(but will include restrictions for cycling see below*)
Consumer affairs correspondent
Monday 6 November 2017 12.48 GMT
A large section of London’s Oxford Street could be traffic-free by next December under a proposal unveiled by the mayor on Monday to improve the area for shoppers.
A public consultation has opened into banning all forms of transport between Oxford Circus and Orchard Street to coincide with the launch of the new Elizabeth line at the end of 2018.
The £60m plan is aimed at tackling growing air quality concerns, high accident and collision rates and congestion at peak travel times. Transport for London (TfL) has been working since summer last year to reduce the number of buses operating along Oxford Street.
The half-mile western section between Oxford Circus and Orchard Street would be traffic-free for east-west traffic – and buses diverted – while some north-south routes would be retained. * Cyclists would be required to dismount on this route, while new and extended taxi ranks would be created near Oxford Street for cabs to pick up and drop off customers.
Unveiling the blueprint with Robert Davis, deputy leader of Westminster city council, Sadiq Khan hailed it as “a hugely exciting moment for the capital”.
He said: “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.
“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.”
The mayor said he would continue to work closely with residents, businesses and Westminster council “to ensure the plans are the very best they can be”. Residents in areas such as Marylebone are concerned about the impact of rerouting traffic.