Baker Street Two Way: A Year On
1 October 2020
A year on from the completion of the Baker Street Two Way project, the detailed monitoring report into its effectiveness is now available and demonstrates how successful the project has been.
Led by Westminster City Council and TfL with support from Baker Street Quarter and The Portman Estate, the project changed Baker Street and Gloucester Place from one-way to two-way with the aim of improving air quality, reducing vehicle speeds, providing greater opportunity to walk and cycle, and making the shared public space a more enjoyable place to be. Wider pavements, additional and better crossings, more trees and new surfacing have all contributed to a much-improved environment for those residents and workers that use the area regularly as well as for visitors and those travelling through.
The monitoring strategy was used to assess the impact of measures with various traffic surveys undertaken, before works started in June/July 2017 and then after all works were completed in October 2019. In addition to these, repeated and sustained observations were undertaken at several locations using a combination of video surveys and multiple site visits. Based on these observations, the issues were analysed and mitigation measures put in place where required.
Key statistics from the monitoring report are as follows:
- There was an increase in pedestrian activity of up to 84%.
- There was an increase in cycle use, particularly during morning peak times where cyclist flows have grown by 15-20%.
- Vehicle speeds have decreased by approximately 25-30% in the area, which is beneficial for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
- There has been negligible impact on vehicle journey times southbound and northbound despite the introduction of new pedestrian crossing points.
- There have been significant improvements to air quality, with reductions in annual mean nitrogen dioxide concentrations of between 35-50%, when compared to pre-scheme measurements – the introduction of the ULEZ will account for much of this, however, comparisons to comparable sites and schemes indicate the Two Way has also contributed to this improvement.
Penny Alexander, Chief Executive of Baker Street Quarter Partnership, said: “BakerStreetQ is dedicated to improving the quality of life of those who work in, live in and visit the area through a variety of initiatives so we’re delighted to share the success of the Two Way Project. The scheme has already made a significant impact in the Quarter and judging by the latest analysis, promises to do so for a long time to come. We are very grateful to our Partners on this project and the dedicated team who worked so hard to make it happen. ”
We continue to advocate for better air quality in the Quarter and will be announcing updates on our initiatives soon. Find out more about our other projects here.