During April, Westminster and the Grosvenor Estate consulted the public about remodelling
the north end of Berkeley Square.
Berkeley Square is not currently an attractive place to cycle, with several lanes of fast-moving traffic weaving across each other.
The proposals included:
Widening and repaving the footways of Berkeley Square, Mount Street and Davies Street in
high quality stone paving and narrowing the carriageway to two lanes plus parking and loading bays.
Removing the traffic signals at the junction of Berkeley Square, Mount Street and Davies
Street and replacing them with an uncontrolled mini roundabout.
Installation of granite setts to the carriageway at the junction of Mount Street, Berkeley
Square and Davies Street, including granite setts in a contrasting colour mix at the pedestrian
Raising to footway level and installation of granite setts in the carriageway at the junction of
Berkeley Square and Bruton Place;
Introduction of informal pedestrian crossings aligned with pedestrian desire lines and destinations;
In our response to the consultation, we agreed with Grosvenor that Berkeley Square is currently
‘an inhospitable pedestrian and cycling environment’;
but we felt that the proposals introduced expensive materials while shying away from addressing some important issues.
We were unable to support the proposals for the following reasons:
While the square remained one-way, some vehicles (including cycles) would have to make longer journeys than would otherwise be necessary. As a result, there would be more vehicles going around the square than would be the case with a two-way scheme.
Cyclists continuing around the square at the junctions are forced to weave into the right-hand lane. This is not safe and will not attract new people to cycling, especially women, families and older people.
The proposed pedestrian crossings fail to give pedestrians priority over vehicular traffic. The uncontrolled crossings of two-way streets could be particularly difficult for pedestrians to use.
The granite setts at the approaches to pedestrian crossings could cause discomfort and distraction to cyclists including disabled people who use cycles as a mobility aid.
The plans showed only a negligible increase in cycle parking and no Santander Cycle Hire docking station.
We would have supported a scheme which:
Reduced the Berkeley Square gyratory to one lane or enabled two-way cycling
Provided safe zebra or signal-controlled crossings for pedestrians
Provided a Santander Cycles Hire docking station and increased cycle parking
If the scheme is approved, work is due to begin in autumn 2017.