The council hope to launch it’s Oxford Streets first step-only section at the same time as the Elizabeth line services which will hopefully through central London in December 2018.
Between Oxford Circus and Orchard Street, the road will be the first car free zone in the area. While this is seen as a good thing by many, local residents worry that the loss of drivable roads in the area will force cars into other places, therefore making them busier.
The Mayor and Westminster City Council will be holding a consultation next year to extend the pedestrianisation down towards the section towards Tottenham Court Road and slowly build. Talks are taking place for having artwork on the 800 metre walking area. Public spaces, cycle lanes and wider pavements will be added in the wider West End, hopefully by December 2018.
Not only will pedestrianising Oxford Street make roads safer, it will also help the pollution in the area, as it is known as one of Londons most polluted zones. One of Orchard Street retail store managers, Sara Constance said “it’s good in the sense that it’s helping the environment, but that money could be put into more important things such as housing!”
London mayor Sadiq Khan has said in a statement “This is a hugely exciting moment for the capital.”
Being one of the biggest shopping areas in Europe, it is estimated that over 500,000 people will walk through it each day, but it is still to soon to say just how these drastic changes will effect store sales.