Camden Council will make a second attempt this weekend to make the “final major traffic change in the West End Project” when Gower Street will become two-way for all traffic and a very complicated set of restrictions on Tottenham Court Road comes into force.
“We will be introducing two way traffic to Gower Street and Bloomsbury Street between Grafton Way and High Holborn from Sunday 28 February 2021,” says Camden’s West End Project team in a newsletter to local residents and businesses.
“On Monday 1 March 2021 the full traffic restrictions on Tottenham Court Road will become permanent. Areas of Tottenham Court Road will be restricted to buses and cyclists only on Mondays to Saturdays 8am to 7pm,” said the announcement.
This will mean changes for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists. Only the northern end of Gower Street will remain one way due to ongoing HS2 works which are holding the last part of the changeover.
“You cannot travel north on Gower Street further than Grafton Way. All northbound traffic will be signed to turn left onto Grafton Way,” it states.
Camden has updated its maps to show the correct information after Fitzrovia News pointed out errors and a new updated guide to deliveries for businesses has been published.
An attempt to make the changes at the beginning of February was abandoned due to “administration issues” said Camden.
The “issues” were probably due to the absence of a final council report dealing with the traffic restrictions. This was hastily signed off by Councillor Adam Harrison on Monday 22 February.
“There have been a number of previous delays in implementing the scheme, originally approved by Cabinet in January 2015,” states the report.
“Given the amount of time that has elapsed between Cabinet approval in 2015, and the date for implementation of these proposals in February 2021, the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone in 2019, and a number of objections received in response to the Notice of Proposals, officers have carried out a review of the implementation of Cabinet’s decision, and in particular the proposed restrictions on taxis using Tottenham Court Road, on the basis of up-to-date information and current circumstances,” it states.
Having reviewed the scheme council officers concluded that there is “a clear rationale” for the scheme’s core aims of “reduced traffic and pollution, improved road safety, making the area better for walking, cycling and people using buses, and creating new public spaces delivering a better area for residents, businesses and visitors,” states the report.
The scheme will be reviewed in 12 months’ time.