London Cycling Campaign protests against Westminster Council plans for Haymarket and Lower Regent Street

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This is despite council statistics showing huge increases in people cycling to work in Westminster in recent years.

Haymarket and Lower Regent Street are two one-way streets with high volumes of fast taxis, buses, coaches, cars and lorries are intimidating for even the most experienced cyclists, creating a barrier of fear for any new or inexperienced cyclists trying to cross the West End.

The primary improvement in the current plans (see them on the Westminster Council website) is to give more space for pedestrians, because very often the pavements are not wide enough and pedestrians spill into the road.

We welcome allocation of more space to people on foot, but the solution proposed does nothing to address the dangers and fears of cyclists, nor to tackle the speed and volume of motor traffic. 

Cycling there now is very intimidating

Travelling south, downhill, on Haymarket traffic frequently cuts from side to side while also accelerating to get through the traffic lights at the junction with Pall Mall.

On Lower Regent Street, which runs parallel, the volume of traffic often blocks the road, with taxis and buses jostling for gaps heading for the narrow junction at Piccadilly Circus

Here, with the current road layout there is often barely space for cycling at all.

Coming from Shaftesbury Avenue, there’s no safe route for cyclists through to Piccadilly or St James’s.

Currently, most cyclists who dare cross this area find the safest way to do so is by illegally following the narrow bus contraflow route.

New proposals don’t address cycling dangers

Recently, we and other campaigners met with Westminster Council officials and walked through the streets.

We stressed the need for safe and inviting Dutch-style routes through this area. 

The proposed plans provide only minor improvements for cycling, with fewer traffic lanes and extra ASLs.

The entry into Cockspur Street towards Trafalgar Square will be wider, but there will be no better protection at the junction leaving Haymarket, where most motor traffic has to turn left across the cycle route.

Our proposals include the following:

  • A two-way protected cycle track on the East side of Lower Regent Street and Waterloo Place (shown in blue on map), including reopening the Piccadilly end of Glasshouse Street to cycling in both directions (green pin on map)
  • Two-way cycling along all of Jermyn Street, with a safe crossing of Lower Regent Street (shown in red on map)
  • Two-way cycling in Wardour Street and Whitcomb Street (shown in green on map)
  • A cycle crossing from Charles II Street across Waterloo Place/Lower Regent Street (yellow marker)
  • Safe cycle access to the bus lane from Shaftesbury Avenue to Piccadilly (shown in purple on the map)

View London Cycling Campaign Westminster proposals in a larger map