Frequently Asked Questions
CHANGES TO ROAD LAYOUT
How will my journey be affected during construction?
How long have the roads being operating as two-way roads?
The roads have been operating as two-way roads since Sunday 24th February 2019. A series of phased road
closures were arranged from Thursday 21st February to enable the switch to take place safely.
Which roads were switched from one-way to two-way operation?
- Portman Street (between Oxford Street and Portman Square);
- Gloucester Place;
- Park Road (between Rossmore Road and Baker Street);
- Baker Street; and
- Orchard Street (between Wigmore Street and Oxford Street).
The following roads have remained one-way but have changed direction:
- Ivor Place west of Gloucester Place - now one-way westbound with contraflow cycling; and
- Portman Mews South - now one-way westbound.
BAKER STREET NORTHBOUND TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS
What are the traffic restrictions for northbound traffic on Baker Street?
Along the northbound section of Baker Street, between York Street and Marylebone Road, only buses, taxis, cyclists
and local access are permitted during the hours of 7am – 7pm Monday to Friday. Outside of these times all traffic
is permitted to use this northbound section of Baker Street. No such restrictions are in place at weekends or
Why are there traffic restrictions for northbound traffic on Baker Street?
The restriction along the northbound section of Baker Street between York Street and Marylebone Road has
been applied due to traffic capacity constraints at the Baker Street / Marylebone Road junction.
We need to protect the signal ‘green time’ (when the traffic signal is showing green) given to the Marylebone Road
eastbound and westbound traffic, which takes priority as it is part of the Priority Red Route, London Inner Ring Road.
We also need to make sure that southbound traffic from Baker Street (north) can turn right onto Marylebone Road
effectively, and this means we need to restrict the volume of the opposing northbound traffic. We are therefore
encouraging general northbound traffic (other than buses and taxis) to use Gloucester Place, which is also better
connected as it allows left and right turns to join Marylebone Road, unlike Baker Street. Most of northbound TfL
buses have now moved to Baker Street alongside most of the taxis. This has freed up capacity along Gloucester
Place for northbound movements.
What is the advised route for northbound through traffic?
The A4380 Gloucester Place continues to provide a complete northbound route throughout the day between Oxford Street
and the A501 Marylebone Road, and beyond to the A41 Park Road.
Baker Street now provides an alternative northbound route for more localised trips or through routes that cross
the area, however it is advisable to avoid Baker Street where possible, because this is now the key bus corridor.
The permitted movements diagram is available here
What are the prohibited movements for Baker Street northbound traffic at the Marylebone
Road junction and why?
At the junction with Baker Street and Marylebone Road, there are only two permitted movements for northbound traffic:
1. Straight ahead (buses, cyclists and taxis only) – applies – Monday to Friday 7am – 7pm
Outside of these hours ALL traffic is permitted to travel northbound through the Baker Street/Marylebone Road junction
2. Left turn (buses and cyclists only at all times).
The left-turn restrictions are to allow buses to access the westbound bus lane on Marylebone Road and Stop Z on the Marylebone Road now that northbound buses have moved from Gloucester Place to Baker Street. Taxis are not permitted to turn left due to capacity issues at the junction. Instead they should use Gloucester Place. The exemption of taxis from the restriction on Baker Street Northbound is purely to allow them to provide services along Baker Street north of the Marylebone Road.
No right-turn is provided at this junction for northbound traffic as it would affect capacity and conflict with Baker Street southbound movements.
The permitted movements diagram is available here
What has changed for the bus routes?
Southbound bus services are continuing to use Baker Street as before the switch. The majority of northbound bus
services have moved from Gloucester Place to Baker Street. However, Route 2 towards Marylebone, Route 30
towards Hackney Wick, and Route 74 towards Baker Street Station, use Gloucester Place. Information regarding
changes to bus routes is available via Transport for London
Who should I speak to about buses?
Transport for London are responsible for bus services, their routes and where they stop. To get in
touch with them or to raise a complaint please email:email@example.com.
What has changed for the coach routes?
Coach services have not changed and are using the same routes as before. Northbound coach services
are scheduled to use Gloucester Place. Southbound coaches that are scheduled to stop use Baker Street.
Otherwise, southbound coach services can choose to use Baker Street or Gloucester Place. Please note that
Westminster City Council have no authority to force coach operators to use a particular route.
Who should I speak to about coaches?
Transport for London are responsible for overseeing coach services across the capital. To get in touch with them
or to raise a complaint please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
DORSET SQUARE COACH STOP
Why is there now a coach stop on the north-east corner of Dorset Square (on Gloucester Place)?
Since the introduction of a new signal controlled pedestrian crossing across Gloucester Place between Dorset Close and
Marylebone Road, there is now insufficient space to accommodate all northbound coach services outside the Allsop Arms.
Consequently, northbound coach services have been split between the stop outside the Allsop Arms and the stop on the
north-east corner of Dorset Square.
The coach stop on the north-east corner of Dorset Square was previously a bus stop serving a large number of TfL day
and night-time buses. There are fewer coaches using this stop than the number of buses previously using it, as these
buses have now moved to Baker Street (freeing up capacity at this stop for coaches).
Why are northbound coaches not using Baker Street?
Capacity constraints at the Marylebone Road / Baker Street junction mean that it is not possible to move
the northbound coaches to Baker Street as well. Most northbound TfL buses have now moved to Baker Street
alongside most of the taxis. This has freed up capacity along Gloucester Place for northbound movements.
How do I report noise complaints about coach passengers or coach operators?
Transport for London are responsible for overseeing coach services across the capital. To get in touch with
them or to raise a complaint please email: email@example.com.
Why was a signal controlled pedestrian crossing provided on Gloucester Place between Dorset Close and Marylebone
Road and not nearer to the junction with Marylebone Road?
If the pedestrian crossing over Gloucester Place was provided at the junction with Marylebone Road, this would
require the introduction of a long pedestrian crossing stage at the junction and result in an unacceptable
reduction in green time for priority traffic on the London Inner Ring Road. A pedestrian crossing stage is the portion of green time allocated to
allow pedestrians to cross the road. When this is run, conflicting vehicle movements are subject to a red signal.
What was the total cost of the project?
Please refer to the Cabinet Member report publicly available via the Westminster City
Council website for the project cost details:
When will all construction works associated with the delivery of the project be completed?
The major construction works associated with the scheme were completed by the end of June 2019 and there has
been a significant reduced presence of our contractor FM Conway on-site since then. All works are scheduled
to be completed by the end of August 2019.
What happened after the switch to two-way operation?
Following the switch to two-way operation on Sunday 24th February 2019, the scheme was subject to a
6-week moratorium period to allow traffic to get used to the new road layout. Our team also needed to
finalise some areas that could only be completed with the roads operating as two-way. On Monday 1st
April 2019, works resumed as part of Phase 4 of the scheme. Phase 4 works include:
- Construction of permanent traffic islands;
- Surface treatment works;
- Installation of vehicle detectors for the traffic signals; and
- Outstanding remedial works (carriageway resurfacing, tree planting and cycle rack installation).
With ‘permanent’ islands we refer to islands built with kerbs and slabs. Previous islands installed before the switch to two-way were temporary plastic islands bolted into the carriageway. The permanent islands could only be safely installed with the roads operating as two-way.
Surface treatment works involve the application of:
- A high friction anti-skid material (applied directly onto the asphalt surface) on the approaches to signal controlled
junctions. High friction surfacing is a highly effective surface treatment proven to increase the skid resistance of asphalt
roads. This material is installed over new asphalt in advance of most signal controlled junctions and is designed to
aid vehicle braking.
- Buff-coloured material at pedestrian crossings and the raised tables (Raised tables: carriageway surfaces at
junctions that sit at a slightly higher level to provide a flush transition between the footway and the carriageway
to make it easier for pedestrians to cross). This material at pedestrian crossing points and raised tables is
designed to provide a visual warning to drivers and act as a traffic calming feature.
Surface treatment application requires dry weather. As such the works have been scheduled to take place during the
summer when weather conditions are typically more favourable for such work.
Information on night closures to enable these works to take place can be
found at http://www.bakerstreettwoway.co.uk/#building and
within the email updates.
What measures have been implemented to improve conditions for pedestrians?
The following enhancements for pedestrians have been made:
- Additional signal controlled crossings including updated crossings across the Marylebone Road with shorter waiting
times and the ability to cross Marylebone Road (outside Baker Street Underground station) in one go unlike the previous
staggered arrangement. In the past pedestrians crossing Marylebone Road had to wait twice: once to cross the
carriageway nearest to them; and once at the refuge island in the central reservation to cross the other carriageway.
- Dedicated pedestrian stages at traffic signals to give pedestrians greater priority at junctions. A pedestrian
crossing stage is the portion of green time allocated to allow pedestrians to cross the road. When this is run,
conflicting vehicle movements are subject to a red signal.
- Wider footways;
- New footway paving; and
- Raised tables at junctions (carriageway surfaces that sit at a slightly higher level to provide a flush
transition between the footway and the carriageway to make it easier for pedestrians to cross).
How do I keep up to date with the project?
The project website www.bakerstreettwoway.co.uk will be kept up to date periodically until Easter 2020.
If you have subscribed to our newsletter, we will provide periodic updates -
please visit http://www.bakerstreettwoway.co.uk/#contact to register.
GLOUCESTER PLACE / GEORGE STREET JUNCTION
What pedestrian crossing facilities are provided at this junction?
Four pedestrian crossings have been provided at this junction. There is a signal controlled pedestrian crossing on the
southern side of the junction across Gloucester Place. Across the northern, eastern and western side of the junction,
uncontrolled crossings have been provided. Uncontrolled pedestrian crossings are the simplest form of pedestrian crossing
as they do not include traffic signals. All pedestrian crossings have been provided with a flush surface (so there are
no changes in level) and tactile paving to aid the visually impaired.
On the south-west corner of the junction we have installed a large buildout. This has reduced the crossing length
on the western arm of the junction across George Street.
We would advise pedestrians to use the signal controlled pedestrian crossing on the southern side of the junction
to cross Gloucester Place.
Why have signal controlled pedestrian crossings not been provided on every side of the junction?
The provision of formal pedestrian crossing facilities at the George Street junction is the same now as it was before
the introduction of two-way traffic on Gloucester Place. During the design and traffic modelling stage, we did investigate whether
or not additional controlled crossing facilities could be provided at this junction, but this would result in banning turning
movements (which restricted accessibility to an unacceptable level) or introducing a pedestrian crossing stage. A pedestrian
crossing stage is the portion of green time allocated to allow pedestrians to cross the road. When this is run, conflicting
vehicle movements are subject to a red signal.
Traffic forecasts suggested that introducing a crossing stage would not be feasible because it would result in significant
and unacceptable traffic congestion, with queues blocking back to Oxford Street. Nevertheless, now that the two way scheme is
completed, there is an opportunity to review the operation of the junction and see if traffic flows are as high as predicted.
We can then consider provision of further controlled crossing facilities. This review process is underway.
FAULTS, MAINTENANCE AND FEEDBACK
How do I report a maintenance or defect issue?
If you would like to raise a defect for the maintenance team to address please do so
via: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it. Items reported will be addressed as part
of the Planned Preventative Maintenance Programme that Westminster City Council undertakes
for its highway network.
How do I report an issue with a traffic signal?
To report a problem with a traffic signal please do so via:
How do I report parking issues?
To report issues with parking, please do so via:
How do I report illegal driving or traffic contraventions?
To report illegal vehicles please do so via:
Where can I obtain more information on parking?
To find out more information about parking in the City of Westminster please
OTHER WORK IN THE AREA
What work is being undertaken on Oxford Street?
Footway paving is being renewed on Oxford Street as part of the Planned Preventative Maintenance Programme that
Westminster City Council undertakes for its highway network. This work is not part of the two-way scheme.
What is happening to the footways around Portman Square?
Portman Square was paved in advance of the two-way scheme and some of the material has failed. The two-way
scheme did not include in its scope the renewal of Portman Square footways as those activities are part of
the Planned Preventative Maintenance Programme, however Westminster City Council is aware of the situation.
What is happening with regards to Cycle Superhighway 11?
Cycle Superhighway 11 (CS11) is not part of the two-way scheme and is being developed separately by Transport
for London. A court ruling in September 2018 has prevented work from starting on CS11. Further information
regarding CS11 can be found by visiting:
How many accidents have happened since the switch to two-way operation?
Since the switch to two-way, two incidents have been reported to Westminster City Council and the
Metropolitan Police Service, neither of which were serious. The designs for the two-way scheme
have undergone a rigorous road safety audit and were approved by an independent Road Safety Auditor.
What control measures have been in place since the switch to two-way monitoring?
The scheme has delivered additional and enhanced signal controlled pedestrian crossings at various points along
the scheme including the junctions with Marylebone Road. In the run-up to and in the period after the switch to
two-way operation, Westminster City Council have had several control measures in place. These have included
- Constantly monitoring the area as part of the Post-Implementation Review Strategy and coordinating
with relevant parties when incidents are reported;
- Pedestrian Crossing Marshals were on hand to help pedestrians cross the road for the first two weeks after
the switch, and remind them to look both ways;
- Comprehensive dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders to highlight the changes. This includes businesses,
residents, public services, community facilities and neighbouring local authorities. It involved disseminating
the changes through various communication channels including leafletting, face-to-face meetings, email updates,
website posts and through social media;
- At key locations “Look both ways” markings have been painted on the road and A-frame signs with the text
“Look both ways” were deployed for three months after the switch;
- Regular (usually weekly) email updates were sent to subscribers;
- Coordination with TfL to optimise and modify traffic signal timings according to conditions;
- Our partners have cascaded safety messages through their networks and channels; and
- There have been public announcements on TfL services including local underground rail services informing passengers
of the changes and the need to take care.
It should be noted that all road users have an individual responsibility to travel safely, be considerate of
others and obey the highway code and all traffic laws.
How are you monitoring traffic following the switch to two-way operation?
The team is constantly monitoring the situation along the scheme extents. During October 2019, the final
traffic surveys will be undertaken as part of the Monitoring Strategy. The results will be analysed and
compared with traffic data that was collated before the implementation of the scheme. The purpose of
this exercise is to ascertain how the switch to two-way operation has affected traffic patterns.
A report will be published in December 2019 detailing the outcomes and any mitigation that may be required.
Why have traffic surveys been scheduled for October 2019?
We have undertaken localised traffic surveys in areas with safety or rat-run concerns from March, however
we won’t be able to complete the surveys before October due to a number of factors:
- 1. Road closures associated with Phase 4 of the scheme;
- 2. Night-time road closures (20:00 to 06:00) for surface treatment works that are taking place on selective dates
from the end of June until the middle of August;
- 3. School summer holidays; and
- 4. Road closures on Oxford Street and Marylebone High Street on selective dates for routine maintenance and the
implementation of the Low Emission Neighbourhood scheme from now until the end of September.
Road closures distort traffic patterns and the routes used. Coupled with this, traffic is still getting used
to the new road layout, and during the school summer holidays traffic volumes can be up to 1/3rd lower.
Therefore, if any data was collated now or in the coming weeks, it would not be representative nor comparable
to the data that was collected before the switch to two-way operation. Traffic data from before the switch to
two-way operation was collated over an 18-hour period between 06:00 and 00:00 on neutral counting days. Neutral counting days are days
that are most representative of typical traffic patterns. Weekends for example are not representative as a significant portion of
people are not undertaking their regular commutes to work.
Undertaking the surveys in October will have given sufficient time for drivers to have become accustomed to the new
road layout and travel behaviours to have become normalised. By obtaining representative data, we will be able to
better determine the type and extent of mitigation that may or may not be required.
TREES AND AIR QUALITY
How many trees were removed and why?
Altogether, 17 trees have been removed in Baker Street. Most of these trees were Italian Alders that were planted
in the 1980s. At the time they were believed to be a good choice for a street tree. However, Westminster City Council
has since discovered that their rapid rate of growth and propensity to grow towards the light and away from buildings
results in the trees leaning over the carriageway creating a potential hazard to buses and other high-sided vehicles.
This species also produces large surface roots which have a detrimental impact on the footway. Alders are also
relatively short-lived trees. The majority of trees that have been removed had a predicted remaining safe life
of between five and ten years.
How many new trees have been planted?
In total, 32 new trees have been planted. This means there has been a net gain of 15 new trees.
What species of tree have been planted and how were they planted?
The species chosen for Baker Street and George Street is London Plane (Plantanus x hispanica). Planes are
the most common species of tree found in the capital. It was chosen due to its ability to adapt to urban
environments. Pear trees were chosen for Gloucester Place to align to existing trees. Acer Campestre was
chosen by Transport for London for new planting in Park Road.
All trees were planted directly in the ground with tree frames bounded by a resin material to maximise
the available footway width to pedestrians. Box planting is not ideal in areas of high pedestrian footfall
like Baker Street, as it reduces the available footway width.
What determined the location for new trees?
From the outset, the project team aimed at maximising the number of new trees in the area and
planting new trees in the same locations as the old ones subject to ground investigation.
Please note that the designers also had to account for high pedestrian footfalls and the need to maximise the
available footway width at busy points. These included outside Baker Street Station, at bus stops, in and
around crossing points and near to key commercial frontages.
During construction, tree planting was found to be unsuitable in certain locations. Numerous trial holes
were excavated to determine the feasibility of specific sites. Unfortunately, Baker Street has a large amount
of basement vaults underneath the existing footways that would restrict the growth of any new trees. In certain
locations new trees could potentially impact on the structural integrity of the private structures.
Furthermore, there are several utilities situated above basement roofs and in close but safe
proximity to the footway surface. Consequently, these factors reduced the available depth and
the quality of the soil. If new trees had been planted in these locations it would have hindered
their health and longevity.
Who can I speak to regarding trees?
You can email the Streets and Parks team at Westminster City
Council via: firstname.lastname@example.org
Baker Street north of the Marylebone Road is part of the Transport for London road network, it is owned and managed
by TfL and not Westminster City Council or the Portman Estate. Any query for that specific area would be best
directed to TfL.
What is being done to improve air quality in the area?
The Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood Scheme is introducing low level planting in Paddington Street and
Marylebone High Street to help with air quality. For more information please visit the project
or email info@maryleboneLEN.org.
The Baker Street Quarter Partnership offers a range of practical services to help its members which comprise of
160 of the local businesses to reduce emissions and improve air quality. This includes a waste and recycling
service, a low emission supplier’s directory and greening initiatives for the area.
The London Mayor has launched Breathe London. This new tool maps air quality around the capital, providing
real-time updates and forecasts. Further information is available via: https://www.breathelondon.org/
Transport for London has launched its Let London Breathe Campaign. You may have noticed advertising in
newspapers and on billboards. Further information about what this entails is available
On Monday 8th April 2019, the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) came into force within the same area
of central London as the Congestion Charge. From 25 October 2021 the ULEZ boundary will be
extended to create a single larger zone bounded by the North and South Circular Roads.
Further information is available in the following links: