Bold ideas to turn the Oxford Street district into the world’s best outdoor shopping experience.Ambitious plans for the start of the transformation of the Oxford Street area, centered on new world-class public spaces, were uncovered by the Mayor of London.
If approved, the plans, which are being publicly consulted on until this December, would turn the Oxford Street area into the world’s best outdoor shopping experience and create new traffic-free public locations in the heart of London to competitive other world cities such as Paris and New York.
During the consultation, people can have their say on plans to create genuinely pedestrian-friendly conditions. The proposals would see all east-west traffic limited from entering Oxford Street between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus while maintaining north-south routes through that section. The carriageway would be raised to be level with the existing pavements between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus through this first stage, making the area more convenient for everyone.
New seating would be placed along the street to give people a chance to rest and spend time visiting the area. A new 800m-long work of public art could also be commissioned for the length of the former carriageway, acting as a centerpiece for the transformed street. Subject to public response, the delivery of this first stage scheme will aim to coincide with the launch of Elizabeth line services through Central London.
The plans have been created to fit with the broader extensive renovations being made across the West End, including the transformation of Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road stations in advance of the Elizabeth line, the Baker Street two-way project, and changes to the Tottenham Court Road / Gower Street area. The scheme will also see a range of measures implemented to help protect the broader area from traffic and air quality results.
TfL has been working since summer 2016 to reduce the number of buses operating along Oxford Street by 40 percent to reflect a change in customer travel and better match demand across the West End. With the opening of the Elizabeth line, this number would be decreased further – with just two routes (route 139 and route 390), rerouted to operate along Wigmore Street, Henrietta Place, and Cavendish Square, providing connections for visitors and residents across the West End.
New and extended taxi ranks would be created close to Oxford Street to allow Black Cabs to continue to pick up and drop off. When combined with other taxi ranks being built and extended across a full area, this would see the total number of rank spaces increase by 20 percent by 2020. Taxis would also still be able to cross Oxford Street at Duke Street, Stratford Place, Harewood Place and Vere Street.