Baker Street Wonderpass: evaluation of improvement works


Baker Street Quarter Partnership identified the pedestrian subway under the Marylebone Road as an area that many of its members would like to see improved. Researchers from the Policy Studies Institute were commissioned to provide an impartial evaluation of improvement works that were carried out to transform the subway into the ‘Baker Street Wonderpass’.

The views of users were assessed through an online survey of Baker Street Quarter members (June 2015), pedestrian counting and face-to-face surveys both before the improvement works (July 2015) and after the Wonderpass had opened (February 2016). The pre-works surveys took place in July 2015, with 206 subway users’ answering a total of 12 questions. The post-works surveys took place in February 2016 with 163
subway users answering a total of 15 questions. The survey was supplemented by ‘vox-pop’ interviews.

Pedestrian counts before and after the improvement works show a very large increase in pedestrian traffic after the improvement works were completed. After the improvement works, morning usage increased by 153.8%, afternoon usage increasing by 27.8%, and evening usage increasing by 70.8%.

Survey results showed a substantial improvement in user’s satisfaction with the lighting, cleanliness, overall appearance, safety, signage and visibility of the subway. The redevelopment of the subway and the opening of the Wonderpass have been a clear success. 83.9% of users said that the subway was ‘much better’, and 98.4% of users said that they thought the subway was ‘better’ or ‘much better’ after the improvement works.

Overall, the investment in the Marylebone Road underpass has greatly improved usage levels and user perceptions of the subway and some users stated that they used the subway solely to see the renovations and new displays. While users previously complained about the cleanliness, lighting and appearance of the subway, by February 2016 it has been successfully transformed into a much safer, cleaner, and more desirable ‘Wonderpass’ to cross Marylebone Road.

Read the full report here.