Final preparations are underway for the switch to two-way traffic flow at Baker Street and Gloucester Place. The work is a key element of a two-year scheme to improve a vital location in the heart of London’s West End.
The changes will help transform Baker Street and Gloucester Place into welcoming streets where people can get about easily and safely, relax and spend time whilst also restoring the unique Marylebone character of the area.
The switch to two-way working on Baker Street and Gloucester Place will take place from 21-24 February 2019, subject to suitable weather conditions. Both roads will need to be closed in phases during this period as new road markings and temporary central islands are installed.
Cllr Tim Mitchell, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Environment and City Management, said:
“The Baker Street two-way scheme will help create a safer, more accessible environment in what is vital area for residents and businesses in the local community.
“We’re now reaching an important milestone with the planned switch to two-way traffic in Baker Street and Gloucester Place, so we’d would urge everyone to make sure they are aware of the details of what is being planned and how to keep up to date.
“Whilst we made sure that disruption was kept to a minimum, thanks to our local residents, businesses, transport users and local organisations for their continued patience and support whilst these improvement works have been carried out. We also ask that people take particular care as they get used to the new lay out.”
To help people prepare for the switch over, information is being shared by all the partners involved in the work and there will be uniformed marshals on the streets to help people get around and find their public transport links such as bus stops.
Whilst through traffic is being advised to avoid the area and find alternative routes during the switch over weekend, marshalls will be on hand to assist local motorists and virtually all pavements can stay open so businesses and shops can open as usual. Cyclists are also advised to check the dedicated website for information about alternative routes during the switchover weekend. Although Baker Street, Gloucester Place and Oxford Street will close progressively, emergency vehicles will continue to have access to the area at all times during these works.
Motor vehicles will not be able to travel southbound on Park Road from the junction with Gloucester Place during the switch. People travelling by car north/south through London on the A5 or A41 should expect long queues and extensive delays and are advised to avoid the area during the switch until the roads reopen for two way traffic. People travelling by car should seek alternative routes where possible and leave extra time for their journeys.
One of the best ways of making journeys to and from the area during these works will be by Tube from Baker Street station.
The completed two way project will offer a number of additional benefits, including;
• wider pavements
• improvements to 50 road crossings
• reduced street clutter
• improved street lighting
• 23 new, fully grown, trees
• improved cycle lanes, and new cycle parking,
• a simpler bus network
• shorter more direct car journeys.
The scheme will be monitored in the coming months to ensure it is working effectively for all road users and pedestrians.
As the switch to two way is dependent on the weather, because of the painted road markings that are required, the switch could potentially be delayed if there is heavy rain or extreme cold. Therefore, a final decision as to whether to go ahead with the switchover, based on the latest forecast, will be taken on 19th February. The best way to keep up to date with the latest information is to sign up for the project enewsletter at www.bakerstreettwoway.co.uk/#contact and check out the dedicated website www.bakerstreettwoway.co.uk