Westminster council closed parts of the London shopping street on Saturday and Sunday

Parts of London’s Oxford Street were closed to traffic over the weekend amid fears that Christmas crowds could be crushed on pavements narrowed by building work.

Westminster council closed part of the busy shopping street between noon and 8pm on Saturday and Sunday, and warned there could be similar traffic closures on other weekends in the run-up to Christmas.

Roadworks are ongoing in the Bond Street area while the new Crossrail network is being constructed. Similar works are in progress at the other end of Oxford Street, near Tottenham Court Road Tube station, but these are not causing the same levels of disruption.

Westminster council transport commissioner Martin Low said: “The decision was made by Westminster council to apply for a traffic management order in consultation with the Metropolitan Police to close a section Oxford Street to traffic between noon and 8pm on Saturday (3 December) and Sunday (4 December).

“This was a pre-emptive decision in response to concerns about possible crushing on the pavements as a result of narrower walkways, which are being caused by ongoing construction works.

“The council is hopeful that a redesign of the building site will be possible going forward, but cannot rule out further weekend traffic closures at this stage.

“Our paramount concern is to ensure the safety of pedestrians during this busy weekend of Christmas shopping in Oxford Street.”