Central London (also known less commonly as London city centre) is the innermost part of London, in the United Kingdom, spanning several boroughs. Over time, a number of definitions have been used to define the scope of central London for statistics, urban planning and local government. Its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally, nationally and internationally significant organisations and facilities.
Road distances to London are traditionally measured from a central point at Charing Cross (in the City of Westminster), which is marked by the statue of King Charles I at the junction of the Strand, Whitehall and Cockspur Street, just south of Trafalgar Square.
In many other respects the central area differs from areas farther out in London. The rateable value of the central area is exceptionally high. Its day population is very much larger than its night population. Its traffic problems reach an intensity not encountered anywhere else in the Metropolis or in any provincial city, and the enormous office developments which have taken place recently constitute a totally new phenomenon.
The London Plan defines the "Central Activities Zone" policy area, which comprises the City of London, most of Westminster and the inner parts of Camden, Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Lambeth, Kensington & Chelsea and Wandsworth. It is described as "a unique cluster of vitally important activities including central government offices, headquarters and embassies, the largest concentration of London's financial and business services sector and the offices of trade, professional bodies, institutions, associations, communications, publishing, advertising and the media".
For strategic planning, since 2011 there has been a Central London sub-region comprising the boroughs of Camden, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Southwark, Westminster and the City of London. From 2004 to 2008, the London Plan included a sub-region called Central London comprising Camden, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Southwark, Wandsworth and Westminster. It had a 2001 population of 1,525,000. The sub-region was replaced in 2008 with a new structure which amalgamated inner and outer boroughs together. This was altered in 2011 when a new Central London sub-region was created, now including the City of London and excluding Wandsworth. However, districts at the outer edge of this subregion such as Streatham and Dulwich are not generally considered as Central London.
The 1901 census defined Central London as the City of London and the metropolitan boroughs of Bermondsey, Bethnal Green, Finsbury, Holborn, Shoreditch, Southwark, Stepney, St Marylebone and Westminster.
During the Herbert Commission and the subsequent passage of the London Government Bill, three unsuccessful attempts were made to define an area that would form a central London borough. The first two were detailed in the 1959 Memorandum of Evidence of the Greater London Group of the London School of Economics.
"Scheme A" envisaged a central London borough, one of 25, consisting of the City of London, Westminster, Holborn, Finsbury and the inner parts of St Marylebone, St Pancras, Chelsea, Southwark and Lambeth. The boundary deviated from existing lines to include all central London railway stations, the Tower of London and the museums, such that it included small parts of Kensington, Shoreditch, Stepney and Bermondsey. It had an estimated population of 350,000 and occupied 7,000 acres (28 km2).
"Scheme B" delineated central London, as one of 7 boroughs, including most of the City of London, the whole of Finsbury and Holborn, most of Westminster and Southwark, parts of St Pancras, St Marylebone, Paddington and a small part of Kensington. The area had an estimated population of 400,000 and occupied 8,000 acres (32 km2).
During the passage of the London Government Bill an amendment was put forward to create a central borough corresponding to the definition used at the 1961 census. It consisted of the City of London, all of Westminster, Holborn and Finsbury; and the inner parts of Shoreditch, Stepney, Bermondsey, Southwark, Lambeth, Chelsea, Kensington, Paddington, St Marylebone and St Pancras. The population was estimated to be 270,000.
Bank and Monument are interlinked London Underground and Docklands Light Railway stations that form a public transport complex spanning the length of King William Street in the City of London. Bank station, named after the Bank of England, opened in 1900 at Bank junction and is served by the Central, Northern and Waterloo & City lines, and the Docklands Light Railway. Monument station, named after the Monument to the Great Fire of London, opened in 1884 and is served by the District and Circle lines. The stations have been linked as an interchange since 1933. The station complex is one of the busiest on the London Underground network and is in fare zone 1.Bond Street tube station
Bond Street is a London Underground and future Elizabeth line station in Mayfair, in the West End of London. It is located on Oxford Street, near the junction with New Bond Street.
The station is on the Central line, between Marble Arch and Oxford Circus, and on the Jubilee line, between Baker Street and Green Park. It is in Travelcard Zone 1. Bond Street will also be a station on the future Elizabeth line, between Paddington and Tottenham Court Road.Central London Railway
The Central London Railway (CLR), also known as the Twopenny Tube, was a deep-level, underground "tube" railway that opened in London in 1900. The CLR's tunnels and stations form the central section of the London Underground's Central line.
The railway company was established in 1889, funding for construction was obtained in 1895 through a syndicate of financiers and work took place from 1896 to 1900. When opened, the CLR served 13 stations and ran completely underground in a pair of tunnels for 9.14 kilometres (5.68 mi) between its western terminus at Shepherd's Bush and its eastern terminus at the Bank of England, with a depot and power station to the north of the western terminus. After a rejected proposal to turn the line into a loop, it was extended at the western end to Wood Lane in 1908 and at the eastern end to Liverpool Street station in 1912. In 1920, it was extended along a Great Western Railway line to Ealing to serve a total distance of 17.57 kilometres (10.92 mi).After initially making good returns for investors, the CLR suffered a decline in passenger numbers due to increased competition from other underground railway lines and new motorised buses. In 1913, it was taken over by the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL), operator of the majority of London's underground railways. In 1933 the CLR was taken into public ownership along with the UERL.Central line (London Underground)
The Central line is a London Underground line that runs through central London, from Epping, Essex, in the north-east to Ealing Broadway and West Ruislip in the west. Coloured red on the Tube map, the line serves 49 stations over 46 miles (74 km). It is one of only two lines on the Underground network to cross the Greater London boundary, the other being the Metropolitan line. One of London's deep-level railways, Central line trains are smaller than those on British main lines.
The line was opened as the Central London Railway in 1900, crossing central London on an east–west axis, as the third deep-level Tube line to be built after electric trains made them possible. It was later extended to the western suburb of Ealing. After the Second World War, the line was expanded considerably into the recently constructed suburbs, taking over steam-hauled outer-suburban routes to the borders of London and beyond to the east. This realised plans that had been delayed by the war, when construction stopped and the unused tunnels were used as air-raid shelters and factories. However, suburban growth proved to be less than expected, and of the planned expansions one (to Denham, Buckinghamshire) was cut short due to its location in the Metropolitan Green Belt and another (to Ongar) ultimately closed in 1994 due to low patronage; the section between Epping and Ongar later became part of the Epping Ongar Railway. The Central line has mostly been operated by automatic train operation since a major refurbishment in the 1990s, although all trains still carry drivers. Many of its stations are of historic interest, from turn-of-the-century Central London Railway buildings in west London to post-war modernist designs on the West Ruislip and Hainault branches, as well as Victorian-era Eastern Counties Railway and Great Eastern Railway buildings east of Stratford, from when the line to Epping was a rural branch line.
In terms of total passengers, the Central line is the busiest on the Underground. In 2011/12 over 260 million passenger journeys were recorded on the line. It currently operates the second-most frequent service on the network, with 34 trains per hour (tph) operating for half-an-hour in the westbound direction during the morning peak, and between 27 and 30 tph during the rest of the peak. This makes the Central line the busiest and most intensively-used railway line in the United Kingdom: it is the only Tube line running east–west through the central core of London, running under Oxford Street and the financial centre of the City of London. Crossrail, due to begin most of its core operation in autumn 2019 with full service by the end of 2019, will provide interchange with the Central line at Stratford, Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Ealing Broadway, relieving overcrowding in these areas.Green Park
The Green Park, usually known without the article simply as Green Park, is one of the Royal Parks of London. It is located in the City of Westminster, central London. First enclosed in 16th century, it was landscaped in 1820 and is notable among central London parks for having no lakes or buildings, and only minimal flower planting in the form of naturalised narcissus.List of public art in London
This is a list of public art in London, including statues, memorials, architectural sculptures and others, divided by London borough and the City of London.List of sub-regions used in the London Plan
Greater London is divided into five sub-regions for the purposes of the London Plan. The boundaries of these areas were amended in 2008 and 2011 and their role in the implementation of the London Plan has varied with each iteration.
From 2004 to 2008, the sub-regions were initially the same as the Learning and Skills Council areas set up in 1999. These 2004–2008 sub-regions each had a Sub-Regional Development Framework. The sub-regions were revised in February 2008 as part of the Further Alterations to the London Plan. The 2008–2011 sub-regions, each had its own Sub-regional Implementation Framework. In 2011, the sub-regions were revised again. The 2011 sub-regions are to be used for statutory monitoring, engagement and resource allocation.London Borough of Islington
The London Borough of Islington ( (listen) IZ-ling-tən) is a London borough in Inner London, England. The borough includes a significant area to the south which forms part of central London. Islington has an estimated population of 215,667. It was formed in 1965 by merging the former metropolitan boroughs of Islington and Finsbury.
The merged entity remains the second-smallest borough in London and the third-smallest district in England. The borough contains two Westminster parliamentary constituencies, Islington North, the constituency of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Islington South & Finsbury, the constituency of Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary and Shadow First Secretary of State Emily Thornberry. The local authority is Islington Council. The borough is home to football club Arsenal, one of the most successful clubs in England and its home Emirates Stadium that is one of the largest football stadiums in the country.
The southern part of the borough which is south of the A501 Pentonville Road and City Road is part of central London and the central London congestion charging zone.
A significant part of the south of the borough borders the City of London with the area to the south west bordering the London borough of Camden.
The central London area includes a number of zone 1 stations including Farringdon and Old Street.London Central Mosque
The London Central Mosque (also known as the Islamic Cultural Centre (ICC) or Regent's Park Mosque) is a mosque located near Regent's Park in London, United Kingdom.
It was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd, completed in 1977, and has a prominent golden dome. The main hall can accommodate over 5,000 worshippers, with women praying on a balcony overlooking the hall. The mosque holds a chandelier and a vast carpet, with very little furniture.
The inside of the dome is decorated with broken shapes in the Islamic tradition. There is also a small bookshop and halal café on the premises. The mosque is joined to the Islamic Cultural Centre (ICC) which was officially opened by King George VI in 1944. The land was donated by George VI to the Muslim community of Britain in return for the donation of land in Cairo by King Farouk of Egypt and Sudan on which to build an Anglican cathedral.London station group
The London station group is a group of 18 railway stations served by the National Rail network in central London. Most are terminal stations, either serving major national services or local commuter routes. A small number are through-stations that are considered terminals for ticketing purposes. All current stations in the group fall within London fare zone 1. A ticket marked "London Terminals" allows travel to any station in the group via any permitted route, as determined by the National Routeing Guide.
Most London terminal stations were developed in the mid-19th century during the initial boom of rail transport. Many stations were built around the edge of central London, stopping at what is now the London Inner Ring Road, because it was prohibitively expensive to build right into the centre, and because each railway was owned by a private company competing with the others. The creation of the London Underground provided a practical connection to the various termini, which continues to be the case as of the 21st century. Many of the stations have been upgraded and modernised to provide a greater capacity and connections to the network; the first London terminus, London Bridge has been rebuilt and expanded on numerous occasions, and of the major 19th century terminals, only Broad Street has closed.
The London terminals had a significant impact on the local area. Originally, the demolition of poor properties, particularly south of the River Thames caused blight and deprived areas around the station. This has changed in the 21st century, where development around the main terminals has been well-received and attracted occupants and businesses.North London
North London is an informally and inexactly defined part of London, England which covers some of the area of the capital lying north of the River Thames. North London extends from Clerkenwell and Finsbury on the edge of the City of London financial district, to Greater London's boundary with Hertfordshire. The constituent districts were traditionally part of Middlesex with the exception of a small area around Barnet which was part of Hertfordshire.
North London is an imprecise description and the area it covers is defined differently for a range of purposes. Common to these definitions is that it includes districts north of the River Thames and is used in comparison with South London. However, it is also often used in comparisons with Central London, East London and West London. There is also a northern postal area but this includes some areas not normally described as part on North London, while excluding many others that are.River Thames
The River Thames ( (listen) TEMZ), known alternatively in parts as the Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At 215 miles (346 km), it is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom, after the River Severn.
It flows through Oxford (where it is called the Isis), Reading, Henley-on-Thames and Windsor. The lower reaches of the river are called the Tideway, derived from its long tidal reach up to Teddington Lock. It rises at Thames Head in Gloucestershire, and flows into the North Sea via the Thames Estuary. The Thames drains the whole of Greater London.Its tidal section, reaching up to Teddington Lock, includes most of its London stretch and has a rise and fall of 23 feet (7 m). Running through some of the driest parts of mainland Britain and heavily abstracted for drinking water, the Thames' discharge is low considering its length and breadth: the Severn has a discharge almost twice as large on average despite having a smaller drainage basin. In Scotland, the Tay achieves more than double the Thames' average discharge from a drainage basin that is 60% smaller.
Along its course are 45 navigation locks with accompanying weirs. Its catchment area covers a large part of south-eastern and a small part of western England; the river is fed by at least 50 named tributaries. The river contains over 80 islands. With its waters varying from freshwater to almost seawater, the Thames supports a variety of wildlife and has a number of adjoining Sites of Special Scientific Interest, with the largest being in the remaining parts of the North Kent Marshes and covering 5,449 hectares (13,460 acres).South Bank
South Bank is an entertainment and commercial district in central London, next to the River Thames opposite the City of Westminster. It forms a narrow strip of riverside land within the London Borough of Lambeth (where it adjoins Albert Embankment) and the London Borough of Southwark, (where it adjoins Bankside). As such, South Bank may be regarded as somewhat akin to the riverside part of an area known previously as Lambeth Marsh and North Lambeth.
While South Bank is not formally defined, it is generally understood to bounded by Westminster Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, and to be centred approximately half a mile (800 metres) south-east of Charing Cross. The name South Bank was first widely used in 1951 during the Festival of Britain. The area's long list of attractions includes the County Hall complex, the Sea Life London Aquarium, the London Dungeon, Jubilee Gardens and the London Eye, the Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall, National Theatre, and BFI Southbank. In addition to their official and business functions, both the County Hall and the Shell Centre have major residential components.
Due to it often being waterlogged in winter, the area was slower to develop than the "North Bank" of the Thames . Throughout its history, it has twice functioned as an entertainment district, interspersed by around a hundred years of wharfs, domestic industry and manufacturing being its dominant use. Restoration began in 1917 with the construction of County Hall at Lambeth replacing the Lion Brewery. Its Coade stone symbol was retained and placed on a pedestal at Westminster Bridge and is known as the South Bank Lion. The pedestrianised embankment is The Queen's Walk, which is part of the Albert Embankment built not only for public drainage but also to raise the whole tract of land to prevent flooding.In 1951 the Festival of Britain redefined the area as a place for arts and entertainment. It now forms a significant tourist district in central London, stretching from Blackfriars Bridge in the east to Westminster Bridge in the west. A series of central London bridges connect the area to the northern bank of the Thames Golden Jubilee and Waterloo Bridge.Student Central
Student Central is a students' society of the University of London. It was previously the students' union of the federal University of London, known as the University of London Union (commonly referred to as ULU, pron. 'yoo-loo'), which was closed and transformed into Student Central in August 2014. Since the closure of its student governance, each student is instead primarily affiliated to a student union of their individual college, as the University of London is a federal structure encompassing many constituent colleges.ULU provided a range of services on an intercollegiate basis, including cultural, recreational and sporting activities. Its seven-floor building in Malet Street, Central London, next to Birkbeck, University of London, included bars, restaurants, shops, banks, swimming pool and a live music venue.In July 2014, ULU was abolished by its parent institution, the University of London, and replaced by 'Student Central, London'. This offers full membership to University of London students, and associate membership to other university students, and other groups.Tottenham Court Road tube station
Tottenham Court Road is a London Underground and future Elizabeth line station in St Giles, West End of London. It is served by the Central line and the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line. The station will also be served by the Elizabeth Line when the core section opens in autumn 2019.On the Central line it is between Oxford Circus and Holborn, and on the Northern line it is between Leicester Square and Goodge Street. The station is located at St Giles Circus, the junction of Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street, New Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road and is in Travelcard Zone 1.Transport in London
London has an extensive and developed transport network which includes both private and public services. Journeys made by public transport systems account for 37% of London's journeys while private services accounted for 36% of journeys. London's public transport network serves as the central hub for the United Kingdom in rail, air and road transport.
Public transport services are dominated by the executive agency for transport in London: Transport for London (TfL). TfL controls the majority of public transport, including the Underground, Buses, Tramlink, the Docklands Light Railway, London River Services and the London Overground. Other rail services are either franchised to train operating companies by the Department for Transport (DfT) or, like Eurostar and Heathrow Express, operated on an open-access basis. TfL also controls most major roads in London, but not minor roads. In addition, there are several independent airports serving London, including Heathrow, the busiest airport in Europe.University of Westminster
The University of Westminster is a public university in London, United Kingdom. Its antecedent institution, the Royal Polytechnic Institution, was founded in 1838 and was the first polytechnic institution in the UK. Westminster was awarded university status in 1992 meaning it could award its own degrees.
Its headquarters and original campus are in Regent Street in the City of Westminster area of central London, with additional campuses in Fitzrovia, Marylebone and Harrow. It operates the Westminster International University in Tashkent in Uzbekistan.Westminster's academic activities are organised into seven faculties and schools, within which there are around 45 departments. The University has numerous centres of research excellence across all the faculties, including the Communication and Media Research Institute, whose research is ranked in the Global Top 40 by the QS World University Rankings. Westminster had an income of £170.4 million in 2012/13, of which £4.5 million was from research grants and contracts.Westminster is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of MBAs, EFMD, the European University Association and Universities UK.West Cross Route
The West Cross Route (WCR) is a 0.75 miles (1.21 km)-long dual carriageway section of the A3220 route in central London in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, with a small part being shared with borderlining borough Hammersmith and Fulham. It runs north-south between the northern elevated roundabout junction with the western end of Westway (A40) and the southern Holland Park Roundabout. It opened in 1970, together with Westway.
The WCR was formerly the M41 motorway. Its status was downgraded to an A-road in 2000 when responsibility for trunk roads in Greater London was transferred from the Highways Agency to the Greater London Authority. Approximately halfway along the road's length a new junction was built to serve the Westfield London shopping development. The WCR was originally the designation for the western section of Ringway 1, the innermost circuit of the London Ringways network, a complex and comprehensive plan for a network of high-speed roads circling central London designed to manage and control the flow of traffic within the capital. The road would have run from Battersea to Harlesden and would have paralleled the National Rail West London Line as an elevated road. Although the road no longer has motorway status, pedal cycles are prohibited by a sign at Holland Park roundabout.Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London within the City of Westminster, part of the West End, on the north bank of the River Thames. Westminster's concentration of visitor attractions and historic landmarks, one of the highest in London, includes the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.
Historically the area lay within St Margaret's parish, City & Liberty of Westminster, Middlesex.
The name Westminster (Old English: Westmynstre) originated from the informal description of the abbey church and royal peculiar of St Peter's (Westminster Abbey), literally West of the City of London (indeed, until the Reformation there was a reference to the 'East Minster' at Minories (Holy Trinity Priory, Aldgate) east of the City). The abbey was part of the royal palace that had been created here by Edward the Confessor. It has been the home of the permanent institutions of England's government continuously since about 1200 (High Middle Ages' Plantagenet times), and from 1707 the British Government — formally titled Her Majesty's Government.
In a government context, Westminster often refers to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, located in the UNESCO World Heritage Palace of Westminster — also known as the Houses of Parliament. The closest tube stations are Westminster and St James's Park, on the Jubilee, Circle, and District lines.
The area is the centre of Her Majesty's Government, with Parliament in the Palace of Westminster and most of the major Government ministries known as Whitehall, itself the site of the royal palace that replaced that at Westminster.
Within the area is Westminster School, a major public school which grew out of the Abbey, and the University of Westminster, attended by over 20,000 students. Bounding Westminster to the north is Green Park, a Royal Park of London.
Sub-regions of London
Mayor of London, (April 2009), A new plan for London: Proposals for the Mayor's London Plan, (PDF; 1,4 MB), Greater London Authority, ISBN=978-1-84781-249-0
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