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Regent Street Enhanced Temporary Scheme

Description of Works

FM Conway has a delivered a high-quality public realm enhancement project on Regent Street to deliver significant improvements for safety, accessibility and air quality in the heart of Westminster.

Full scope of works:

  • Wider pavements – creating approximately 5,000 square meters of additional space for pedestrians, to improve visitors’ experience, support social distancing and improve accessibility.
  • Reduced traffic – with road space cut to a single vehicle lane in each direction
  • Improved provision for cyclists – including the introduction of cycle lanes and new cycle parking hubs and stands
  • Enhancing bus stops – with accessible boarding and space for waiting
  • Sustainable tree planting and greenery - helping to boost biodiversity, improve air quality, and further enhance Regent’s Street’s iconic John Nash design.
  • New seating - creating places for people to pause and rest
Services used on this project Major Projects Surfacing Consultancy
Delivering Innovation

The project was delivered in two different phases and was unique for Westminster during the COVID-19 lockdown. The scheme, managed by FM Conway’s Consultancy division, involved over ten separate organisations and designers including Westminster City Council (WCC), The Crown Estate, FM Conway, Norman Rourke Pryme, BDP, Atkins, Creactive, Millimeter, Dawson Flowers.

As part of the WCC Movement Strategy Measures through the borough, the existing footways in Regent Street were widened to create additional pedestrian space by reallocating one lane of carriageway in each direction, North and South, using pedestrian barriers, whilst maintaining access to bus stops and some sections for servicing.

However, The Crown Estate also wanted to improve the look and feel of this prestige shopping location, therefore an enhanced temporary scheme was required. This was done by removing the utilitarian barriers and installing temporary widened mastic footways with coloured buff surface dressing, plus trees and 320 bespoke planters were installed to brighten the area. Following this hostile vehicle deterrents were also installed to provide extra security for pedestrians.

The project developed the previous work undertaken on kerb buildouts used during the London Olympics in 2012 in order to provide the improved aesthetics. New temporary drainage using chute gullies were then developed along the new kerb lines to mitigate the impact of the scheme on the existing highway.

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Challenges and Solutions

The main project challenges were ensuring communication and management between each of the numerous parties. Therefore, weekly progress meetings were set up to ensure key members of the team were kept informed of issues.

The challenges were overcome by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities between the various parties and there was also an overall focus on delivering as one team with the freedom to call, discuss and collaborate at short notice to develop solutions to any challenges that arose. Having the trust between each of the parties ensured that ideas and individual objectives of each party could be fully understood and openly discussed and streamlined the way decisions could be made.

Due the nature of the temporary nature of the scheme some community stakeholder engagement was required, albeit not a formal consultation as would be used for a permanent scheme. The temporary footway alignment benefited from the COVID-19 response barrier measures that were already in place along the same proposed alignment as this gave the designers and stakeholders confidence in the tried and tested alignments. The scheme itself is designed to be removed and amended with minimal impact on the existing footway or carriageway which by its nature will allow for amendments in response to any future concerns that may arise.

The FM Conway site team were able to offer a flexible approach to the location they were working in which enabled the team to easily switch to an alternative section of a scheme when issues such as emergency utility works conflicted with the scheme. This enabled the team to remain on programme working towards the overall deadlines.

A further challenge was the HVM requirements for the created public spaces, which were needed to be clearly defined form the onset. The process between the need to protect the pedestrians whilst widening the footways and providing greater social distancing space was an iterative process, especially due to the requirement for the scheme to be implemented as quickly as possible. This scheme design and overall collaboration also took place during periods of remote working across all organisations.

Due to the pace of the scheme there was a reliance on historical data which had the potential to differ from actual site conditions. This was overcome by a live time design and delivery collaborative approach with information flowing in both directions to enable updates and amendments to be made with no delays to the overall project.

Working amid a global pandemic, health and safety on the scheme was also paramount and was monitored throughout the project with focus on COVID-19. Both in office and site staff stayed up to date on all the latest advice from the FMC SHEQ team. Health and safety was also the first item on the weekly Progress Meeting to help keep it at the forefront of people’s minds.



This project is an example of FM Conway’s teams working in partnership to fast track a scheme of high magnitude, from concept to start of implementation in six weeks, to deliver a low-cost enhancement of the local environment.

Thanks to the FM Conway self-delivery model providing material production, design and delivery, the scheme could be implemented with a streamlined and fast paced approach. This combined with the scheme being delivered via the WCC Term Contract and utilising our pre-existing working relationship, ensured we achieved both a time and cost saving for the client and a successful, high-quality project delivery.