People have been banging on about doing up Oxford Street for ages, with little evidence that it was actually happening. But plans for the new and improved shopping street have finally been revealed, which aim to improve the overall ‘appearance and usability’ of the area by increasing space for punters on foot.
While it won’t be fully pedestrianised, the Oxford Street Programme wants to build 12 more pedestrian crossings and add more green areas and seating, as well as improve the lighting on the street. Plans also involve removing traffic islands along the length of Oxford Street and redesigning junctions adjoining the road to make more space for pedestrians. The glow-up spans the whole length of the one-mile road from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch.
Previous plans to give Oxford Street a makeover were axed when Labour won control of Westminster Council in May 2022. The Conservatives had tentatively put aside £120 million for the revamp, but when Labour took over, they said the failed Marble Arch mound – which at £6 million was three times over budget – meant it had to revise the finances. Now the council will invest £90 million into the renovations. The project could also be funded through a public and private sector funding partnership.
A consultation is taking place until August 31, with project due to be completed in 2026.
Councillor Geoff Barraclough, the council’s cabinet member for planning and economic development, said: ‘The West End constantly needs to adapt if it is to continue draw shoppers from around the country and around the world. We need to innovate and ensure we can offer a top-class experience for everyone.
‘I want Oxford Street to be a place local communities, residents, visitors and businesses can feel pride in.’
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