£27m plan to transform St Martin’s Lane and Charing Cross Road

We have successfully secured support from London First and the West End Streets Group (WESt) for proposals to transform the St Martin’s Lane and Charing Cross Road area into a safer, less polluted and more enjoyable environment for people who live, work and visit the area. This project forms part of our key priorities to secure investment for St Martin’s, following a successful ballot this month.

The £27m project, which includes Charing Cross Road, St Martin’s Lane, Panton Street, Orange Street and Whitcomb Street, proposes new traffic-free spaces, widened footways, safer cycling routes and safer junctions across this world-renowned part of London’s West End. The proposals for Charing Cross Road also include a diagonal crossing at Leicester Square station and additional tree-planting, which will revitalise the world-famous historic home of independent bookshops and leading theatres.

St Martin’s Lane would be reimagined as a treelined pedestrian public space, while the areas nestled between the National Gallery and Leicester Square would become a distinctive cluster of greener streets for people to enjoy, complemented by the creative offer of the Harold Pinter Theatre, National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Watercolour Society, the Japan Centre, as well as new galleries and a resident artist studio.

The WESt group will now work with Heart of London Business Alliance to promote the delivery and funding of the project.

These proposals form part of our transformational Placeshaping Strategy, which provides a unified plan for the public realm and guidance for further improvements to streets and spaces, so that we can continue to shape a world-class West End.

“With 200 million tourists visiting the West End every year, Charing Cross Road is a critical thoroughfare between Leicester Square and Covent Garden and with the impending arrival of the Elizabeth Line, it needs to serve the predicted 76% uplift in passenger arrivals at Tottenham Court Road.

The transformation of Charing Cross Road is essential for the success of the West End and the proposals will ensure the area remains a key commercial centre in the face of increased London-wide and global competition.” Ros Morgan, Chief Executive.