London

Oxford Street transformation planners seek public's view

Shoppers walking up Oxford Street Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Traffic-free shopping days have been a feature of Oxford Street since 2005

Views are being sought on plans to convert the country's busiest high street into the "world's best outdoor shopping experience".

London's Oxford Street must be changed because of poor air quality, congestion and overcrowding, Westminster City Council and Transport for London said.

They added international competition was putting its future at risk.

The plans include reducing traffic, improving public spaces and improving residential areas and accessibility.

It is hoped more jobs would be created as a result of the plans.

The consultation will last for eight weeks and once the results are known, a further consultation may follow in the autumn on a detailed scheme.

The changes have come about as a new railway, the Elizabeth Line, which will have stations at Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road open in December 2018.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption It has already been announced that the number of buses along the street will be reduced by 40%

It also comes after it was recently announced that bus routes on the street will be cut by 40%.

Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: "Oxford Street is iconic as a shopping destination, but there is far too much pollution and we have a huge opportunity to make it cleaner and safer for the millions of people who use the street every year.

"We need to make the transformation the very best it can be - ensuring it benefits local residents, businesses, and people who rely upon transport links in the area."

In his election manifesto last year, London Mayor Sadiq Khan promised to remove traffic from Oxford Street by 2020.

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