London's historic Strand to get a major 21st Century revamp
It's one of London's best known streets. In fact it's so famous it had a song written about it.
It's home to historic palaces such as Somerset House, churches like St Mary le Strand and theatres such as the Vaudeville and Adelphi which sit alongside it.
It's flanked by art galleries and international high commissions and these days many cafes and shops.
Yes you've guessed it, it's the'Strand. The song I was talking about was 'Let's all go down the Strand', an old music hall favourite.
But what can be done to bring this historic London street into the 21st Century.
Well, designers are hard at work putting together plans for a big revamp of the area.
It follows a consultation Westminster council held earlier this year to find out what businesses and residents thought of its ideas to update the street.
Out will go the gyratory and in will come two way traffic in Aldwych in the theatre and hotel district.
There will also be a plaza near St Mary Le Strand Church which is currently stranded on a traffic island.
Designers will also draw up better links to tourist hotspots at the South Bank, Covent Garden and the'West End.
The aim is also to improve air quality - a key target for the council.
The council is set to stage more public events to look at the plans next year once these detailed proposals for the area - known by some as the Northbank - are ready.
Richard Beddoe, said he was pleased further work can now get underway.
The cabinet member with responsibility for planning and place shaping, said: 'This historic gateway into the'West End'is home to some of the capital's most famous cultural and academic institutions, as well as a major leisure destination in its own right with landmark theatres, hotels and other attractions and needs to be dramatically improved.
'We are using all the detailed feedback we have received to inform the much more detailed design work that will take place through the summer and autumn, ahead of a further public engagement planned early next year. We look forward to continuing to work with local groups to make sure we can deliver a world-class scheme that benefits Westminster and London for many years to come.'
Ruth Duston, who is the chief executive of The Northbank Business Improvement District, said:
'The proposals will deliver a significant transformation for The Northbank, helping to cement the area's growing reputation as a leisure hub; with better access and connectivity, a more pleasant environment and the creation of a major new public space in the heart of the capital.'
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