Westminster reopens

Find out how lockdown is easing, as services and public spaces reopen safely in a phased way.

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1. Public movement

We have published our plans to provide new and additional space for cyclists and pedestrians in the heart of the capital to safely support the easing of the lockdown and get the economy moving again.

The council has been working to develop these important temporary proposals in conjunction with local groups and businesses. This will include the installation of 20 low-cost, temporary measures across all areas of the city.

The move will put new, temporary widened pavements, pedestrian areas and cycle lanes in some of our city’s most iconic locations. Oxford Street, Regent Street and Piccadilly will, from this weekend, see measures to widen pavements, change traffic lanes into pedestrian walkways, provide guidance on social distancing and pop-up cycle lanes.

In other measures, busy transport hubs such as Paddington and Marylebone stations will see social distancing measures introduced to ensure people can feel safe travelling into the area. 

All areas of Westminster will be covered by activity to encourage people to move safely around the city as the lockdown restrictions are lifted. 

Initial reopening projects - in progress

These schemes have been approved for delivery in the first phase. It is worth regularly checking as this list is subject to constant change.

Updated 25 June 2020.

Temporary changes in Covent Garden

The area around Covent Garden piazza has been identified as a location to increase pedestrian access at certain times of the day, with temporary vehicle barriers being installed to restrict vehicle access, with the following streets being closed to traffic between the times of 11am to 11pm, Monday to Sunday :

  • Henrietta Street
  • Maiden Lane
  • Floral Street
  • Rose Street
  • Southampton Street
  • Tavistock Street (from Wellington Street to Southampton Street)
  • Burleigh Street (from Exeter Street to Tavistock Street)
  • King Street (already pedestrianised 10.30am to 6.30pm to be extended and altered to 11am to 11pm)
  • Piazza (already pedestrianised from 10.30am to 6.30pm to be extended to 10.30am to 7am)

This will create a pedestrianised area to provide enough space for social distancing, support business recovery, whilst making it safer for those needing to travel through the area. 

Strand, Aldwych gyratory, Kingsway, Lancaster Place

Additional pedestrian space and cycling on road with barriers, signs and lines

Completed projects

Church Street

Creation of significant additional footway space for pedestrians between Edgware Road and Lisson Grove.

Harrow Road

Pop-up cycle lanes and additional pedestrian space with barriers, signs and lines in place.

Knightsbridge and Belgravia (Brompton Road)

Installing barriers to create additional pavement space for pedestrians at retail areas on Knightsbridge.

Marylebone High Street

Use of barriers to provide temporary pedestrian space by reallocating road space. Implemented at important locations for shops and cafes. A short section of resident parking between Hinde Street and Bullstrode Street, but kerbside space for loading and drop- off and pick-up to be retained and there is parking capacity on adjacent streets.

Formosa Street

Create a wider pavement for social distancing on that side of the street to help the businesses (the road is converted to one-way from Warrington Crescent to Castellian Road). 

Mayfair / Duke Street

Use of barriers to provide temporary pedestrian space along the street where shops and cafes are located and to provide a consistently widened walking route.  Kerbside space for loading and drop- off and pick-up to be retained. Parking capacity is available in adjacent areas.

Strand

Cycle priority scheme in place via road markings.

Circus Road

Additional pedestrian space installed using barriers.

Harrow Road, between City of Westminster boundary and Edgware Road

To install pop up cycle lanes along the road and providing additional pedestrian space at pinch points by reallocating road space using barriers, signs and lines.

Northumberland Avenue

To install pop up cycle lanes north and south along the road by reallocating road space using barriers, signs and lines.

Queensway, Inverness Terrace, Porchester Road, Lord Hills Bridge

To install pop up cycle lanes along the road by reallocating road space using barriers, signs and lines.

Buckingham Palace Road, Ebury Bridge Road, Pimlico Road

Pop-up cycle lanes and additional pedestrian space with barriers, signs and lines.

Mayfair / North Audley Street

Use of barriers to provide temporary pedestrian space along the street where shops and cafes are located and to provide a consistently widened walking route. Kerbside space for loading and drop- off & pick-up to be retained. Parking capacity is available in adjacent areas.

Elizabeth Street / Victoria Coach Station

Use of barriers to provide temporary  pedestrian space around Victoria Coach Station and at the section of the street with shops where the footway is exceptionally narrow.  Kerbside space for loading and drop- off & pick-up to be retained. 

Waterloo Place

Footway and cycle scheme - closure of the east side of Waterloo Place to provide a new large area of pedestrian space, improve the waking route between St James’s Park and Piccadilly Circus and allow the introduction of significant amounts of temporary cycle parking.

Villiers Street

Timed road closures in place with temporary gates to increase pedestrian space on the street.

Golden Jubilee Footbridges

Signage installed to encourage social distancing and no stopping on the bridge. Lifts will be operational. 

City Wide Cycle Stand Programme (hoops and racks)

Additional cycle parking facilities to be installed at key locations throughout the City in areas of high cycle demand, commercial areas and transport hubs.

Marylebone Station, and pedestrian link to Baker Street station

Temporary barrier in place to provide additional pedestrian walking space along Melcombe Street.

Paddington Station / Praed Street area / Hyde Park Estate area / Westbourne Terrace

Creating additional pedestrian space and cycling lanes on the road using barriers.

Portland Place

Installing pop up cycle lanes to the north and south of the road.

Oxford Street (East and West)

Barriers on bus lanes to create additional pedestrian walking space, whilst maintaining access for pedestrians to use the bus services.  Additional pedestrian space to be provided on Oxford Circus by installing barriers on Regent Street.

Piccadilly

Creating additional pedestrian walking space along Piccadilly and at Piccadilly Circus by installing barriers along sections of the road from Green Park to Piccadilly Circus.

Regent Street

Creating additional pedestrian space by reallocating one lane of road in each direction North and South using barriers, but still maintaining access to bus stops.

School Streets

Increasing the pedestrian space at schools across the city. These will be simple barrier and cone measures for short periods of manged by school staff.

Vehicle movements will be reduced during the operating times of a School Street so that school children, their parents and carers and other visitors will have more space to walk, cycle and scooter, whilst social distancing.

Find out more about school street times and locations

Charing Cross Road

To provide additional pedestrian space along Charing Cross Road. We will maximise pavement space by reallocating part of the road using temporary barriers.

Abingdon Street / Millbank

Create additional space for cycling on the road using barriers, signs and lines.

2. Schools

Schools have been open over the past 2 months for children of key workers and vulnerable children and they are now adapting their measures to make schools safe for more children and are doing so in a phased manner. 

Temporary ‘School Streets’ will be implemented, which involve localised improvements to increase pedestrian space at schools across Westminster, as an emergency measure from the 1 June until December 2020.

Read more about schools reopening and 'School Streets'

3. Shop Local

Find information about which local shops are open on our interactive map

Shop Local

4. Markets

Markets have been open to traders who sell essential goods. More traders will now be returning to our markets, provided they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. 

Read more about the changes to markets

 

5. How businesses can reopen safely

Guidance for businesses on how to reopen safely, including signage, queuing and more.

Reopening safely - advice for businesses

6. Libraries

Westminster Libraries will begin reopening from Saturday 4 July. Modifications have been made at each site to ensure they are COVID-secure spaces, including providing signage, hand sanitiser stations and increased cleaning routines. Not all of our services will be available initially and some services will look a little different. We will be prioritising access to computers, the internet, study space and books to best support our residents. Additional services will be expanded in a phased manner over the coming months to ensure the safety of all.

For a full schedule of opening details, please visit our libraries hub.

7. Playgrounds and outdoor gyms

From Saturday 4th July our Playgrounds and Outdoor Gyms will reopen. Facilities will be cleaned more regularly and have additional signage, to remind users how they can help to ensure these facilities stay safe and open. Staying safe is a team effort and it is still recommended to stay at least 2m apart where possible and follow good hygiene practice. In situations where that isn’t possible - people should follow the ‘1-metre-plus’ approach. This is taking more precautions such as wearing face coverings, facing away from each other, increased hand hygiene and minimising the amount of time in contact with each other as much as possible. For more information on how to keep yourself and others safe when using playgrounds please follow the guidance as signposted at each site.

For more information on our parks please visit our parks in Westminster page.

Visit Active Westminster for tips on how to get or stay active at home or search #StayInWorkOut on social media.

8. Registrar's office

Religious and civil marriage ceremonies and civil partnership

From Saturday 4 July, religious and civil marriage ceremonies and civil partnership formations will be allowed to recommence in England provided certain conditions around social distancing are met. Westminster Registration Service is currently finalising plans and protocols for reopening, in order to host their first ceremonies to take place at the Old Marylebone Town Hall on 4 July.

Births

We have reopened the register office for customers who have a pre-booked appointment only.

Due to the office being closed over the last few months, we have a backlog of registrations. To assist in dealing with this, we are prioritising the registration of babies by their date of birth and those who have already submitted the service resumption notification form. 

Visit our registrar's office page for more information.

Last updated: 3 July 2020