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One city councillor says upcoming London road work won't hugely affect student housing surrounding Western University. 

London plans to widen and improve Wharncliffe Road with $60-million in road construction. The city will widen road areas with heavy traffic, specifically Platts Lane to Oxford Street and the Wharncliffe Road railroad trestle to include four lanes of traffic. Plans also include work on Western Road leading to Masonville Place.

The construction will see new crosswalks added near bus stops. The bulk of the road construction is to occur in 2021 to 2022. According to a London Free Press article, 68 properties will be impacted by this project along Western Road and Platts Lane. However, London's Ward 6 councillor Phil Squire said the construction will not overly affect students’ housing in this area.

“When they say impacted, they will lose part of the front of the property [which] may be used,” explained Squire. “But that’s city-owned property.”

The only exception is the house at 100 Stanley Street, which is going to be moved because of railway bridge construction.

“In my view, the impacts on student property won’t be huge, they’ll just be losing some frontage,” said Squire. “But in exchange for that, you’re going to get a wider roadway, you’re going to get bike paths, you’re going to get sidewalks on both sides of Western road, so all around it’s a good project.”

Squire believes the biggest issue will be negotiating the bus rapid transit route that will go through campus. Because Western is not city property, Squire believes there will be heavy negotiations to accommodate BRT routes around campus.

These road changes should also allow buses to move more efficiently and benefit students off, according to Squire.

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