Westminster councillors are reported as going cool on transforming Oxford Street. But the council leader acknowledges that “no change is not an option”.
Joe Irvin, Chief Executive, Living Streets comments:
“Oxford Street has an appalling road casualty and air pollution record. People spill over off the overcrowded pavements into an endless traffic jam of buses and taxis – many of which are empty. Crossrail will bring thousands more people onto the street when it opens in December. Without action things will get significantly worse.
“Pedestrianisation is the only answer to these threats. Redesigning the street around people – not vehicles – will ensure Oxford Street’s future as a world-class destination, rejuvenating the retail offer and securing prosperity and jobs in the area.
“TfL and Westminster council have been ensuring that plans benefit the wider local area, with less through-traffic, more pedestrian space and safer crossings. Residents’ concerns have been addressed with bus routes redesigned throughout the West End, rather than being simply being diverted into side streets.
“Crossrail’s introduction provides a unique spur to make Oxford Street more accessible than ever before for people with disabilities and a brilliant experience for residents, workers and visitors alike. This is not only vital for Westminster but for London as a whole. If we blow the chance to transform our city we will have betrayed this and future generations."