Plans to reduce traffic levels on Oxford Street and create more space for pedestrians have been published by Transport for London.
The plans, which have been drawn up in partnership with Westminster City Council, have been published for consultation and could see taxis banned from using the street and cyclists either banned or restricted in the hours they can travel along the road.
TfL and Westminster Council say the opening of the Elizabeth Line in 2018 gives them “a once-in-a-generation opportunity” to rethink transport links and public access along the street which is one of the capital’s busiest shopping and tourist destinations.
Visitor numbers can sometimes be so high that pedestrians are forced to walk in the road as there’s insufficient space on the pavement.
An initial consultation will help gauge public support for a number of suggested options and feedback will be used to work up a detailed scheme on which work could start in 2018.
“Today is an exciting first step in our plans to transform Oxford Street into one of the finest public spaces in the world,” said Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport.
“Oxford Street is iconic as a shopping destination, but there is far too much pollution and we have a huge opportunity to make it cleaner and safer for the millions of people who use the street every year.
“We need to make the transformation the very best it can be – ensuring it benefits local residents, businesses, and people who rely upon transport links in the area.
“This is an important first opportunity for Londoners to have their say before we outline our detailed proposals later in the year.”
Leader of Westminster City Council, Cllr Nickie Aiken, said: “We want to ensure that all residents, office workers, shoppers and tourists benefit from the improvements to one of the busiest and most famous streets in Europe.
“In order to achieve this, we would urge as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and have their say on the future of an iconic area of London.
“The Mayor and I are in total agreement that the area should be massively improved but we don’t yet have any firm plans.
“That’s why we want to hear what residents, businesses, visitors and workers think will improve the district.”
London’s Transport Commissioner, Mike Brown MVO, added: “Oxford Street is known across the globe as a fantastic place to shop, meet friends and socialise.
“The introduction of the Elizabeth line will help ensure that it retains its iconic status for years to come.
“It’s therefore vital that we take this once in a lifetime opportunity to make the area an even better place to live, work and visit.
“I would encourage everyone to get involved in this important consultation and help us shape the future of this world-renowned destination.”
Publication of the proposals comes just days after TfL announced plans to slash bus numbers on Oxford Street by 40%.
For more information and to respond to the consultation, visit www.tfl.gov.uk/oxford-street