London

London's Oxford Street could be traffic-free by December 2018, says mayor

Artist impression of what the pedestrianised area of Oxford Street will look like Image copyright AVRLondon/Mayor of London
Image caption The area from Oxford Circus to near Selfridges could become traffic-free

Large parts of London's Oxford Street could be pedestrianised by December 2018, under plans put forward by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

About half a mile of the street from Oxford Circus to Orchard Street could become a "traffic-free pedestrian boulevard", the mayor said.

He said he hoped it would coincide with the arrival of the Elizabeth Line in central London in December next year.

More than four million people visit Oxford Street each week.

All east-west traffic will be stopped but some north-south routes will be maintained, according to the plans.

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Oxford Street to be pedestrianised by 2020

Image copyright AVRLondon/Mayor of London
Image caption Some north-south traffic will be allowed

Other proposals include:

  • Raising the roads to pavement level to improve accessibility
  • An 800m-long work of public art could be commissioned
  • New and extended taxi ranks would be created close to Oxford Street
  • Taxis would also still be able to cross Oxford Street at Duke Street, Stratford Place, Vere Street and Harewood Place
  • Plans to transform the area east of Oxford Circus will be consulted on next spring
Image copyright AVRLondon/Mayor of London
Image caption A 800m-long work of public art could be commissioned for the length of the former road

Cyclists would not be able to ride in the pedestrianised area but Transport for London said it would consult on plans to create "new high-quality cycle routes" to the north and south of Oxford Street.

Mr Khan said: "Oxford Street is world famous with millions of visitors every year, and in just over a year the iconic part of the street west of Oxford Circus could be transformed into a traffic-free pedestrian boulevard.

"Alongside the arrival of the Elizabeth Line, the Oxford Street area will be truly transformed over the coming years."

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of the New West End Company, said: "After years of campaigning, it's excellent news finally to see commitment from our politicians to a game-changing transformation of Oxford Street."

Richard Massett, chairman of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association said: "The LTDA is disappointed by the proposals for Oxford Street that were presented today.

"A 24 hour vehicle ban presents a major threat to the West End as a whole. Forcing traffic onto neighbouring streets will merely shift congestion and pollution, all the while making it far harder to visit London's premier retail destination."

The plans are out for consultation until 17 December.

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