About the project

Landscaping Proposals

The Victoria Embankment Gardens provides open space for local residents and visitors, however access to the Gardens is currently unclear and is further weakened by a rise in level near the entrance.

The proposal is to remove the existing steps outside the Victoria Embankment Gardens to open up the highway space to pedestrian activity. Steps will still be required in front of the gate, due to the level change, but these are proposed to be situated adjacent to the Gardens on the highway boundary. For continuity, the new steps to the Gardens frontage are proposed to have a Granite Stone finish.

About the project


WSP and FMC have been appointed by Westminster City Council to create design proposals to improve the public realm and placemaking of Villiers Street; to improve the route for pedestrians by making it more pedestrian friendly - and increase the safety of the street from potentially hostile vehicles.

The proposals seek to provide a street that is both visually inviting and pedestrian friendly, supported by enhanced security and 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.

Villiers Street

Visualisation of proposed scheme - Outside Embankment Station looking towards Victoria Embankment Gardens

Villiers Street

Visualisation of proposed scheme - York Place/Villiers Street/Charing Cross Station entrance looking towards Embankment Station

About the project

Look & Feel

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;
  • Full pedestrianisation on Villiers Street between John Adam street and the Strand.

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.

Plan and Visualisations

What does the project mean for me?


The proposals sought to return Marylebone to how it was originally intended; as a place for people.

Introducing two way traffic flow aimed at reducing the need for traffic to follow unnecessarily long routes around the road system and the volume of traffic having to make circuitous routes on residential streets to access and leave locations across the area.

The project has made it easier for residents to cross the road by introducing new controlled crossings and improving existing crossings. Improvements at Gloucester Place – George Street are now under review as part of our monitoring strategy.

As part of the wider improvements to the area, wider footways have been introduced along Baker Street and at Dorset Square, alongside reduced street clutter and improved street lighting where it is most needed. The scheme has also introduced more trees (further information on trees is available on our FAQ’s page.


Removing the old one way system aimed at creating a safer, more pleasant neighbourhood where people want to spend time. By making it easier for residents and visitors to access local businesses, the project aims to help businesses grow.

The project has also helped prepare the area for additional visitors and commuters that can be expected when Crossrail opens and to accommodate additional numbers of people resulting from the Chiltern Line upgrade into Marylebone station.

Businesses currently based on Baker Street and Gloucester Place can now feel as if they are located in a historic and prestigious location rather than on an urban motorway.


The project has delivered significant improvements to pedestrian amenity in the area including:

  • More than 50 upgraded signalised pedestrian crossing points, with green man and countdowns along 23 signalised junctions.
  • Wider crossings with shorter crossing distances;
  • New crossings in six locations improving pedestrian safety and comfort;
  • Wider footways along Baker Street and at Dorset Square;
  • Enhanced signage;
  • Reduced street clutter and accompanied by improved street lighting helping address pedestrian congestion and the risk of petty crime.

The project has also sought to create better pedestrian links to the major transport hubs at Bond Street, Baker Street and Marylebone stations.


The project has introduced more places to park bicycles and new cycle lanes to connect the area with the London Cycle Grid. This coupled with new advanced stop lines at all signalised junctions.


The previous one way road system had sections where there was little delay followed by sections that became heavily congested. The introduction of two-way traffic aimed at improving journeys through the area.

Bus users

Creating two way traffic flow on Baker Street and Gloucester Place has long been an aspiration of Transport for London in order to improve access to buses and take passengers closer to their destinations. The project aims to make the bus network easier to understand, by locating northbound and southbound services on the same street, where possible. Bus stops could also be combined and relocated to more suitable positions.

Further information

More detailed information regarding what has been delivered can be found on our FAQ’s page:



Westminster City Council

Westminster City Council is the highway authority responsible for Baker Street and Gloucester Place south of Marylebone Road. These roads form part of the Strategic Route Network (SRN). The City Council has led on the Baker Street Two Way project.


Transport for London

Transport for London (TfL) is the local government body responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London, including major roads and bus services. Its role is to implement the Mayor of London’s transport strategy and to manage transport services across the capital. TfL is the highway authority responsible for Baker Street and Gloucester Place north of Marylebone Road and Marylebone Road itself. These roads form part of the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN).


Baker Street Quarter Partnership

Baker Street Quarter Partnership is a not-for-profit organisation that was established by a core group of businesses to bring newfound purpose and focus to the Baker Street and Marylebone area. Representing over 160 organisations it aims to create a thriving and prosperous area for the entire local community. Its three core areas of work focus on creating a high quality public realm, a vibrant area and providing member services. It is already making an impact on traffic reduction through its waste and freight consolidation programmes.


The Portman Estate

The Portman Estate is located between Oxford Street and Edgware Road, and extends north towards the Marylebone Road and east to Manchester Square. The Estate is a mixture of residential, retail and office space and it aims to deliver a sense of community amongst its occupiers. Over recent years, The Portman Estate has restored many Georgian buildings to today’s high standards, and has created contemporary homes and offices that reflect their historical context.

It has also improved many areas, such as Portman Square and New Quebec Street, through co-investment with the Council.


Latest News

Latest News


The Villiers Street Consultation has now ended. You can subscribe for email-updates by emailing us.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Vision of the scheme?

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.

What are the objectives & benefits of the scheme?

The objectives and benefits of the scheme is to enhance the public realm, mitigate the impact of hostile vehicles and improve the walking environment to re-establish the area as the heart of London.

What changes are proposed?

  • Remove uneven surfaces, and introduce high-quality footway paving in natural materials, and carriageway surfacing for Villiers Street, extending in side streets where required.
  • Improved planting and upgraded lighting will enhance the look and feel of Villiers Street, to achieve an overall upgrade to the Public Realm.
  • Declutter the footways by removing certain street features, to create wider and less cluttered footways, which will enhance the pedestrian experience.
  • Enhance public safety by introducing Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) measures around the perimeter of the scheme.
  • Timed road closures reducing vehicular access to the area
  • Restrict access to Villiers Street for loading vehicles during peak pedestrian utilisation periods, through the removal of marked bays and introduction of dedicated times for access for such activities.

When is this going to happen?

If the scheme goes ahead, following the completion and sign-off of the Cabinet Member Report, construction would begin during 2021. Final dates would be subject to TMO consultation and Cabinet Member approval.

Who will decide if the scheme goes ahead?

Westminster City Council.

What is HVM?

HVM stands for Hostile Vehicle Mitigation.

When will Villiers Street be open for deliveries and servicing?

All deliveries and servicing are proposed to be undertaken when Villiers Street is open. This is subject to the outcome of this consultation, and Traffic Management Order (TMO) consultation.

Villiers Street is currently proposed to be open to traffic Mon - Fri Midnight-7.30am and 10:00am-Midday

Sat - Sun Villiers Street is currently proposed to be open to traffic Midnight-10:00am

What happens to my deliveries during the street closures?

All deliveries and servicing are proposed to be undertaken when Villiers Street is open. The timing of closure is subject to the outcome of this consultation, and Traffic Management Order (TMO) consultation. All planned deliveries should be done with this in mind, such as online shopping etc. Deliveries that are completed by cyclists e.g. food or document deliveries, will be unaffected by the closure.

Any other deliveries occurring outside of the street’s opening hours will be required to take place away from Villiers Street and completed on foot. John Adam Street will have some loading capacity under the proposed arrangements, but all efforts should be made to try and keep deliveries to the street opening hours.

When will Villiers Street be pedestrianised?

Villiers Street is currently proposed to be closed to traffic Mon - Fri 7:30 - 10:00am & Midday – Midnight.

Sat - Sun Villiers Street is currently proposed to be closed to traffic 10:00am - Midnight.

Which roads will be affected by the proposals?

Villiers Street, John Adam Street and Embankment Place.

Will buses be affected?


Will taxis be affected?

There is an opportunity to reallocate the existing taxi bays and stands into loading bays. The existing recessed taxi amenity on Embankment Place has been proposed to be reduced by 1 space on each side (a total of 2) to allow for turning movements when access to Villiers Street is closed. There is an opportunity to reallocate some of the existing taxi bays elsewhere in the local area so any effect is kept to a minimum.

How would the scheme impact on emergency vehicle access?

Emergency vehicles would be able to make use of the pedestrianised areas, and will be able to remove the bollards using a Garda Key.

How would the scheme impact on parking?

The existing parking on John Adam Street is proposed to be relocated to the east of Buckingham Street, an existing section of single yellow line restriction on Craven Street is proposed to be changed to a double yellow line.

The existing cycle stands by Embankment Station entrance are obscured by the kiosk and offer poor passive surveillance of parked bicycles. As such, these are proposed to be removed and relocated nearby. There is expected to be a net increase in cycle parking in the proposed scheme (although locations have yet to be determined).

Are cyclists permitted through Villiers Street during the pedestrianised times?

Yes, cyclists are permitted at all times.

Where should we tell our delivery and servicing companies to park when the road is closed?

There will be some limited provision for loading on John Adam Street. We encourage all businesses to consolidate their deliveries during the times when the road is open.

My business receives customer parcels from Royal Mail, will these be affected?


How will the landscaping be affected?

The proposal is to remove the existing steps outside the Victoria Embankment Gardens to open up the highway space to pedestrian activity. New proposed Steps in front of the gates will have a Granite Stone finish. Planting and seating provision will feature around the frontage of the Garden entrance.

Who is managing / running this scheme?

This scheme is being managed by Westminster City Council. The contractors carrying out the design are FM Conway and WSP.

How do I have my say?

The consultation period has now ended.

How often will I receive communications if I subscribe?

If you subscribe to our email updates, we will keep you informed when there are any documents for you to view and comment on. If the scheme progresses to construction, we will keep you notified (usually fortnightly) about the works. You can unsubscribe at any time. Please note, if you wish to re-subscribe, you will need to use a different contact email address to the original one used. Our email address is VilliersStreet@wsp.com



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What happens Next

Roads & Deliveries

In addition to the Public Realm benefits described on the ‘Welcome’ scheme board, the Villiers Street project is being developed to enhance protective security and address public safety concerns.

A Threat and Vulnerability Risk Assessment has been completed and based on the findings of this assessment, it is proposed to create a safe pedestrianised area within protective security measures around the perimeter of the scheme. A sliding bollard system is proposed as part of the enhanced security provision at Embankment Place and John Adam Street.