Oxford street central london

Westminster City Council announced £16.3m plan to pedestrianise Oxford Street side roads

Westminster City Council has announced plans to put £16.3 million into transforming Oxford Street into a pedestrian-safe place.

The council has voted to start design works to extend pavements, lighting, seating, and green spaces in central London.

Including Davies Street, James Street, and Grosvenor Square, the plans are part of a wider £90 million plan to revamp Oxford Street.

Cllr Geoff Barraclough, Westminster City Council’s cabinet member for development, said: “After years of abandoned schemes, we are now about to finally get underway with a deliverable plan to breathe new life into Oxford Street.

“With the support of our partners at NWEC, we now have a coalition of the council, retailers, landowners, and others in place to develop a practical but also ambitious plan.

“The West End constantly needs to adapt if it is to continue to be a draw to shoppers.

“The buzz is definitely back on Oxford Street with brands like IKEA and HMV taking up space in Oxford Street, and the prospect of new galleries and art spaces will make it a great all-round experience.”

With more people taking up cycling around the capital city, plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street will restrict access from cars.

Cars will no longer be able to access the Oxford Street entrances from Davies Street, James Street, and Grosvenor Square.

Plans to turn Mayfair into a pedestrianised zone will also include fitting the area with seating and trees.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) reported that there will be a north-south cycle link opening between James Street and Gilbert Street.

These plans aim to create a more welcoming and open space, especially as central London becomes swarmed during peak tourist times. 

With plans to extend the pavement and ban cars, there will be far more space for people to travel to central London without being stuck in a crowd.

According to BNP Paribas Real Estate’s latest Pan-European footfall report Oxford Street is Europe’s largest shopping street, with over 72,700 daily visitors.

Black Friday weekend saw Oxford Street crowded with people barely able to move around as people rush to do their Christmas shopping.

Busy crowds are worsened every year with tourists flocking to central London to see the Christmas lights but often end up struggling to move through the crowds.

Westminster City Council has emphasised the importance of creating space for more visitors since the opening of the Elizabeth Line.

The decision was made during a cabinet meeting on Monday and follows a plan made in September to downsize the project from £150 million to £90 million.

Temporary footpaths made during Covid on Picton Place, Barrett Street, and Bird Street will be made permanent to utilise the space.

Featured image credit: Johen Redman via Unsplash

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