Westminster City Council have allocated £150 million to renovating retail district Oxford Street. Design work will start in Spring, with physical work set to start in Autumn.
The council’s proposals include reducing congestion and pollution, with buses set to be re-routed either side of Regent Street and roads set to be narrowed along the busiest pedestrian areas. London Mayor Sadiq Khan had previously highlighted the pedestrianisation of the street as a flagship policy, though plans for this were shelved last year.
Oxford Street contains over 300 shops and is the most frequently bisited shopping street in Inner London. Several British retailers regard their Oxford Street store as their flagship, with Debenhams, HMV, Selfridges and Marks and Spencer being some of the most famous.
With Crossrail’s Elizabeth line set to open in Autumn 2019, there are fears that Oxford Street could see tens of thousands more visitors every day. Sadiq Khan first outlined the idea for pedestrianisation in his manifesto to become London Mayor in 2016, in part down to the excessive levels of pollution in the area; in 2014, a report from King's College, London showed that Oxford Street had the world's highest concentration of nitrogen dioxide pollution, at 135 micrograms per cubic metre of air (μg/m3).
In November of last year, a two-acre retail development was proposed for Oxford Street between Portman Street and Old Quebec Street, which could be launched in the next few years.
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