A busy area between London's Orchard Street and Oxford Circus could be traffic-free by December 2018 under new plans announced by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan today.
Part of the city's ambitious plans to improve air quality, if approved the semi-pedestrianisation of a east-west stretch of the road would cease the flow of London's iconic – but polluting – red buses. It would also 'create the world's best outdoor shopping experience and an unrivalled place to live and visit', according to the mayor's office.
Seating and public art would be in place to coincide with the opening of the new Elizabeth railway line. A wider plan for the area would see improved accessibility for both pedestrians and cyclists.
"This is a hugely exciting moment for the capital. 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," comments Sadiq Khan.
"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.
"Alongside the arrival of the Elizabeth Line, the Oxford Street area will be truly transformed over the coming years. We will continue to work closely with residents, businesses and Westminster Council to ensure the plans are the very best they can be, including investing in wider pavements, pedestrian crossings, more taxi ranks and further high-quality cycling infrastructure to support everyone living and working in the wider area."
The plans have the support of walking and cycling charity Sustrans. Xavier Brice, its Chief Executive, says: "The transformation of Oxford Street will give Londoners room to breathe in the heart of the city. This is a crucial step forward in freeing up space for people, instead of metal boxes. Making this iconic destination free of traffic, free of exhaust fumes and open for all to enjoy is vital at a time when London is facing an air pollution crisis.
"Through this project Transport for London and Westminster City Council are starting to create streets that are safer, cleaner and fairer places to be, which we very much support."
You can have your say on the proposal until December 17th 2017.