Oxford Street pedestrianisation plan on track for 2018
Image credit: tfl
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street, starting next year.
The proposal will see extra seating installed for shoppers and a new 800m-long work of public art could also be commissioned for the length of the former carriageway.
The carriageway would be raised to be level with the existing pavements between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus during this first stage.
The additional space should also help to alleviate the crowding that builds up on the Street, especially during peak times such as weekends and prior to Christmas.
While all east-west traffic will be restricted from entering Oxford Street between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus, north-south routes through that section will be maintained.
The traffic restrictions will also include cyclists who would need to dismount when travelling along Oxford Street, although plans are also underway to improve conditions for cyclists in the surrounding area.
The stretch between Oxford Circus and Bond Street tube station will be pedestrianised first in 2018. 2019 will see traffic removed all the way to Tottenham Court Road station, before the same happens up to Marble Arch in 2020.
The plans are not final and will be open to public consultation until 17 December 2017. If approved, the first stage of the scheme will aim to coincide with the launch of Elizabeth Line services through Central London in December 2018.
The plans have been designed to fit with the wider extensive improvements being made across the West End, including the transformation of Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road stations in advance of the Elizabeth line, the Baker Street two-way project and changes to the Tottenham Court Road/Gower Street area.
The scheme will also see a range of measures implemented to help protect the wider area from traffic and air quality impacts.
New and extended taxi ranks would be created close to Oxford Street to allow black cabs to continue to pick up and drop off.
“Whether you’re a local resident, a business, or shop in some of the area’s famous stores, our plans will make the area substantially cleaner and safer for everyone, creating one of the finest public spaces in the world,” Khan said.
“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.”