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Mayor’s Oxford Street pedestrianisation plan divides public

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Proposals to boot traffic off an 800m stretch of London’s busy Oxford Street have received a mixed response from the public, an official report has revealed

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan last year announced a consultation on plans to pedestrianise the famous shopping street between Oxford Circus Tube station and Orchard Street near Marble Arch from the end of 2018.

Now Transport for London has published the results, which show that 33 per cent of more than 14,000 respondents objected to the initiative outright while a further 16 per cent said they had ‘some concerns’ about it.

The plans were unequivocally backed by 48 per cent of people who replied to the consultation, with the remaining three per cent not answering this question.

More than 600 different ‘issues’ were raised with the proposals, including ease of getting into and around the area; the impact on Tube services and taxi businesses; and future design of the area. The most commonly raised concern was greater congestion in nearby areas.

The plans are aimed at creating a new public space for the opening of Crossrail’s Elizabeth Line services through the heart of the capital. Although traffic would still be able to travel along routes that criss-cross Oxford Street, the road itself would be raised level with existing pavements.

Shops falling within the mainly pedestrianised zone would include Selfridges, John Lewis and House of Fraser.

New seating would be placed along the street and an 800m-long work of public art may be commissioned.

TfL director of city planning Alex Williams said: ‘The results of this consultation show that there is a strong desire to improve the West End and make Oxford Street more pedestrian focused.

’All points raised in the consultation are being considered and we continue to work with Westminster City Council ahead of a final decision on the scheme later this year.’

Zaha Hadid Architects principal Patrik Schumacher last month told Khan that entire swathes of central London should become car-free zones.  

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