Ambitious plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street may not go ahead as they have been rejected by Westminster Council as “unacceptable”.
Local residents have raised concerns about traffic being diverted to other areas including Marylebone, Fitzrovia and Mayfair and it’s emerged that the initial public consultation was incomplete as an incorrect email had been published for residents to make their views known.
Daniel Astaire, Westminster’s cabinet member for Oxford Street, said: ““TfL and the Mayor are the main proponents of the changes to the street, but it belongs to the council and the decision rests with us. I have informed them — much to some surprise — that detailed work on a scheme is to be stopped. They had even wanted to appoint an artist to design street concept art, but I have stopped this too. At present there is no scheme nor a proposal which is acceptable to the council.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been publicly in favour of the proposal as it will improve air quality in the area. Oxford Street is currently one of Europe’s busiest and most polluted shopping streets.
It was originally hoped that the plan would be completed by December 2018 in time for the opening of the new Elizabeth Line, which is predicted to bring an additional 200,000 visitors to the street each day.