Proposals would see all east-west traffic restricted from entering Oxford Street between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus
London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced plans to pedestrianise a western stretch of Oxford Street, a move he said would transform the area for visitors, businesses and residents alike.
The proposals, which have gone out to public consultation, would see all east-west traffic restricted from entering Oxford Street between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus, while maintaining north-south routes through that section.
If approved, the pedestrianised section – which would be just over half a mile in length – will be unveiled in December 2018 to coincide with the opening of the ‘Elizabeth line’, aka Crossrail.
Under the proposals cyclists would be required to dismount when using the proposed pedestrianised section.
Khan said that in just over a year much of the street west of Oxford Circus could be transformed into a traffic-free pedestrian boulevard. “Alongside the arrival of the Elizabeth Line, the Oxford Street area will be truly transformed over the coming years.
“We will continue to work closely with residents, businesses and Westminster Council to ensure the plans are the very best they can be, including investing in wider pavements, pedestrian crossings, more taxi ranks and further high-quality cycling infrastructure to support everyone living and working in the wider area,” he added.
As well as changes to Oxford Street, there are plans to implement pavement widening programmes in the area and create more pedestrian crossings.
Environmental campaigners have long called for Oxford Street – either sections of it or in its entirety – to become traffic-free, and the road regularly records high levels of pollution, said to be generated by the buses and taxis which currently drive down it.