London First established West End Streets (WESt) in the run up to the London Olympics recognising that large volumes of tourists would be visiting London’s West End and there was a need to improve both the public realm and its legibility.
WESt was established to promote the delivery of high quality public realm improvements in one of the UK’s most important commercial, retail and tourist locations. In doing so WESt brings together business leaders with a common interest in securing the West End as a long-term driver of economic activity critical to both London’s success as a world city and its financial contribution to the UK. It comprises members of the landed estates, developers and land owners alongside Business Improvement Districts.
The group is chaired by Paul Williams from Derwent London. WESt will champion a small number of projects and promote their delivery and funding working with key stakeholders including Westminster, Camden, GLA and TfL etc.
Since it was established is has secured transformational change to the public realm and transport movements along a number of the West Ends main areas, and they continue to work on emerging projects including:
The £40m pedestrian-friendly revamp of Piccadilly to return it to two way working alongside major improvements to streetscape and widening of the pavements, lighting and removal of street clutter. Leicester Square
Before the redesign the area had become disconnected from its surroundings and rundown in appearance. The area was transformed to deliver significant public realm improvements that provide informal seating opportunities and a ‘meeting place’ at any time of the day or night. The gardens were re-landscaped and the area repaved to deliver better security and safety in addition to better outdoor seating for workers and visitors alike.
Tottenham Court Road
The first phase of this project is already underway to deliver transformational change to Tottenham Court Road through returning it to two way working, the delivery of new open spaces and pocket parks alongside significant investment in the public realm along Tottenham Court Road and the ladder streets.
Baker Street Two Way
The delivery of this scheme has just commenced last year and will see Baker Street returned to two way working with significant improvements to the public realm alongside a low emissions neighbourhood.