Motorist restrictions and increased planting among proposals for Fleet Street area

The proposals are intended to improve the health of the streets around the Square Mile, including Chancery Lane and Old Bailey Street.
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Timed restrictions for motorists and additional parking spots for cyclists are among the proposals for the area around Fleet Street, as the City of London Corporation (CoL) looks to improve a number of its most iconic public spaces.

Dubbed the Fleet Street Area Healthy Streets Plan, the CoL’s proposals, formed in partnership with the Fleet Street Quarter Business Improvement District (BID), present a range of potential amendments to several well-known inner London neighbourhoods.

The City of London said the approach is intended to “create streets that feel pleasant, safe, and attractive and identify the barriers to movement that restrict the community, particularly the most vulnerable”.

In total, proposals for five neighbourhoods are featured in the plans (Chancery Lane, Fleet Street and Lanes, Old Bailey, Carter Lane and Ludgate, and Whitefriars), as well as four streets (Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill, New Fetter Lane and Fetter Lane, Holborn and Holborn Viaduct, and Queen Victoria Street).

A mock-up of what Ludgate Broadway may look like under the new plans. Credit: City of London Corporation.A mock-up of what Ludgate Broadway may look like under the new plans. Credit: City of London Corporation.
A mock-up of what Ludgate Broadway may look like under the new plans. Credit: City of London Corporation.

Among the documents released as part of a live consultation, the CoL says it intends on liaising with the City of Westminster and Camden Council “on the potential to improve the experience of walking, cycling and spending time on Chancery Lane”.

It continues to detail how this would involve introducing a timed restriction for motor vehicles, improving the cycle contraflow, widening pavements, installing more seating, planting and trees, and formalising kerbside loading arrangements.

Restrictions on motor traffic are also proposed for certain areas around Fetter Lane, Norwich Street and Shoe Lane.

Bream’s Buildings looking west just off Chancery Lane. Credit: City of London Corporation.Bream’s Buildings looking west just off Chancery Lane. Credit: City of London Corporation.
Bream’s Buildings looking west just off Chancery Lane. Credit: City of London Corporation.

This follows a scheme announced by the CoL earlier this year whereby traffic on Chancery Lane is limited to using the street 7am-7pm, Monday to Friday, other than taxis and vehicles accessing properties and loading bays. The scheme was implemented on February 20, and is to run for 18 months.

The majority of the suggestions in the plans revolve around amendments to the public realm, such as new seating, widening of pavements, more planting and removing “street clutter”.

Chairman of the CoL’s streets and walkways sub committee, Graham Packham, said: “These proposals will not only help to improve the City’s accessibility, so that everyone can feel safe and comfortable as they walk around the Square Mile, but also help to deliver on our commitment to reducing air pollution and making the City more attractive.

“I would like to urge anyone who regularly uses these streets to take part in the consultation, as we look to establish the City as not just a global hub of business, but a seven day a week visitor destination.”

Old Bailey Street. Credit: City of London Corporation.Old Bailey Street. Credit: City of London Corporation.
Old Bailey Street. Credit: City of London Corporation.

The chief executive of the Fleet Street Quarter BID, Lady Lucy French, added: “The BID is pleased to be supporting the City of London Corporation in producing a plan to make improvements to the streets and areas around Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill.

“The opinions of our local community are vital in helping us and the City of London to work together in creating a more resilient public realm for the future.

“Your opinions will help to shape the reinvention and repositioning of the Fleet Street Quarter area as an emerging, sustainable, inclusive hub for today and tomorrow.”

Residents, businesses and community organisations can comment on the proposals until June 20.