Page last updated at 02:42 GMT, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Piccadilly Circus gets 14m pedestrian-friendly revamp

Artists' impression of Piccadilly Circus after revamp
The area around Piccadilly Circus will see railings disappear

Piccadilly Circus will be made pedestrian-friendly as part of a £14m revamp, which will rid the busy central London junction of guard railings.

Westminster Council approved the plan that will see the area go back to what it looked like in 1963, as more than one kilometre of railings are uprooted.

A central island will be built along Piccadilly and Pall Mall and two-way traffic will be reintroduced.

Work will begin in November and is expected to end by December 2011.

As part of the revamp the pelican crossing in Pall Mall by St James's Square will be replaced with a zebra crossing and reintroduction of two-way streets from Piccadilly Circus along Piccadilly, St James's Street and Pall Mall is expected to reduce congestion in the area.

Preparing for Olympics

The revamp will also open up the roads leading to St James's Park, Horse Guards Parade and Pall Mall.

These areas will be in focus during the Olympics as beach volleyball, marathon, triathlon and road cycling events are held in the vicinity.

Atkins, the firm that designed the diagonal crossing in Oxford Circus, will work on this project.

The council expects Transport for London to bear half of the cost, with the rest being paid for by Westminster Council, the Crown Estate and Fortnum and Mason.

The leader of Westminster Council Colin Barrow said: "In 2012 our capital will capture the world's attention and our plans to transform Piccadilly Circus and the surrounding area will ensure visitors are as impressed by the city's streets and all they have to offer, as they are with the sporting talent many will have travelled so far to see."

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