Oxford Street pedestrianisation receives public support
Plans to make Oxford Street traffic-free are progressing as a public consultation revealed strong support from the public.
Almost 12,000 responses from local residents, stakeholders, businesses and visitors from across the UK were submitted to the first consultation, conducted by Westminster City Council, The Mayor of London and Transport for London between April and June 2017.
62% of respondents said they support the proposal, while 30% of those who responded said they didn’t support the transformation citing concerns about accessibility and congestion.
Known across the world as a leading class shopping destination, Oxford Street is lined with high street favourites, international brands and prestigious department stores, attracting more than 500,000 visitors every day.
The pedestrianisation would make the shopping street safer for shoppers and tourists, as well as address the issue of air pollution. However, there are a number of areas that still need to be addressed before the transformation programme goes forward, such as how it would affect traffic flows in the surrounding areas, ensuring access to and from Oxford Street, particularly for the disabled and elderly, and improving cycling infrastructure on alternative streets.
A second consultation will take place in early November 2017, and a transition scheme could be drawn up by the time the Elizabeth line service opens in December 2018. The full project is planned to be in place by 2021.
Cllr Robert Davis MBE DL Deputy Leader of Westminster City Council said: “This is the next step in our efforts to transform the country’s most famous and economically important shopping district, which is also home to a vibrant residential community. We want Oxford Street and the surrounding area to remain the envy of the world and our vision is to create a neighbourhood and outdoor shopping experience that cities across the globe can aspire to.”
“Wherever you go around the world, if you mention Oxford Street, people know you are talking about London. However, the area is already very busy and growth in London’s population and economy will bring even more people to the area,” added Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at Transport for London.
“The strong support from this consultation has shown that there is a desire to make Oxford Street and the wider area an even better place to live, work and visit. We will now work to further analyse the consultation responses and address the issues raised as we develop our plans for a truly transformational scheme for all.”
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