Plans to part-pedestrianise Oxford Street have been published for consultation by City Hall and Westminster City Council.
The proposals would see all east-west traffic stopped from entering between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus, whilst maintaining north-south routes through that section.
The carriageway would be raised to the existing pavement level and could be decorated with an 800m-long artwork to create a new public space. Seating is also proposed to be installed along the section, allowing shoppers to sit and relax while enjoying the area.
Subject to the consultation and the project receiving the final go-ahead in time, City Hall says the work could be completed by December 2018.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “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.
“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.”
Cllr Robert Davis MBE DL, Deputy Leader of Westminster City Council, added: “There is a huge amount of public and private investment happening across the West End which is so important in generating opportunities and prosperity for Londoners.
“We want Oxford Street and the surrounding neighbourhoods to be the jewel in the crown.
“We listened to what people said as part of the first consultation and we now want to hear from as many people as possible about what they think about the detailed plans before we take any final decisions.
“Protecting and improving the quality of life for residents in the surrounding area will be a key consideration, it’s crucial that everyone knows that we are listening and that they can help shape our plans.”
Today’s plans have been criticised by the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association which claims they risk making Oxford Street harder for many shoppers to visit.
Chairman Richard Massett said: “The LTDA is disappointed by the proposals for Oxford Street that were presented today.
“A 24 hour vehicle ban presents a major threat to the West End as a whole. Forcing traffic onto neighbouring streets will merely shift congestion and pollution, all the while making it far harder to visit London’s premier retail destination.
“The loss of taxi access to this section of Oxford Street will cause considerable inconvenience to disabled passengers, many of whom rely upon London’s fully-accessible taxi fleet to get around safely and conveniently.
“The door-to-door service that taxis offer are also relied upon by the millions of tourists who visit Oxford Street every year. Their needs have clearly not been considered.
“It is surprising that Transport for London and Westminster City Council have chosen to pursue this option, since their own consultation showed that there is significant opposition amongst retailers and local residents to pedestrianisation.
“We would encourage everyone to respond to the consultation expressing their views, in order to make their concerns heard.”