Oxford Street London pedestrian mall plan

Oxford-street-LondonPart of Oxford Street London is set to be closed to traffic turning one of the world’s busiest retail strips into a pedestrian zone.

The transformation will take place late next year, London mayor Sadiq Kahn has confirmed.

Artist’s impressions show a space dominated by public art, relaxation zones and trees,running from Selfridges department store to Oxford Circus, the intersection with Regent Street.

“This is a hugely exciting moment for the capital,” said Khan. “Oxford Street is world famous with millions of visitors every year, and in just over a year the iconic part of the street west of Oxford Circus could be transformed into a traffic-free pedestrian boulevard.”

Some 500,000 people walk along Oxford Street on any given day and it is the key destination for overseas tourists hitting the city for retail therapy to take advantage of the low value of the pound. But statistics show a pedestrian is injured in a car accident at least once a week.

Kahn’s plan would see buses re-routed to adjacent streets and the street raised to the same level as the pavements. Cross-streets would remain.

The permanent plan follows short-term trials of closing the strip to motor vehicles leading up to last Christmas.

This story first appeared on sister site Inside Retail Asia.

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