Oxford Street pedestrianisation receives widespread support

Oxford Street traffic-free

Plans to transform Oxford Street into a traffic-free zone has received widespread support, according to a consultation report published today.

Transport for London (TfL) and Westminster City Council said 64 per cent of the 22,000 responses received on plans to transform London’s famous shopping street were in favour of the proposals in some form.

The plans include pedestrianising a part of Oxford Street – between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus – by December 2018 so as to coincide with the launch of Elizabeth Line train services that will run through the precinct.

Other parts of the plans include improved pedestrian crossings, wider pavements and additional taxi ranks on surrounding roads.

During the eight-week consultation period, around one million people were directly contacted online and through email, as well as via letters and leaflets.

TfL also received around 7000 written responses as part of a Living Streets campaign supporting the scheme.

Meanwhile, 33 per cent of people who responded did not support the plans, and TfL received a further 632 written responses as part of a local campaign against the proposals.

This followed an earlier initial consultation in spring 2017, which saw 62 per cent of the 12,000 responses supporting the principles behind the transformation of Oxford Street.

TfL and Westminster Council are now considering every one of the issues raised by the response to the consultation before the latter takes any further decision on how to proceed.

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.

“We will now look at all the consultation responses in detail to ensure that everyone’s views are taken on board,” deputy mayor for transport Val Shawcross said.

“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.”

TfL city planning director Alex Williams added: “The introduction of the Elizabeth Line later this year will significantly increase the number of people walking along Oxford Street and this creates a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform the area into an unrivalled place to live, visit and work.

“The results of this consultation show that there is a strong desire to improve the West End and make Oxford Street more pedestrian focused.

“All points raised in the consultation are being considered and we continue to work with Westminster City Council ahead of a final decision on the scheme later this year.”

While a final decision is still to be made on the scheme, a range of public realm work is already underway in the area surrounding Oxford Street to prepare for the launch of the Elizabeth line in December 2018.

This new rail line will bring as many as 40 per cent more visitors to Oxford Street, on top of the 500,000 that arrive each day.

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