10m traffic scheme plan for London

A London authority wants to improve transport around one of Britain's most famous landmarks through a £10 million traffic scheme.

The proposal by Westminster Council involves the return of two-way traffic around Piccadilly Circus in central London.

It is part of a £40 million programme involving seven schemes aimed at improving the Capital`s West End.

The council, which has stumped up £20 million towards the project and hopes that London mayor Boris Johnson will produce the other £20 million, says the one-way system was originally introduced in the 1960s to improve flow but is now holding up traffic and causing "rat running" through nearby streets.

Westminster Council also wants to bring in new footpaths and lighting, replace old railings and introduce new signage at the site once dubbed "the heart of the British empire".

Westminster councillor Colin Barrow said: "These Magnificent Seven projects will help transform the centre of our capital ahead of (the London Olympics in) 2012 when the eyes of the world will be upon us and visitors will rightly expect to be equally impressed with London's streets, hotels, restaurants, shops and transport as they are with the world's top sporting talent."

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