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Pedestrians and cars to 'share' Tottenham Court Road under new plans

The radical urban design strategy of 'shared surface' could be introduced to the highly congested junction outside Centre Point in central London as part of a redesigned plaza, it has emerged.

The move - which would be part of Stanton Williams and Gillespies' plans for the St Giles' Circus site - would see pedestrians share the entire width of Tottenham Court Road and part of New Oxford Street with bicycles, cars, taxis and buses.

The only other place in Britain where the authorities are considering the move is Exhibition Road in west London - however this is a much quieter area in terms of traffic.

The 'shared surface' concept is based on the idea that if all pavements, barriers, street markings and pedestrian crossings are removed, all users of the urban fabric will have to take account of one another.

Its supporters claim this will lead to slower traffic, more-considerate road-users and therefore fewer accidents.

A source close to the project told the AJ: 'We are looking very closely at this as an idea. We are quite serious and we believe that it would work.'

The Health & Safety Executive and road-safety campaigners are likely to have a lot to say on the matter.

But Hawkins/Brown's Roger Hawkins, who is working on the Crossrail station planned for directly below the new plaza, said it was an 'interesting idea' that could be introduced.

by Ed Dorrell

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