The results of a public consultation into plans to pedestrianise London’s busiest shopping street, Oxford Street, reveal strong support for the proposals.
More than 22,000 people responded to the online consultation, which ran from 6 November 2017 to 3 January 2018, with 64% expressing support in some form with comments from local residents, businesses and visitors now being reviewed and fully considered.
The plans centre on the proposal to pedestrianise the street from Oxford Circus to Orchard Street, which runs adjacent to Selfridges, by December of this year to co-incide with the launch of the Elizabeth line rail service. Also included in the proposals are improved pedestrian crossings, wider pavements and the provision of additional taxi ranks on surrounding roads.
Some 33% of the 22,000 who responded to the online consultation did not support the plans. TfL also received around 7,000 written responses as part of a Living Streets campaign supporting the scheme, and a further 632 written responses as part of a local campaign against the proposal.
TfL and Westminster City Council are now considering every one of the issues raised by the response to the consultation before Westminster Council takes any further decision on how to proceed. Some of 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.
Cllr Daniel Astaire, Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Realm, said: “We’re pleased that we have had such a significant response to this important consultation and we now need to take our time to look in detail at every issue raised before we take any final decision to make sure we get it right. We know that people are very passionate about this iconic part of London and that is why we are clear that it has to be the right scheme that works in the best interests of those who live, work and visit the area.”
Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, added: “I’m delighted that so many Londoners have got involved and given us their backing to transform Oxford Street and the surrounding area. Our plans will make Oxford Street one of the finest public spaces and shopping streets in the world, while investing in widespread improvements to make the area cleaner and safer.
“We will now look at all the consultation responses in detail to ensure that everyone’s views are taken on board. 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,” Shawcross said.
While a final decision is still to be made on the scheme, a range of work is already underway in the area surrounding Oxford Street to prepare for the launch of the Elizabeth line in December 2018. This new east-west rail line will bring as many as 40% more visitors to Oxford Street, on top of the 500,000 that arrive each day.