadways into a major new public space at the Strand and an enhanced pedestrian experience across the Aldwych, including new crossings, wider footways and a pocket park. 

Strand Aldwych aims to bring the inside out – celebrating the wealth of cultural and educational offer in the area, whilst providing a new green oasis in central London to relax, play and come together.  A ‘meanwhile’ design for the Strand will provide opportunities to test how Londoners would like to use the space. See the project timeline for more information about what the ‘meanwhile’ design means.

To receive the most up to date information about the scheme, please sign up to the fortnightly emails by clicking this link http://eepurl.com/hlZLuf

The project will be completed in phases. The phasing plan below shows the current programme of works.

Phasing Plan

Phase 2 leaflet

The drawing below shows the general arrangement [GA] for the scheme.

General Arrangement Drawing

The December 2020 leaflet below provides background information (please note this document shows an old phasing plan from December 2020).

Leaflet (December 2020) 

 

Two Way Switch on Aldwych and Pedestrianisation of Strand

Introduction

VIEW 3 PROPOSED R4

 

To achieve the vision, Westminster City Council’s service provider FM Conway has been delivering the ground works since the 4th January 2021. The two-way-switch marked the mid-point of the public realm improvement works. Works will continue until the completion of the scheme in late 2022.

Two-way switch - Aldwych

The switch to two-way traffic on Aldwych was undertaken between 19th and 22nd August 2021. Both Strand and Aldwych will need to be closed to traffic while the switch takes place.

Subject to suitable weather conditions, this closure will begin at 7pm Thursday 19th August and run until Sunday 22nd August early afternoon.

We are unable to paint road markings in wet conditions. However, subject to the weather, roads are scheduled to re-open on Sunday 22nd August with new two-way traffic conditions on Aldwych, and pedestrianisation on Strand.

There is likely to be major disruption while we close certain roads, and it is advisable to avoid the area by-road.

Pedestrianisation - Strand

On Sunday 22nd August, early afternoon, Strand became a Pedestrian/Cycle Zone. Between 10am and midnight, only residents, staff of businesses, and those with off-street parking are able to access the area using a vehicle. This means all on-street deliveries will have to be organised between midnight and 10am. There will also be restrictions to access off-street premises, but those specific buildings have been/will be contacted separately.

This new pedestrian/cycle zone will be enforced by a secured gate located at the eastern end of the zone, west of Surrey Street. Only pre-registered vehicles will be able to open the gate. The gate will only operate between 10am and midnight and secure passes will be provided to properties with off-street premises. More information will be provided here soon.

The pedestrian and cycle zone will create an area for the exclusive use of pedestrian and cyclists, with a few exceptions:

  • Emergency services – at all times
  • Access to off-street premises – driving through the zone to access or exit any property with off-street premises will be authorised at all times. This exception applies only to properties with premises outside the public highway (private courtyards, underground car parks etc.). All vehicles must drive directly to the property’s premises as parking, stopping and waiting in the pedestrian and cycle zone is prohibited and will be enforced.
  • Loading (only between midnight and 10am) – vehicles will be able to drive within the pedestrian zone to access the loading bays in Strand and Montreal Place. Those loading bays will also operate only between midnight and 10am. The security gate to access the zone will remain open between midnight and 10am to facilitate access for loading/unloading activities. Loading activities in the pedestrian zone outside those hours will be prohibited. We recommend businesses and residents to organise deliveries outside the pedestrian zone operating hours or to utilise the 24/7 loading bays provided immediately outside the space (Aldwych outside ME Hotel and Strand outside Australia House / shared with taxis). 

Outside of the pedestrianised zone, there will a loading bay each side of the zone: 

  • One in Aldwych outside the ME Hotel 
  • One in Strand just east of the Melbourne Place junction (after the Australian diplomatic bays) which will be shared with taxis 
  • Resident and business access for special events – There will be exceptions for specific dates to facilitate special circumstances (such as a resident moving to a property within the space). Westminster City Council will publish a mechanism for residents and businesses to apply for a special temporary pass.

The pedestrian and cycle zone will be enforced by Westminster City Council Parking Officers. Below you can find the sign face of the pedestrian zone that will be placed at the secured gate entrance and also a plan showing the proposed restrictions to access the space and the location of the loading bays operating between midnight and 10am.

pedestrian

 

Strand Ped/Cycle Zone loading plan

 

Buses

The map below shows the new bus stop locations

Aldwych route mapAldwych route map (night)

The changes will affect 34 bus routes. All buses travelling eastbound towards Trafalgar Square or southbound towards Waterloo will be rerouted by the eastern and western arms of Aldwych. New bus stops will be in place with stopping arrangements for each bus route. For more information visit www.tfl.gov.uk/buschanges

Phase 2

VIEW 6 PROPOSED R16

 

August 2021 to Late 2022:

From August 2021 to late 2022, works will focus on the remaining areas of the scheme.

During this time, a number of minor road closures would be required, including Catherine Street, Drury Lane, Houghton Street, St Clements Inn and Surrey Street. A new pedestrian and cycle zone will be in place in Strand between Surrey Street and the Waterloo Bridge.

Works will take place (August 2021 – September 2022) around Melbourne Place, Vinyl Studios, Australian Embassy and St Clement Danes Church. Works in this phase will also focus on the areas between all junctions in Aldwych and on the HVM (Hostile Vehicle Mitigation).

Works will take place (August 2021 – September 2022) on the north of Aldwych/Catherine Street Junction, the south west of Aldwych/Melbourne Place Junction and on Drury Lane, as well as around St Clement Danes Church.

Works will take place (August 2021 – December 2021) on the north west and north east of Aldwych/Melbourne Place Junction. During this time, a number of minor road closures would be required, including Catherine Street, Drury Lane, Houghton Street, St Clements Inn and Surrey Street. A new pedestrian and cycle zone will be in place in Strand between Surrey Street and the Waterloo Bridge.

Works will take place (September 2021 – February 2022) on the south of Aldwych/Catherine Street Junction, the south east of Aldwych/Melbourne Place Junction and around St Clement Danes Church.

More details will be provided here soon.

FAQs

What is the Strand Aldwych Scheme? 

The Strand Aldwych Scheme will transform this location from a polluted, traffic dominated gyratory to a pedestrian focused destination with strong links to the surrounding districts. The new public realm will balance the needs of the everyday for the local community with a world-class scheme.

 

What is the vision of the scheme? 

The vision is for the area to become a global creative and cultural quarter which will be an international beacon for creativity, enterprise and learning.

Issues with pedestrian congestion and safety, poor air quality and noise, especially as more and more people are returning to our city post-Covid, need to be urgently addressed. The new plans for Strand Aldwych give the Council an opportunity to build back better and create a new green oasis in central London for people to relax and come together to enjoy. 

 

What are the objectives and benefits of the scheme? 

The scheme aims to:  

  • Provide better movement of traffic – Improved journey times and safety for many routes by removing the gyratory, having two-way traffic in Aldwych and removing it from part of Strand
  • Improve the public realm – Creating an attractive public space on the Strand and a better pedestrian experience on Aldwych
  • Improve links for walking and cycling – Providing better connections to the surrounding areas and improving safety for 14 million people who visit each year
  • Improve air quality – Addressing air quality across the whole project area, reducing traffic in some areas, mitigating the effects of traffic in other areas and working with partners to influence, lobby and explore opportunities for positive change
  • Support culture, education and innovation – Creating opportunities to showcase the area’s wealth of cultural and educational talent and encouraging opportunities for collaboration
  • Support the area’s economy – Enhancing its vibrancy, productivity and creativity by celebrating its unique character

 

What is the Arundel Court scheme? 

Westminster City Council are also delivering public realm improvement works around the Arundel Court development (between Arundel St, Surrey St and Temple Place). Both schemes will be built in a coordinated approach. The Arundel Court scheme will include lighting and footway enhancements, relocated pedestrian crossing facilities, flow of traffic in the area will be improved by reversing the one way system on Surrey Street and introduction of drop-off bays at the new hotel frontage on Temple Place. The scheme will incorporate natural stone throughout the footways and additional trees will be planted.

Arundel Court website

  

When did the works begin? 

Works began on the 4th of January 2021. 

 

How long will the work take to complete? 

Works will last approximately 24 months, with estimated completion in late 2022. 

 

What will be the standard working days and hours? 

Westminster City Council’s Service Provider, FM Conway, will follow working practices that are safe and efficient and in line with COVID-19 guidelines. Standard working hours are 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, and 08:00 to 13:00 on Saturday. Sunday works or works outside of these hours will only take place in exceptional circumstances. Noise will be minimised where possible.

 

How will this scheme affect my property? 

Please read carefully if your property is within the works area. The basement / vault to your property is a separate structure from the public highway and keeping it in a watertight condition is the responsibility of the owner or freeholder. If the vault / basement has not been properly damp proofed and / or tanked it is not secure from water ingress. Please be advised that neither the Service Provider or the City Council will be responsible for any damage resulting from water ingress in such circumstances.

 

Will there be any footway closures? 

Pedestrian access to all businesses and buildings will be maintained at all times.

 

How will the scheme impact on car parking? Will taxis be affected? 

Taxis will operate in the area and movement for taxis is maintained along Aldwych, but some journeys, especially those from the north that want to cross the river via Waterloo Bridge are reduced. Kerbside space on Aldwych, particularly the northern side, is at a premium given the number of demands it has to accommodate with heavy pedestrian traffic from nearby hotels and theatres. The design of the taxi ranks and bus stops on the north side of Aldwych (between Catherine Street and Drury Lane) went through a number of iterations following conversations with the taxi group to ensure an appropriate balance between bus stop operation and location of taxi bays in relation to the hotels and theatres. 

Some local parking and loading suspensions will be required to facilitate the works. These will be kept to a minimum and clearly signed. If you usually park in the vicinity of Savoy St, taxi bay on the south western end of Aldwych, parking on Aldwych just east of Kingsway, around Strand/Arundel junction (arms to the south and west), please look out for suspension notices and then move your vehicle to help ensure the works can be completed as quickly as possible. The Traffic Management Order Consultation showed what will be affected by the scheme. Please subscribe for updates via this link http://eepurl.com/hlZLuf

 

How will the scheme impact on vehicle access - Will there be any road closures? 

Yes. Road closures will be notified by email and by on-street signage. Please subscribe for updates via this link http://eepurl.com/hlZLuf

 

Why is there no cycle track through the public space?

It is a Pedestrian and Cycle Zone, and cycling is permitted. Cycle parking has been provided.

The scheme will reduce lane widths and will create a new pedestrian and cycle zone in the Strand between Surrey Street and the Waterloo Bridge. The scheme maintains cycle parking in the area. The public space has been designed to minimise conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists, with areas dedicated to pedestrians only and protected from occasional access, keeping a direct route for cyclists that would wish to cross the space as part of their journey. Cycling parking will be relocated to the perimeter of the space to encourage sustainable travel to the new space as destination. 

 

Would traffic levels be impacted in Aldwych after the switch? Why haven’t we allowed for segregated cycle facilities in Aldwych in line with LTN1/20?

This has been explored and would require traffic reduction to implement without resulting in increases to bus journey times and/or general traffic reassignment to non-strategic roads. It has always been WCC’s intention to review the cycle facilities provided if traffic flows were to change in the future. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that other measures can be implemented with lower traffic flows. If traffic flows remain lower than pre-COVID levels, the opportunity to install cycle facilities will be explored at the earliest appropriate opportunity.

The highway scheme has been designed to be “capacity neutral”, meaning that the change in layout can accommodate the same level of traffic as the previous situation once works are complete.  It is designed to enable traffic to move in a more consistent flow around Aldwych than previously, with more pedestrian crossing points.  This, together with wider footways (up to 3m wider in some places) will enable a much improved, safer, pedestrian experience through the area.

 

Will trees be impacted?

The Strand Aldwych project aims to create a safer, people-focused environment, replacing traffic dominated public realm with traffic-free garden spaces. In addressing air quality issues in the area, the project is developing an Air Quality Mitigation Action Plan which aligns with the Council’s wider plans to tackle the Climate Emergency. 

London Plane Trees - The scheme will maintain the line of London Planes at either side of Aldwych and in Strand, however some trees need to be removed to make room for new signalised junction crossings and other elements of the scheme. Our tree removal contractor removed these trees in January 2021.

Following advice from Westminster City Council's own Arboriculturalists, those trees will be replaced with a higher number of new trees that will be planted in the Autumn. Overall 10 trees will be removed and 32 will be re-planted. 

 

How would the scheme impact on emergency vehicle access?

We work closely with the emergency services to ensure they are not affected.

 

Who is managing / running this scheme?

The Place Shaping team at Westminster City Council.

The Council appointed a project team led by term contractors FM Conway with traffic advice from Norman Rourke Pryme (NRP) and engineering input from WSP. The project team built upon the work set out by Northbank BID through its vision for Aldwych by Publica.

 

How can I keep updated with the scheme? 

Please subscribe to our weekly email updates. Emails will be sent weekly. 

Subscribe via this link http://eepurl.com/hlZLuf 

If your question hasn’t been answered, you can email StrandAldwych@wsp.com 

Consultation report for the 2nd Public consultation “2020 Consultation Statutory Traffic Management Order Consultation Full Report

Consultation report for the 1st Public consultation “Strand Aldwych Consultation: Consultation Response Report May 2019” 

 

What’s happening at Strand?

Strand is now permanently be closed to vehicular traffic between Waterloo Bridge and Surrey Street. This new pedestrian/ cycle zone will be protected by static physical measures preventing vehicular access. 

There will be an access point by way of an automatic gate (comprising sliding bollards), located at the eastern end of the zone, west of Surrey Street. 

The automatic gate will be operational as follows: 

  • Between 10am and midnight, the gate will be secured. It will only open for registered vehicles and users. 
  • Between midnight and 10am, the gate will be unsecured. It will open for any vehicles wishing to access the pedestrian zone for deliveries. The pedestrian zone rules will still apply and parking enforcement will be in operation. 

Vehicular access will be maintained 24/7 for residents, businesses and institutions within the pedestrian zone with access to off-street parking facilities. Those specific buildings have been contacted separately with further information. 

Residents, businesses and institutions are encouraged to arrange servicing and deliveries between midnight and 10am when the gate is unsecured. Within the pedestrian and cycle zone, drivers are expected to proceed with care, keeping to the designated routes, and only park on-street within the designated loading bays at the allowed time.  

Outside of the pedestrianised zone, there will a loading bay each side of the zone: 

  • One in Aldwych outside the ME Hotel 
  • One in Strand just east of the Melbourne Place junction (after the Australian diplomatic bays) which will be shared with taxis 

 

 

Who can access the pedestrian zone?

  • Residents, business and institutions with access to off-street parking facilities 24/7. 
  • Delivery vehicles using the signed on-street loading bays only, from midnight to 10am.
  • Emergency services will have access 24/7.

 

I am a resident and I don’t own a car. How do I use Uber/taxis?

You will need to use the nearest point to you where there is vehicular access (for example on Aldwych/Surrey Street/Arundel Street).

 

I am a resident and I don’t own a car/van myself. I am moving in/moving out. How does the removal van get access?

There will be exceptions for specific dates to facilitate special circumstances (such as a resident moving to a property within the space). A dispensation process through WCC Parking Services will allow access for house moves. This process will also be used to facilitate planned contractor access where heavy tools and equipment are required. Further details on how to apply for a dispensation with WCC Parking Services will be communicated prior to the gate becoming fully operational in March 2022.

 

Will I be able to receive deliveries between 10am and midnight when the gate is secured? 

Residents, businesses and institutions are encouraged to arrange deliveries between midnight and 10am when the automatic gate is unsecured. 

 

I have a delivery during the operational hours of the gate. Will the delivery vehicle be able to access the area?

If you have off-street parking facilities, you can receive deliveries at any time, however you are encouraged to arrange deliveries between midnight and 10am when the automatic gate is unsecured.

When the gate is secured, you will have to arrange access with your concierge or reception team. If you do not have off-street parking facilities, you are encouraged to schedule your deliveries between midnight and 10am. There will be two loading bays - one outside 147 Strand and one in Montreal Place, operating at these times.

Alternatively, when the automatic gate is secured, delivery vehicles should use loading bays outside the protected zone. There will be several loading bays dotted around the protected zone:

  • One in Aldwych outside the ME Hotel 
  • One in Strand just east of the Melbourne Place junction (after the Australian diplomatic bays) which will be shared with taxis 

 

I am a resident and will have a temporary hire car while my own car is being serviced. How can I gain access? 

If using a different vehicle than your registered vehicle, you will be able to register this temporary vehicle with the control room. Further details on how to contact the control centre will be communicated prior to the gate becoming fully operational in March 2022.

 

What are the waste collection arrangements?

Waste and recycling collections will be rescheduled to accommodate the access restrictions. Collections will take place between midnight to and 10am. Communal waste and recycling bins will be provided in Montreal Place.

The morning collection, currently between 9:30am and 10:30am, will be moved forward to be between 8:30am and 9:30am. The evening collection between 6pm and 7pm will be removed. The night collection, currently between 2am and 3am will be moved forward to be between midnight and 1am.

 

I have visitors coming to see me during  the operational hours of the gate. Will they be permitted to drive into the area?

If you have off-street parking facilities, your visitors will be allowed to access. You will either be able to register their vehicle with the control room, or gain access through your concierge/building management.

 

I am a business. Will employees be able to access the area to park at any time?

If you have off-street parking facilities, your employees will be allowed to register their vehicle to access your premises.

 

I am a business. An employee is using a different  vehicle than the one registered. How  can they gain access?

If your employees are using a different vehicle than your registered vehicle, for example a hire car, they will be able to contact the control centre to register their temporary vehicle. Further details on how to contact the control centre will be communicated prior to the gate becoming fully operational in March 2022.

 

I am a business. How can I receive deliveries?

If you have off-street parking facilities, you can receive deliveries at any time, however you are encouraged to arrange deliveries between midnight and 10am when the automatic gate is unsecured. When the gate is secured, you will have to arrange with your security or building management team the opening of the gate, using the contact card they will be provided with. If you do not have off-street parking facilities, you must schedule your deliveries between midnight and 10am.

There will be two loading bays: 

  • One in Aldwych outside the ME Hotel 
  • One in Strand just east of the Melbourne Place junction (after the Australian diplomatic bays) which will be shared with taxis 

 

I am a business. How can visitors to our business gain access during the operational hours of the gate?

If you have off-street parking facilities, your visitors will be allowed to access. You will either be able to register their vehicle with the control room, or gain access through your security / building management team.

Further details on how to contact the control centre will be communicated prior to the gate becoming fully operational in March 2022.

 

I am a business. How does refuse collection work?

Alternative collection arrangements will be made for those businesses who use the services of the City Council ‘s Commercial Waste Service. These business customers have been contacted separately to implement the alternative collection arrangements.

Commercial properties that are not serviced by the City Council’s Commercial Waste Service can either switch to the service or make the necessary arrangements with their private commercial waste collectors to meet the new access restrictions. There will be no access for these collectors between 10am and midnight.

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