Photography: Ysangkok

One of London’s busiest and most polluted roads may finally become pedestrianised, mayor Boris Johnson has confirmed.

There have been mounting calls for traffic to be removed from Oxford Street, with Liberal Democrat assembly member Stephen Knight petitioning City Hall in November for the move.

Johnson has now responded to Knight, saying city officials are ‘examining a range of options for improving the environment for pedestrians on Oxford Street’. One possibility is clearing the road of any vehicles.

Widening footpaths, reducing traffic and relocation bus stops are among the other options under discussion.

The West End Partnership will review all of these early this year. Any changes to Oxford Street would be subject to public consultation, however.

Photography: Lars Plougmann
Photography: Lars Plougmann

Said Knight: ‘There can be no denying that if Oxford Street and the West End is to remain a world class retail centre it must become a much safer and pleasant place to visit and that must mean moving towards permanent pedestrianisation.’

Traffic on the road produces the highest known concentrations of toxic nitrogen dioxide anywhere in the world. A person is knocked down by a vehicle every five days too.

It’s not just the outgoing mayor that is looking into pedestrianising the street. All major candidates in this year’s upcoming mayoral elections are backing the idea.



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