Westminster council awarded detailed-design contracts to Foster and Partners and W S Atkins last week for the World Squares for All project in Central London.
However, the council is keeping its options open by stressing that proposals to pedestrianise swathes of the capital may still fail. The contracts are for phase one, covering Trafalgar Square, St Martin's Place and Northumberland Avenue. Project and cost management contracts went to Schal with Davis Langdon & Everest. The council has made a bid for £10.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the government has awarded £700,000 to take the project forward.
Design work will begin in April, with initial designs going before the Westminster by the end of 1999. Public consultation is due next summer.