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Council launches final consultation for Covent Garden traffic scheme

Covent Garden

Published: 16 November 2022

Westminster City Council has been working in partnership with the London Borough of Camden to deliver a new traffic management scheme in Covent Garden, to help reduce traffic and improve air quality.  

In August 2021, Westminster Council and Camden partnered to deliver a Neighbourhood Traffic Management (NTM) scheme in Covent Garden. The main aims of the scheme were to improve overall amenity and safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and to enhance the experience for residents, businesses and visitors to the district. 

Following the initial consultation, a traffic management scheme was introduced in December 2021 under an Experimental Traffic Order (ETO). The trial has now been running for eleven months, the results from surveys conducted during the period found: 

  • Cycling in the district has increased by 15-30% 
  • The scheme has resulted in a 40-60% reduction in traffic levels across the district (depending on time of day) when measured against traffic levels in 2019 
  • A 10-25% reduction in traffic levels across the district (depending on time of day) when compared to November 2021 
  • 76% of respondents thought the scheme made walking easier and safer 
  • 75% of respondents thought air quality would be improved by the scheme 
  • 75% of respondents thought it will be more pleasant to spend time in the district. 

In light of these results and now the ETO period is approaching its end, the two councils are launching a final consultation to decide whether to make the scheme permanent and are encouraging visitors, residents and businesses to give feedback on their views before making a final decision. The consultations runs from 14th November to 16th December 2022. 

Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality said: 

“We want people to enjoy everything Covent Garden has to offer and we believe this proposed scheme will help reduce traffic, improve air quality, promote active travel by cycling and walking, enhance the public realm and improve safety in the area, which sees huge footfall numbers every day.  

“We want to encourage everyone to give their feedback on this scheme so together we can create a more pleasant environment and a fairer Westminster that everyone can enjoy.” 

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden at the London Borough of Camden said:

“We continue to work across Camden to develop safe and healthy streets. This joint scheme with Westminster highlights the benefits of partnership working for all residents, businesses and visitors.”

“In Seven Dials, and across the iconic Covent Garden, we have been testing a series of changes since last year in response to the challenges that you have been telling us about. These include reducing the number of motor vehicles that use the area as a ‘rat run’, therefore improving Covent Garden for pedestrians and cyclists.

“In Camden, we have now also built on this trial with an aim of improving the Seven Dials area even more and would like you to have your say and share your views on a series of suggested improvements at the corner of Monmouth Street and Tower Street, including a cycle route, new paving, trees, seating and planting.”

Share your feedback through our questionnaire. Consultation closes on Friday 16th December 2022