Transport for London and Westminster City Council are consulting on plans for the first phase of Oxford Street's transformation: an opportunity for a vehicle-free boulevard in the heart of the capital and high-quality parallel cycle routes. Here is what we think and how to have your say.
The current proposal would see plans for a traffic-free area between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus, which could be open by December 2018 to coincide with launch of Elizabeth line services and increased visitor numbers.
Plans for the wider area could include new high-quality public spaces, new cycle routes, 25 improved pedestrian crossings, wider pavements, and additional taxi ranks.
The majority of bus routes would be curtailed at either end of the scheme, with two bus routes moving to Wigmore Street nearby. You can find out more details on Transport for London's consultation page.
What we think
Half a million people already use Oxford Street daily, breathing in pollution four times the legal limit. And it will become even more packed when the Elizabeth Line opens, bringing in an extra 150,000 people a day. Removing vehicle traffic from Oxford Street is a must.
We want to see the transformation of Oxford Street maximise the opportunities for walking and cycling: transforming the walking environment on one iconic street, while transforming the cycling environment over a wide area of central London, but the proposal for a blanket cycling ban on Oxford Street is a cause for concern.
The success of Oxford Street depends on high-quality cycling provision on alternative corridors, we want the best possible outcome for people travelling by foot or by cycle.
Given the sheer number of people filling Oxford Street, crossing it from side-to-side, and enjoying the open space, means that separate, alternative provision is needed for people cycling through the West End, while Oxford Street needs to remain open and accessible to all.
“ Plans to create high-quality East-West & North-South cycling routes must come forward ”
This is why we believe it is crucial that plans to create high-quality East-West and North-South cycling routes must come forward, along with proposals to reduce traffic levels in the surrounding streets to improve them for all – not just shifting the excess traffic onto them. The Mayor has committed to "ensure that cyclists have excellent access to Oxford Street and a quality parallel east-west route”, and we will continue to press for this commitment to be delivered.
We strongly support the use of cycling as a mobility aid, allowing all Londoners - regardless of age or ability - to enjoy the independence and freedom that many of us take for granted. A blanket ban of cycling on Oxford Street would hinder people with a disability accessing the street. Therefore the proposal for a complete ban on cycling is serious cause for concern.
Say yes to a vehicle-free Oxford Street
Removing traffic from it is good for our city and good for our health.
- The complete removal of traffic from Oxford Street, 24 hours a day.
- Walking improvements across the wider Oxford Street area including new crossings, wider footways and improved seating.
- Priority for pedestrians at crossings on all north-south vehicle routes.
We are calling for:
- High-quality east-west cycle routes to the north and south of Oxford Street and improved cycle permeability and facilities for north-south movements across Oxford Street.
- Low-traffic neighborhood streets in the surrounding area, through filtered permeability.
- A major increase in cycle parking across the district with high-quality access routes for cycling.