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Plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street receives “widespread support”

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Two in three people support the plans to create a new traffic-free pedestrianise Oxford Street in Central London, according to the results of the proposals public consultation.

More than 22,000 people responded to the online consultation, which ran from November 6, 2017 to January 3, 2018, with 64 percent expressing support in “some form” with comments from local residents, businesses and visitors “now being reviewed and fully considered,” said Westminster Council.

However, Transport for London and Westminster City Council, which proposed the plans, also noted that 33 percent opposed the plans.

The plans, include a new traffic-free area between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus, which runs adjacent to Selfridges, by December 2018 to coincide with launch of Elizabeth line services. The aspiration behind the proposed improvements was to see the creation of safe, accessible and inspiring public spaces for people of all ages to enjoy, as well as the help London rival other world cities such as Paris and New York, with its improved pedestrian crossings, wider pavements and provide additional taxi ranks on surrounding roads.

TfL and Westminster City Council are now considering “every one of the issues raised by the response” to the consultation, both organisations stated in a press statement, before Westminster Council takes any further decision on how to proceed.

Some of the issues raised include traffic and air quality on residential roads, provision of a safe cycle route through the wider area, management of the public space and ensuring that Oxford Street remains accessible for all.

Public gives support for plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street

Cllr Daniel Astaire, cabinet member for planning and public realm, said: “We’re pleased that we have had such a significant response to this important consultation and we now need to take our time to look in detail at every issue raised before we take any final decision to make sure we get it right.

“We know that people are very passionate about this iconic part of London and that is why we are clear that it has to be the right scheme that works in the best interests of those who live, work in and visit the area.”

Val Shawcross, deputy mayor for transport, added: “I’m delighted that so many Londoners have got involved and given us their backing to transform Oxford Street and the surrounding area. Our plans will make Oxford Street one of the finest public spaces and shopping streets in the world, while investing in widespread improvements to make the area cleaner and safer.

“We will now look at all the consultation responses in detail to ensure that everyone’s views are taken on board. Whether you’re a resident, a business, or regularly shop in the area, we must ensure the final details of the plan truly provide benefits to the millions of people who use the area every year.”

While a final decision is still to be made on the scheme, a range of work is already underway in the area surrounding Oxford Street to prepare for the launch of the Elizabeth line in December 2018. This new east-west rail line is expected to bring as many as 40 percent more visitors to Oxford Street, on top of the 500,000 that arrive each day.

Image: courtesy of TfL

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