Westminster Council green lights Oxford Street renovation

Oxford Street
// Westminster City Council’s cabinet has approved new plans to renovate Oxford Street
// Design work is due to take place in spring, with physical works beginning in autumn
// The council has set aside £150 million of funds to begin improvements

Westminster City Council’s cabinet has confirmed that changes and improvements are to be made to the Oxford Street district as part of its Place Strategy.

Proposals aimed at delivering changes to improve the world-famous retail precinct have also been approved as a recent consultation received strong support.

Design work is due to take place in spring, with physical works beginning in autumn.

The council’s proposals includes reducing congestion and pollution by re-routing buses around the Oxford Circus district either side of Regent Street, closing some surrounding streets to cars and buses during the busiest times of day, and reducing speed limit from 30mph to 20mph.

Meanwhile, the council has set aside £150 million of funds from its capital budget to begin the improvements in the district.

The Place Strategy was subject to the public’s consultation from November 6 to December 16, and received a total of 2154 completed consultation responses.

Sixty-six per cent of responses showed support for the Place Strategy’s principles, while 73 per cent of resident said they also supported the principles.

The results were revealed at a cabinet meeting on February 25, where official approval was given to take plans forward.

A further business case to discuss the detailed delivery schedule is due to take place at the next cabinet meeting on April 8.

The news follows Westminster Council shelving plans for a pedestrianisation of Oxford Street, which had been considered to a flagship policy of London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Despite receiving support from the general public via a public consultation and from Transport for London, the council said it was clear “through two public consultations and recent council elections that local people do not support the pedestrianisation proposals”.

Khan slammed the decision and banned the council for using any funds from Transport for London for a redevelopment without his approval.

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  1. How do you reduce congestion by closing streets? Idiotic.
    This is guaranteed to totally snarl up the traffic in the surrounding streets.

  2. It will just push the traffic into surrounding streets & cause gridlock, just cant understand your plans, more congestion more pollution you need to keep traffic moving. At the end of the day london is a working city not a theme park for all these vanity projects that dont work.

  3. It won’t push traffic because there is very little ‘traffic’ on Oxford Street. It will push black cabs and buses on to other streets, UNLESS something is done to reduce the numbers of bus routes running through central London, and limit the numbers of black cabs able to wander around empty and pushing fumes into workers, shoppers and visitors lungs.

    Although they’ve fallen out, this move from Westminster coinciding with the arrival of the Mayor’s ULEZ will drive change in the direction Kahn and TfL had envisaged. Pedestrianisation is coming to central London, no matter how much the politicians tinker around the edges of committing to it… and retailers need to get on board because all of the evidence (UK and international) is that reducing traffic in shopping districts, if well served by public and active transport options, increases footfall.

  4. Short-sighted and based on a statistically irrelevant consultation of 2,154 responses. Mayor Khan’s proposal was visionary. This one is a joke. These local Westminster politicians should look to Europe to learn about the benefits of pedestrianisation.

  5. To the selfish people driving around Oxford Street and complaining about congestion from closing streets for people to walk in — there are millions of other people in London, we get the tube. What are you doing driving in the centre of the west end?


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