Westminster City Council has shocked Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor’s office by rejecting plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street.
The council claimed said that “it was clear through two public consultations and recent council elections that local people do not support the pedestrianisation proposals.”
However, the news has clearly come as a massive shock to both the Mayor’s office and TfL, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan labelling the decision as a “betrayal of million of Londoners”.
Meanwhile, TfL director of transport innovation Michael Hurwitz had been speaking about the progress of the project just hours before Westminster City Council’s decision to take the scheme “off the table for good”.
Speaking at WSP’s conference on Development planning in the era of New Mobility yesterday, Hurwitz said: “We are hoping to pedestrianise Oxford Street very soon and that will be a start of changing the way our city looks and operates.”
The plans could yet be revived with Khan saying that he will “never walk away from Oxford Street”.
“This will be seen as a betrayal of the millions of Londoners and visitors to our city who would have benefited from making Oxford Street a safer, healthier and better environment,” he said. “All the main mayoral candidates agreed on the need for the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street at the last election, as did Westminster Council until today.
“The project was a good example of two political parties putting politics aside, working together to improve our city for everyone.
“This now poses a real threat to the future of Oxford Street, which could not be worse timed, coming on the same day House of Fraser announced they will be closing their Oxford Street store.”
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