Oxford Street part-pedestrianisation edges forward

A ‘public piazza’ is set to be established at Oxford Street as part of a range of plans recently approved by Westminster City Council.

Oxford Street

The busy shopping district has been at the centre of several efforts to make it more pedestrian-friendly in a bid to strengthen its world-class status.

Westminster Council cabinet, which pulled the plug on the Mayor of London’s scheme to transform Oxford Street into a vehicle-free zone in June last year, approved this week a new proposal following a public consultation.

The new project involves several plans for Oxford street, including the creation of two ‘public piazzas’ and rerouting traffic on either side of the junction with Regent Street. Speed limit would be reduced from 30mph to 20mph to improve safety.

Westminster City Council has set aside £150m of funds from its capital budget to kickstart the improvements throughout the area.

Commenting on the proposal, a spokesperson for Mayor of London said: "Small cosmetic changes would mean Oxford Street will continue to be polluted, congested and dangerous for the millions of pedestrians who use it every year, and they wouldn’t address the real challenges London’s major shopping street faces as consumer habits change.”

But a recent consultation showed strong support for the fresh approach. If approved, works could start in the autumn.

Cllr Richard Beddoe, cabinet member for Place Shaping and Planning, said: "The council is determined to make sure it retains the crown as the nation's high street in the face of huge challenges and online competition.

“We've always said that we will listen carefully to those who live, work, visit or have a business in the district so we develop the best scheme that will future proof this vital and iconic part of Westminster and the West End.”

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