The Arc is an ambitious public realm project led by the Victoria and Victoria Westminster Business Improvement Districts.
How did the Arc project come about?
Our public realm strategy, People Wanted, published in 2020, set out a series of project concept ideas for the Victoria area. One of the concept ideas was called the Arc.
Why does this project not address or include Victoria Street?
Victoria Street is of a different scale and character to the streets that form the Arc study area and warrants a bespoke approach. It’s for this reason also that Victoria Street is proposed as a separate project in our 2020 public realm strategy, People Wanted.
Why does this project not include Victoria Station and its immediate surroundings?
The Arc study does seek to improve connections to and from Victoria Station. However, improving Victoria Station and the spaces surrounding it falls within the Future Victoria project.
Who is this project for?
The vision sets out that the Arc project is about creating better spaces for people of all ages and abilities.
What are the impacts / How does this impact private vehicular access?
A key objective for the project is to ensure that vehicle access is retained for the properties in the area. This is important for servicing and deliveries, resident access, and also to ensure the streets are inclusive so that those with mobility impairments can access the area.
The study area has been analysed to determine all the sections of the streets that require direct vehicle access. A variety of options have been developed that all retain vehicle access, some of them would alter the access routes for certain properties. These options are set out in the latest digital survey. Click here to go straight to the latest digital survey
What are the impacts/ How does this impact parking and loading?
Initial discussions have been held with WCC to understand the constraints, issues and opportunities for reconfiguring parking and loading in the area.
The proposals involve a review of parking provision in the study area and opportunities have been identified for relocating bays where possible rather than removing them. The exact impacts will be calculated during the next design stages and are expected to be mostly minor and localised.
A greater degree of intervention is proposed for Castle Lane. The existing 19 resident parking bays are currently suspended as a result of the development at the western end of the street and associated road closure. The parking bays would not be available to residents until these works are complete. The ambition for the project is to review the impact of this and determine if it could be made permanent. There is the potential to re-provide as many as possible in the surrounding area. There are long-standing issues regarding the parking on this street owing to the narrow carriageway and removing the parking would enable significant benefits for walking and cycling.
What are the impacts / How does this impact for refuse collection and waste management?
As with access for other vehicles, all streets would remain accessible for refuse collection vehicles and waste management activities but the exact routes and means of access may change depending on the proposed option. Any change to the highway would be designed to accommodate the manoeuvres of all refuse and waste management vehicles.
What are the impacts/ How does this impact for events in Westminster and Victoria?
The project does not seek to impede events, either unforeseen or that are expected to take place in Westminster.
What are the impacts/ How does this impact on lighting and light pollution?
Lighting levels would be harmonised along the route with emphasis on the uniformity of light to create an even distribution. Spill light into neighbouring properties would be minimised along with any upward, wasted light into the sky that causes disruption to the local ecology and the circadian rhythms of local residents. Colour temperature, and the amount of light used, will be considered to further minimise the impact of lighting on those key areas, whilst bringing down energy consumption. Attention will also be paid to the existing lighting on the vertical plane, with the aim to improve the lit effect and minimise spill light in all directions, whilst reducing the energy consumption in the process.
What are the impacts / How does this impact safety and anti-social behaviour issues?
There are multiple aspects of safety that are being analysed and considered as part of the project. Safety, crime and anti-social behaviour are not significant issues in the study area relative to other neighbouring areas. However, care is being taken to ensure no issues arise as a result of the proposals, particularly relating to new areas of public space. Measures are also being proposed to improve perceptions of safety (e.g., improved lighting, removed hiding places) to help the area become more welcoming and inclusive.
The historic road safety data has been analysed in detail along with a review of potentially hazardous locations and the proposals have been developed to address issues that have been identified. This includes improved crossings for pedestrians and provision for cyclists.
The team has also analysed the crime data to determine where certain crime types are more prevalent to help shape the proposals. Metropolitan Police Designing Out Crime Officers have also walked the site with members of the design team.
Who are the Victoria BID and Victoria Westminster BID?
The Victoria BID and Victoria Westminster BID are two Business Improvement Districts that represents the voice of business in the local area. We work with our partners to develop Victoria as a better place to work, live in and visit. The Victoria BID was established in April 2010 and the Victoria Westminster BID in 2018.
What is a BID levy and who pays it?
Businesses within the BID footprint with a rateable value at and above £150,000 pay what is called a BID levy. This levy is used for specific work programmes, projects and services identified and prioritised by BID members.
How are the two BIDs governed?
The BIDs are governed by a voluntary board of business levy payers and represent different sectors in the area. Observers also attend to represent public sector service providers (such as Westminster City Council and Transport for London).
Are you part of Westminster City Council?
No, we are independent of Westminster City Council. We do liaise closely with WCC however. For example, Victoria BID initiated the re-design of Christchurch Gardens which was subsequently adopted by WCC and built by their contractor.