Sunday, December 17The Voice of London

Oxford Street to be pedestrianised before next Christmas

The pedestrianisation of Oxford Street has been hotly contested ever since the ideas was conceived by BoJo. Now Mayor Sadiq Khan has promised that the famous location will be people only by the end of 2018.

No longer will you feel like an expert Londoner when you time your crossing in perfect motion with the traffic and terrified tourists around you.

Arriving at the same as the new Elizabeth line, thousands more commuters and tourists will be arriving at the gleaming new Bond Street station each day. Meaning whether you like it or not, the changes are necessary.

It’s officially confirmed that at least part of Oxford Street will become pedestrianised, banning cars and eliminating the notorious wall of red busses which have been clogging up the street for years.

The heart of W1 will fall silent

Last month the Evening Standard reported that despite the steady decline in bus journeys since the 1980s, most likely due to the improvement of tube services and the introduction of the overground, bus number shave remained the same. With toxic air levels reaching record high levels, it’s time for a change.

Oxford Street became the centre of commerce, a staple of the UK’s consumerist power back in the late 19th century and since then, has been the booming centre of the city where all major retailers have battled to have the flagship stores and show off their prominence.

The heart of the W1, it’s the intersection between the more upmarket Regents street, the head quarters of the London School of Fashion and the BBC.

With over 15 bus routes serving the the most famous 1.2 mile stretch of street in the world, where will they go now?

Well, the new human only zone will stretch from Marble Arch to Orchard Street and maybe even Tottenham Court road in the future. But initially, bus passengers will be dropped off not too far from current routes as the road will run just behind existing locations.

Disabled shoppers may face a harder time getting from one end of the street to another without the use of buses. However, this shouldn’t be a problem as accessibility in shops is becoming more widespread and the added room for manoeuvre will reduce the challenges disabled people face.

No matter what happens, the plan to make Oxford Street a safer and more inclusive shopping experience for all – Even Paddington.

By: Michael Ward| Subbing: Ainaa Mashrique

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