Huge support for Westminster’s street changes

1,500 responses to our survey found widespread support to keep measures like timed road closures and cycle lanes - but with improvements.

Last year we asked for your feedback on the temporary traffic measures that have been installed throughout Westminster in support of the Covid-19 pandemic. The temporary measures are a series of interventions that the council undertook to facilitate social distancing, improve walking and cycling conditions, and enable outdoor dining. These included pavement widening, cycle lanes and timed closures for al fresco dining.

We had over 1,500 responses from a wide variety of sources: our request was publicised via social media and throughout Westminster, including in publications of The Belgravia Society and SEBRA magazine. Here are some of the comments we received:

These dining 'parklets' should be made permanent. I'm sure cafes would pay for their own street furniture if long-term allocated the 'parking spaces' of their frontage.
This has been a hugely positive improvement to the area. It makes circulating around the neighbourhood a much more appealing prospect, whether it is by walking or cycling.
A *huge* improvement, which makes cycling this road feel *so* much safer. Please, please, please retain!

We've now done analysis of the results which are published below. The map with all the individual responses is also available at the end of this page.

Overall voting trend

The first graph below is the total number of votes received for all schemes, in terms of whether interventions should be kept, improved or removed.

Most voted

Which measures received the most votes? Unsurprisingly it seems that those measures that were most in the public eye received the most votes. The chart below shows the 10 top most-voted measures and their responses. Park Lane received the most votes, which the majority to retain it, whilst the Praed Street pavement widening was also heavily voted on, although the vast majority wanted to see it improved rather than retained as it was.

In terms of percentage of the votes cast, which schemes were most popular and which were the least popular? Also, which ones were popular but only on conditions of improvements being made?

The most popular schemes were primarily those that involved road closures for al-fresco dining. These schemes have on the whole been popular, with people enjoying the opportunity for some outdoor dining, something which was limited in Westminster before these measures were implemented.

The most popular schemes in terms of percentage of votes cast

Those schemes for which voters wanted to see the most improvements were primarily on roads with either high vehicle amounts or high footfall. It seems that voters wanted to see fairer allocation of available carriageway space, rather than the majority of it being allocated to motorised traffic.

The schemes that most voters wanted to see improved

Finally this graph shows the least popular schemes, those interventions that it was felt were not particularly useful in terms of active travel and social distancing. The Edgware Road pavement widening was the least popular, although it's worth noting that a majority would still have liked it retained and improved.

What happens next?

The council is reviewing all the temporary measures, with the view to some becoming permanent, but only if they have majority support from residents. This sounds good on paper, but it is very difficult to reliably measure, and it's possible that a silent majority could be in support but that a vocal minority respond negatively. Westminster Cycle Campaign is asking residents to tell the council to keep and improve the temporary cycle measures.

Individual results and comments

Finally we include a copy of the original map below, along with all the comments and votes received for each measure. Click on an intervention to see full details. The postcode of the person responding and their specific comments are included.