London's Oxford Street Will Remain Overcrowded, Overpolluted, and Full of Taxis

By Tom Pritchard on at

Last November plans were announced that would see London's Oxford Street get pedestrianised, removing all wheeled objects from the vicinity (except wheelchairs and the like, obviously). The plans would have happened in three stages, starting this year, with the entire road vehicle free by 2020. Unfortunately those plans have now been cancelled by Westminster Council.

If you've ever been to Oxford Street you'll know that it's not a particularly nice place, especially as you walk up towards Tottenham Court Road where half the pavement seems to have been blocked off for scaffolding. Pedestrianising the area would have eased the foot traffic congestion issue, not to mention all the good it would do for the amount of pollution in the area. It also would have stopped people being hit by traffic, which is apparently a serious problem.

But Westminster Council says the idea is "off the table for good". Two consultations found that despite the fact a lot of Londoners were supportive of the idea, local opinion was adamantly against the idea of rerouting traffic down different roads and letting pedestrians take over. And the council sided with that smaller group of people, hence the decision.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called the decision "a betrayal" that "poses a real threat to the future of Oxford Street", vowing to continue the fight for a pedestrian-only high street. But for now you're going to have to continue dodging hapless pedestrians and looking both ways before you cross the road to visit the Sports Direct Superstore. [Londonist]