A consultation on removing traffic from a large section of Oxford Street in London has started.
The plans are for a traffic-free area between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus, which will be completed by December next year to coincide with the launch of Crossrail’s Elizabeth line services.
The plans were unveiled yesterday by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and deputy leader of Westminster City Council, Cllr Robert Davis.
London’s busiest shopping street houses department stores such as Selfridges and John Lewis, and it is currently congested with pedestrians, buses, taxis and cyclists vying for space.
The new plans include public spaces, new cycle routes, more and better pedestrian crossings, wider pavement and more taxi ranks.
Bold plans for the wider area could include new high-quality public spaces, new cycle routes, 25 improved pedestrian crossings, wider pavements, and additional taxi ranks so that taxis can cross the street at certain points, but not travel along the street.
Transport for London (TfL) has already cut the number of buses along Oxford Street by 40%.
London’s Transport Commissioner Mike Brown said: “The next 12 months are going to be one of the most important in the history of the West End. The opening of the Elizabeth line will see rail capacity in Central London increase by 10 per cent and provides a once in a generation opportunity to tackle the challenges of poor air quality and congestion across the West End. Everyone involved in this project has worked tirelessly to design a scheme which would make Oxford Street and the wider area an even better place to live, work and visit. I’m hugely proud of the proposals that are being consulted on and urge everyone to comment on these truly transformative plans for London.”