You might remember the big hoo-ha about Oxford Street possibly getting pedestrianised.
Most people were all over it, already getting excited – or as excited as one can get – about doing their Christmas shopping without dodging cars (and having a bit more space to dodge the trudgers). But many local residents weren’t so pleased.
In new developments, it appears the project may no longer go ahead. Westminster Council have rejected the plans, deeming them to be “unacceptable”.
The original plans were proposed by TfL and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, in a bid to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion in central London. But, although only the western end of the street (up towards Selfridges) would have gone car-free, apparently it’s still a cause for concern for local residents, who are worried that the diversion of traffic would bring all of the yucky congestion and pollution outside their doors.
Oxford Street was due to become car-free in time for the opening of the Elizabeth line in December – partly because the new train service is expected to bring as many as 40% more visitors to the popular shopping street. (You’ve seen Oxford Street as it is, and I’m sure you’ll agree that we do NOT need any more people inside that Primark.) Nonetheless, officials have been told to stop working on the plan immediately.
Against all odds, Sadiq Khan is thought to be pushing hard for the proposal anyway. Good man.