London plans to create the world’s best outdoor shopping experience by banning cars, buses and black cabs from Oxford Street
London‘s air pollution and the wall of red buses will soon no longer be a nuisance for the millions of visitors to one of the busiest shopping streets in the world.
To tackle these issues, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan announced a plan to ban vehicles and bicycles from Oxford Street by 17 December next year. The half-mile long area between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus will be reserved for pedestrians only.
Oxford Street is one of the busiest areas of London because of the huge range of shops it holds and the fact that it is a tourist hotspot.
The authorities seek to transform the western section of Oxford Street “to create the world’s best outdoor shopping experience and an unrivalled place to live and visit”, the official statement says.
“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,” said Khan.
He continued: “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 pedestrianisation will be tied to the opening of the Elizabeth line, a rail line that is will boost rail capacity in Central London by 10 per cent.
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This is an important step towards tackling air pollution on one of the busiest streets in the UK. Initiatives like this encourage people to walk and be active, which not only cuts emissions but also helps people lower their risk of heart disease and stroke.”
However, certain north-south routes will remain in the scheme, and their future will be subject to a public consultation as well as a possible construction of new cycle routes.