London's main shopping and tourist artery could be closed to all traffic in time for the Christmas shopping season of 2018, with the city's mayor revealing a three-stage plan to eventually remove all buses and taxis from the street and turn it over entirely to pedestrians. Even cyclists will have to get off and walk it.
The plan starts by removing vehicles from the middle section of the street, from Oxford Circus to Selfridges, by the end of 2018. The bit between Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road could then be cleansed of cabs and buses by 2019, with the Marble Arch end losing vehicle access in around 2020.
This is all OK because of the new Elizabeth Line and its step-free stations, says the mayor, with buses redirected to parallel side streets so that the core shopping district can be paved and populated with benches. The bad news is that this might open up areas to be used by street entertainers, the scourge of any pedestrianised area.
Mayor Khan said: "Alongside the arrival of the Elizabeth Line, the Oxford Street area will be truly transformed over the coming years. We will continue to work closely with residents, businesses and Westminster Council to ensure the plans are the very best they can be, including investing in wider pavements, pedestrian crossings, more taxi ranks and further high-quality cycling infrastructure to support everyone living and working in the wider area."
Just please no street entertainers. [Mayor]