London Boulevard: Plans to link east and West End with city's first 'healthy street'

Plans have been unveiled to link the East End and West End with London’s first “healthy street”.

London Cycling Campaign is calling for a radical transformation of the so-called “London Boulevard” route from Old Street to Oxford Street via Clerkenwell Road and Theobalds Road.

It wants to turn central London’s “third busiest” cycle route into a safer and less polluted two-mile stretch, with a “cafe society” alfresco atmosphere.

Some 7,000 cyclists use the east-west route each day despite high levels of traffic and high collision rates.

The LCC believes its vision fits Mayor Sadiq Khan’s “healthy streets” policy, which seeks to improve air quality, reduce congestion and make public spaces more attractive.

It would also link with proposals for Old Street roundabout, which would convert one of London’s busiest gyratories into a two-way layout, enabling the centre of the roundabout to be transformed and boosting the area’s status as “Tech City”. Simon Munk, LCC’s infrastructure campaigner, said the aim was to provide support for schemes from Transport for London and Camden and Islington councils.He said: “Tottenham Court Road station is being transformed by Crossrail and there is the Mayor’s pedestrianisation of Oxford Street to come. This route is one of the busiest roads in London but it’s incredibly polluted and insanely noisy. The knock-on effect of pedestrianising Oxford Street is going to be huge. There is a huge opportunity to look again at the streets east of Oxford Street.”

The Mayor has yet to decide if cyclists will be allowed to use the pedestrianised Oxford Street. If cyclists are banned, LCC wants a parallel route. At Old Street, TfL proposals first consulted on two years ago — to create a “peninsula” in the centre of the junction by closing the roundabout’s north-east side — are understood to be moving forward.

Ben Plowden, TfL’s director of surface strategy and planning, said he welcomed ideas that improved conditions for cyclists and pedestrians.

A mayoral spokesman said extended cycle routes were an important part of their “healthy streets” vision.

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