Some of our most packed and venerated shopping streets are going be upgraded and canonised. Sort of:
A light sculpture and large pedestrianised areas are part of a £40m proposal to transform some of the world's most famous shopping streets. Westminster Council's Oxford, Regent and Bond St (Orb) Draft Action Plan hopes to renew the central London area. The light sculpture will be suspended 30ft in the air encircling Oxford Circus [and] will change colour throughout the year.
A halo for Oxford Circus? Don't you have to die horribly and be recognised a saint by that weirdo in Rome before getting one of those? But how do you horribly kill a series of streets? Well you could fill them with packed shops and release tourists to shuffle over them until the very flagstones themselves slowly suffocate under a deluge of Italian footwear, Starbucks cups and tatty unwanted freesheets. Bingo.
To be honest, the last thing we need is another excuse for people to stop moving, their slack jawed heads looking anywhere but in front of them. But if nothing else It'll give our resident UFO cops something to photograph.
The other plans sound much better so we're all behind the following (one of which we made up):
# Broadening the pavements on Regent Street and creating a central reservation
# New Bond Street junction off Oxford Street will be pedestrianised
# Reducing bus traffic and moving taxi ranks and bus stops to help ease congestion
# 300 specially trained community officers to make a stand outside TopShop against the hoards of the Teenage Empire on Saturday afternoons
Gary Reeves, chief executive of New West End Company, said: "Doing nothing is not an option".
C'mon Gary, doing nothing is always an option. Oh, you meant in relation to Oxford Circus? Fair enough. We'd like to see the reasoning behind the innovative idea of the halo though because that sounds like nothing, but with a fancified series of fairylights attached. Perhaps if the VOICE OF GOD (pre-recorded by James Earl Jones) roared from the thing and chastised people for dragging their heels it'd be worth the money?