The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and Deputy Leader of Westminster City Council, Cllr Robert Davis MBE DL, released plans earlier this week involving the transformation of Oxford Street into a pedestrian area.
The ambitious plans are currently undergoing public consultation until 17 December this year and if approved, the transformation could be complete by December 2018 to coincide with the opening of the Elizabeth Line.
All traffic including buses and taxis would be banned from entering Oxford Street between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus and the carriageway in this section would be raised to the same level as the existing pavements.
Plans for the new pedestrian area include seating, and a public art commission to act as a centrepiece for the new-look street. Pedestrian crossings, more taxi ranks, and better cycling infrastructure would also be implemented.
Sadiq Khan said about the plans: “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. Whether you’re a local resident, a business, or shop in some of the area’s famous stores, our plans will make the area substantially cleaner and safer for everyone, creating one of the finest public spaces in the world.”
The Elizabeth Line is expected to bring an additional 120,000 visitors to the West End every day and an estimated £1 billion increase in turnover by 2020.