Twitter Instagram

Public Realm, Strategic Vision Planning Project

The Northbank is one of the most culturally significant places in London; from Aldwych to the Strand and Trafalgar Square, it is a key priority for the BID to enhance the area to complement the surrounding cultural destinations and world-famous hoteliers and hospitality.

Strand Aldwych

The ambition of the Strand Aldwych project is to transform this location from a polluted, traffic dominated gyratory to a pedestrian-focused destination with strong links to the surrounding districts. The new public realm will balance the needs of the every day for the local community with a world-class scheme.
The vision is for the area to become a global creative and cultural quarter which will be an international beacon for creativity, enterprise and learning.

The concept designs for Strand Aldwych went to public consultation in January 2019. The Council, working with local organisations, developed proposals to address existing challenges and create a world-class destination; backed by £28m of council investment to deliver this exciting vision.

The project objectives are:

  • Encourage exemplary collaboration within and between a cluster of world-class cultural and educational institutions, SMEs and students enabling high-end research, innovation and a public showcase
  • Nurture and promote skills, entrepreneurship and economic growth in the knowledge and creative sectors
  • Reduce congestion, improve air quality and journey times, with associated positive impacts on health and associated economic benefits
  • Create an inspirational, safe and secure destination that offers a meeting place for workers students, visitors and residents.

Find out more on the Strand Aldwych website here and for a full list of dates, worse is set to commence see here.

Artist Commission

The Northbank BID run and funded the selection of 4 artists. Arts were asked to develop a place-specifc concept around one of the three main themes:

  • Theme 1: Materiality and structures
  • Theme 2: Sound, light and technology
  • Theme 3: Play, engagement and interaction

The artists developed their proposals alongside the project team through RIBA stage 3 integrating their concepts within the emerging landscape design.

  • Emma Smith is developing a cross-site piece that marks past and present human activity and stories at Strand-Aldwych
  • Nick Ryan is exploring the creation of a sound piece inspired by the birth of radio at the Strand.
  • Something and Son have proposed a new destination in London for listening, learning, and exchanging knowledge.
  • Matthew Rosier’s proposal looks to celebrate the people of Strand Aldwych through light and projection.

Nearly completed work

Updates over the Last Fortnight

Strand/Waterloo Bridge (Junction 1):

  • Works started outside the main entrance of the ME Melia Hotel on Monday 21st February 2022. 

Aldwych – outside the Aldwych Café and Aldwych Theatre:

  • The work carried out outside the Aldwych Café and Aldwych Theatre at the junction with Drury Lane has been substantially complete and all the fencing has been removed.

Aldwych – outside the Post Office and the junction with Melbourne Place:

  • Work outside No.265 Aldwych and the Clements Inn are substantially complete. The tree pit resin is now complete but we are awaiting BT to come and relocate the phone kiosks.

Melbourne Place:

  • From the 11th February, all traffic in Melbourne Place was asked to turn left into Aldwych as we removed the temporary traffic signals that had controlled the junction since August. The right turn movement will be allowed again once TfL switches on the traffic lights in the latest phases of the project programme.
  • Works started on the western footway of Melbourne Place, between Aldwych and King’s College London vehicle entrance.

St Clement Danes Church:

  • On the southern side of St Clement Danes Church, the area has been levelled and small areas of block paving was laid. 
  • Outside No.180 Strand (Vinyl Studios), the bespoke metal tree pits have been installed and the fencing has been reduced.

Strand Security Eastern Gate:

  • Excavations continue for the new security measures across Strand and the foundation laying is ongoing.

‘Strand Meanwhile’ pedestrianised area: Fencing has been placed here and excavations for the new planters continue outside King’s College London (between the disused “Strand” tube station entrance towards the King’s College London vehicle entrance and Somerset House). The new kerb line installation continues.

Traffic Switch

During the Works closure from 1900 Thursday 19th August through to the afternoon of Sunday 22nd August, the Strand and Aldwych will become a sterile works area from which traffic will be excluded.

However, the impact of the works extends to a wider traffic exclusion area and will affect the following roads: 

  • The Aldwych will be totally closed to through traffic from the Strand around to Arundel Street
  • The Strand will be closed to through traffic between Lancaster Place and Fleet Street / Chancery Lane
  • Surrey Street will be closed to through traffic Arundel Street will be closed to through traffic from Temple Place – access facilitated to Tweezers Alley and Milford Lane 
  • Southampton Row, southbound, will be closed from Theobald’s Road Kingsway, southbound, will be closed to through traffic from High Holborn – access permitted for Remnant Street / Great Queen Street, Sardinia Street / Portugal Street
  • Fleet Street will be closed to through traffic west of Fetter Lane – access permitted to Chancery Lane closure point
  • Fleet Street will be closed to traffic at Chancery Lane – access permitted for Essex Street, Clement’s Lane and the Royal Courts of Justice

Bus Timetables

Transport for London has redirected the bus routes that previously went through the Strand. Please see the updated bus timetables below.

Day Timetable

Night Timetable

How work is progressing

Villiers Street

Villiers Street, bounded to the east by the River Thames, is home to a concentration of prevalent visitor attractions and historic landmarks. Its location between two prominent transport hubs – the Embankment tube station and Charing Cross station, and the main entrance to the historic Victoria Embankment Gardens (Grade II* Park and Gardens) makes it a busy through-route, which is lined with retail and office buildings, restaurants and bars


Provide a street that is both visually inviting and pedestrian-friendly, supported by enhanced security and the temporary timed closures to improve the look and feel of what is already a heavily used pedestrian space that will only benefit from the investment in the public realm and help to improve the way it is used.

Look and feel

The scheme extends from the Embankment Station side of the railway bridge on Embankment Place, through Villiers Street, and ends at the Strand. The preferred option that has been developed incorporates a timed pedestrian and cycle zone along the length of Villiers Street between
Embankment Place and John Adam Street, and full pedestrianisation on Villiers Street between John Adam street and the Strand.

The footway and carriageway within Villiers Street (between Embankment Place and John Adam Street) are proposed to be laid with granite setts.
The carriageway will be laid with an increased construction depth to allow for vehicle weight/ vehicle loading, as per Westminster Standards.
Embankment Station forecourt and the section of Villiers Street between John Adam Street and the Strand, will be paved with standard WCC specification ‘Scoutmoor’ yorkstone paving, to highlight the
dedicated pedestrian areas within the scheme.

No formal traffic lanes are proposed, and no formal loading bays are proposed on Villiers Street.
Traffic Management Order consultation (TMO consultation) will be completed in future stages. Equally, there will be no kerbs or road markings
within the pedestrianised zone, aside from the area outside Victoria Embankment Gardens, which is currently proposed to be bounded by a flush kerb.

A significant feature of the proposal is the removal of the existing steps outside the Victoria Embankment Gardens to unlock some additional space for pedestrian activity. This lowers the surface level near the road and places new relocated steps at the entrance to the gardens itself. Lowering the levels in this area is subject to further investigation regarding existing tree roots from within the gardens and the impact on the existing wall structure