[FIRST LOOK] Westminster City Council has unveiled these £14 million proposals to revamp Piccadilly Circus
The scheme design will be overseen by Atkins, using the same team who worked on the ground-breaking Japanese-style diagonal crossing in nearby Oxford Circus which opened to the public in November last year.
The project aims to reopen up the area to pedestrians by removing more than a kilometre of ‘oppressive’ guard railings.
The revamp will also open up the gateway to St James’s Park and Horse Guards Parade in time for the 2012 Olympics - the venue for beach volleyball which is also being masterminded by Atkins.
However, before the project can go ahead, the council still needs the financial support from Transport for London (TfL) which is expected to make a decision in the next few weeks on whether to hand over £7 million as part of its Major Schemes programme.
If Westminster’s bid to TfL is successful, the remaining £7 million will be jointly funded by the City Council and The Crown Estate, with additional funding from department store Fortnum and Mason, who are support the scheme along with the St James’s Conservation Area Trust.
Councillor Colin Barrow, Westminster City Council’s leader, said: ‘In 2012 our capital will capture the world’s attention and our plans to transform Piccadilly Circus and the surrounding area will ensure visitors are as impressed by the city’s streets and all they have to offer, as they are with the sporting talent many will have travelled so far to see.’
As part of the improvements a central island will be built along Piccadilly and Pall Mall - giving shoppers more opportunities to cross while the pelican crossing in Pall Mall by St James’s Square will be replaced with a zebra crossing.
There are also plans to re-introduce two way streets from Piccadilly Circus along Piccadilly, St James’s Street and Pall Mall to free up Piccadilly Circus and reduce the traffic passing through the St James’s area .