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Piccadilly Circus goes back in time

A £10m plan to ease traffic at Piccadilly Circus sees a return to two-way traffic at the London landmark

The plan to reduce traffic congestion at Piccadilly Circus in time for the Olympics has beed outlined by Westminster Council.

Amongst other proposals the plan would involve re-introducing two-way traffic to Piccadilly Circus for the first time in 40 years. The current one-way system was introduced in the 60s to tackle growing traffic problems but the council believes that returning the streets to a two-way system will help to reduce the congestion that blights Piccadilly Circus and its surrounding narrow roads.

Shaftesbury Avenue will remain one way and Piccadilly will stay one way for cars, but with a proposed bus lane which will effectively turn it into a two-way street. Glasshouse street will be closed to traffic at its east-side junction, creating a pedestrianised zone.

Other proposals include new and widened pavements and new lighting. Railings and out-of-date signage are to be removed, minimising street clutter.

The scheme is part of a £40m programme of improvements to the West End to be completed in time for the 2012 games. The six other schemes planned include an £18m revamp of Leicester Square providing extra seating and landscaping. Elsewhere pavements will be widened, street signage improved and cycle hire facilities provided.

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