- Vivian Hendriksz |
London - Plans to transform London's Oxford Street into into a renowned public space have taken a huge step forward, as 62 percent of 12,000 respondents say they support the transformation of the area following the first consultation. A second consultation concerning plans to reduce congestion and enhance the shopping experience within the Oxford Street district is set to take place this November.
Transport for London (TfL) and Westminster are working together to address local concerns and develop designs for the area, as the transition of the area is set to coincide with the launch of the Elizabeth line services through Central London in December 2018, with a full transformation scheme aiming to be in place by 2021.
Together the areas spanning Mayfair, Marylebone, Fitzrovia, Soho and Oxford Street welcome more than 500,000 visitors each day, who come to visit some of the world's best-loved stores. In order to create a better environment for these shoppers, TfL aims to pedestrianize part of Oxford Street. However, several concerns in regards to this, such as traffic impacts on the wider area, the relocation of bus services and accessibility issues have been raised by a wide range of local residents, business and stakeholders across London and the UK, as 30 percent of respondents said they didn’t support the transformation.
In order to ensure the Oxford Street transformation programme concerns to move forward, ten detailed work streams are currently underway to address the number of concerns raised during the first consultation. Each of these projects aims to ensure the transformation is successful for all, with minimal impact to local traffic, businesses, and residents.
"Wherever you go around the world, if you mention Oxford Street, people know you are talking about London. However, the area is already very busy and growth in London’s population and the economy will bring even more people to the area," said Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at Transport for London. "Along with reducing the number of buses along Oxford Street by 40 percent, the introduction of the Elizabeth line provides a once in a generation opportunity to tackle the challenges of poor air quality and congestion to help ensure that it retains its iconic status for years to come."
"The strong support from this consultation has shown that there is a desire to make Oxford Street and the wider area an even better place to live, work and visit. We will now work to further analyse the consultation responses and address the issues raised as we develop our plans for a truly transformational scheme for all."