London

Oxford Circus 'X-crossing' used by 90 million people

Oxford Circus 'X-crossing'
Image caption The crossing is reported to have helped boost business in the busy shopping area

More than 90 million people have used the X-shaped pedestrian crossing in Oxford Circus in its first year, Westminster Council has said.

The £5m junction, inspired by a similar crossing in Tokyo, opened in the West End shopping area on 2 November 2009.

The redesign increased road space for pedestrians by 70% and allows people to cross diagonally by simultaneously halting traffic from all directions.

The crossing contributed to a 7% rise in annual sales, the council said.

'X Factor'

London's West End accounts for a fifth of the capital's gross domestic product (GDP) and employs 300,000 people. The redesign was jointly funded by the Crown Estate, which owns Regent Street, and Transport for London.

Councillor Colin Barrow said: "Our redesign gave Oxford Circus the X Factor last year and is still proving a hit one year on.

"Using inspiration from the Far East, we have made the fashion and entertainment hub a great place to shop and visit and will continue to improve the West End ahead of 2012."

David Shaw, head of Regent Street Portfolio at The Crown Estate said: "London hasn't seen a more significant improvement to its public realm than the Oxford Circus diagonal crossing in the last quarter of a century."

Richard Dickinson, chief executive of the New West End Company, representing businesses in the area, said: "Oxford Circus is one of our prime gateways to London's West End welcoming millions of visitors every year.

"The diagonal crossing transformed this key London landmark and has given our shoppers even more space to move."

As part of the area's revamp ahead of the 2012 Olympics, changes costing £14m are also being made to busy Piccadilly Circus with an aim of making it more pedestrian-friendly by December 2011.

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