Oxford Street will be for pedestrians only by 2020, the mayor of London’s office has announced. All traffic including buses and taxis will be banned from the shopping street.
Oxford street is considered one of the most famous shopping districts in the world and its renovation is part of Sadiq Khan‘s plans to tackle air pollution.
More than four million people visit Oxford Street each week. City Hall said the project would be rolled out in two stages to reduce disruption on the 2 kilometer street. Cars are already banned on most of Oxford Street between 07:00 and 19:00 every day apart from Sunday.
Valerie Shawcross, London’s deputy mayor for transport, told the London Assembly on Wednesday that the plan was to ban all traffic along Oxford Street from Tottenham Court Road as far as Marble Arch. The ban will first be implemented on the eastern section, between Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus, she said.
A spokesman said the project would contribute to the mayor’s aim of improving air quality and make Oxford Street “a far safer and more pleasant place to visit”.
Traffic-free shopping days have been a feature of Oxford Street since 2005 as London’s first elected mayor, Ken Livingstone, introduced pedestrian-only Christmas shopping days on Oxford Street in 2005.
Traffic-free shopping days have been a feature on both Oxford Street and Regent Street ever since. The fastest bus journey along the length of Oxford Street is estimated at 7km/h on weekdays, compared to the walking pace of the average pedestrian at 5km/h.
Ms Shawcross said buses would be rerouted around Oxford Street, but did not give details of planned routes.