Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

One Step Closer to Pedestrianising a Half-Mile Stretch of Oxford Street

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

One Step Closer to Pedestrianising a Half-Mile Stretch of Oxford Street

Article excerpt

Byline: Pippa Crerar City Hall Editor

PLANS to transform Oxford Street into a pedestrianised boulevard to rival Paris or New York's shopping districts by Christmas 2018 were published today.

The half-mile stretch of Europe's busiest shopping street between Oxford Circus and Selfridges would be the first to become predominantly traffic-free.

However, north and south routes across Oxford Street will be retained after businesses and locals raised concerns about gridlock on surrounding streets.

The Mayor and Westminster city council will also begin a consultation next year on pedestrianising the section towards Tottenham Court Road. The proposals for the traffic-free section include new seating areas and raising the existing street to pavement level to make it more accessible.

An 800 metre-long work of public art, acting as a centrepiece along the length of the pedestrianised section, could be commissioned. There will also be new public spaces, cycle lanes, improved pedestrian crossings, wider pavements and extra taxi ranks across the wider West End. The pedestrianised section will coincide with the launch of Crossrail services through central London in December 2018. Transport for London has reduced the number of buses running along Oxford Street by 40 per cent and will cut the number further once Crossrail opens. There will then be just two routes Nos 139 and 390 which will be rerouted to run along nearby Wigmore Street, Henrietta Place and Cavendish Square instead.

Cyclists would be banned from the street, unless they dismount, although TfL will consult on new cycle routes just to the north and south next summer.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said: "Our plans will make the area substantially cleaner and safer for everyone, creating one of the finest public spaces in the world."

Earlier this year, almost 12,000 people responded to the first public consultation. …

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