Three Of Britain’s Most Dangerous Pedestrian Crossings Are On Oxford Street

By Londonist Last edited 37 months ago
Three Of Britain’s Most Dangerous Pedestrian Crossings Are On Oxford Street

The junction of Oxford Street and Holles Street. Image from Google Streetview.

Oxford Street is the most dangerous area for pedestrians in the country with three crossings high up on a list compiled from data by the Department of Transport. The list ranks the 10 worst accident blackspots in Britain between 2005 and 2013, with the intersection at Holles Street cited as the very worst with 18 accidents (that shocking figure matched by a crossing in Coventry, coincidentally called London Road).

The areas where Oxford Street meets Duke Street and St Davies also ranked uncomfortably high with 15 and 12 accidents a piece. That means taken together the popular shopping destination in central London totals 45 accidents in the last 10 years, which surely means that long-campaigned for action needs to be taken. Is it finally time to take out the traffic completely, or replace the stuttering gridlock of cars and buses with trams?

In response to the figures, Cllr Heather Acton, Westminster City Council cabinet member for sustainability and parking, said: "Just one injury on our roads is one injury too many, but we have worked hard to ensure that the number of pedestrian injuries has almost halved since 2000.

"However, with over 1 million people coming into Westminster every day — and the thousands of tourists that throng our streets every hour, the main way to reduce injuries at most of these locations is through education and encouraging sensible driver behaviour. Pedestrians need to look before they cross, and drivers and cyclists need to look out for pedestrians when approaching a crossing.

"The council plays its part by listening to residents and businesses to locate new crossings in appropriate places, and we also have a number of pedestrian-friendly schemes across the city, with more on the way."

Last Updated 03 June 2015

paul ashby

Hardly surprising the way that people dart across the road, irrespective of traffic conditions. I sympathise with any bus driver on routes down there, must be hell trying to ensure safety. of passengers and pedestrians. Pedestrianise it fully.

Andy Brice

Are they the most dangerous per person crossing, though? Or do they just have the highest number of accidents because they're so busy?


Is there an accident in proportion to numbers quota? Because saying where there's a lot more people there happens to be more accidents is a no brainer. So there's more accidents on a street with millions of people compared to a quiet lane in Boringshire. What a surprise.

4.5 people a year in a highly busy area is no justification for banning cars indeed with 100 times that number a quarter dying in traffic accidents in the UK you'd make a case to ban automobiles entirely.


Interesting comments here, but the issue is not purely numbers of people but mixing of high volume of traffic and high numbers of people. The point of pedestrianisation would be to separate these two conflicting modes of transport, and to better use the available space since at busy times the pedestrians barely fit on the pavement. Another reason for pedestrianisation would be the fact that the traffic creates dangerously high levels of pollution: not desirable when there are so many pedestrians.


In any other European country, Oxford Street would have been pedestrianised decades ago. But car is king in London. Everyone knows the buses are unusable from noon to 7PM on Oxford Street. Build a raised monorail loop from New Oxford Street to Marble Arch and get the buses and cabs onto the side streets behind. Invent the bus transfer (easy to do with Oyster). But simplest is just to avoid the area and leave it to the tourists

jonathan rowe

how about actually enforcing the buses and taxis only rule on oxford st? I have lived in London for 30 years and have never seen a private driver on oxford st being pulled over

I have written to tfl (and westminster a couple of times some years ago), and they are simply not interested in enforcing the rules

Steven Heath

In Paris there are lots of pedestrian areas and even in Birmingham the main shopping road is pedestrian . Now is the time to do it in London and especially Oxford Street .


The buses are pretty much critical for an awful lot of people trying to use Oxford St - either due to mobility problems, or just quantity of shopping. Pedestrianising makes little sense given that the road system north & south doesn't really lend itself to replacement bus routes, and it's quite a schlep between the tube stations when you're having to dodge people all the way.

However, does anyone know what %age of the traffic down the street ISN'T associated with public transport? And how much of it is actually permitted to be there rather than ignoring the relevant restrictions?

Eric D

Just wanted to link to


not my blog !