The pedestrianisation of Oxford Street could commence as soon as next year.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced that a western swathe of the central London shopping street could be made off-limits to traffic by December 2018, coinciding with the roll-out of Crossrail.
The plans envisage making roughly half a mile of Oxford Street — between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus — off limits to all traffic, including black cabs, buses and cyclists (there are plans for "new high-quality cycle routes" to the north and south of Oxford Street).
It's all part of a drive to cut air pollution, congestion and road accidents in the area. Around four million people visit Oxford Street every week.
This would be the first of three stages of pedestrianisation, which would see the whole of Oxford Street pedestrianised by 2021. Other plans for this initial stage include widening of pavements, new public seating, six new pedestrian crossings along Wigmore Street and new and extended taxi ranks close to Oxford Street.
An 800m-long work of public art has also been vaunted — presumably the colourful strip that can be seen in the artist's impression.
Said Sadiq Khan:
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.
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.
A public consultation is running until 17 December 2017.