Well this is certainly going to make those Primark trips a little easier, isn’t it?
Big news coming out of central London this morning: by next Christmas, a huge slice of Oxford Street will be completely vehicle free. The plan to pedestrianise Oxford Street has been kicking around for a little while, but it’s now taken off as part of plans to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion in central London. Struggling to entertain this radical notion? Well there’s no need to, as TfL have helpfully released some artist’s impressions of the plans:
No word on what purpose the weird crouching men will serve, but it definitely looks a little more tranquil! By Christmas 2018, the section of Oxford Street between Oxford Circus and Selfridges will be one massive pavement, with not a car, bus, or neon-clad pedicab in sight. Probably a good idea, too, since Oxford Street welcomes four million visitors a week, and roughly half of them seem remarkably unconcerned about walking fast/waiting for lights/getting whacked by impatient Londoners.
So, from the end of next year, you’ll have less of this:
And more of this:
This is just phase one of the Grand Plan to transform Oxford Street. In 2018, TfL will start accepting proposals for what to do with the other half of the street – the part which runs between Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road – with a view to having that pedestrianised by late 2019/early 2020. If that all goes well, Marble Arch could end up receiving the same treatment. There’s also talk of commissioning some public artwork to brighten up the pavements too. TfL are nothing if not ambitious…
With the Elizabeth Line set to arrive on Oxford Street in December 2018, next Christmas is shaping up to be a busy year for central London. And that’s before the Christmas lights even go up… In the meantime, you’ll have to savour the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street whilst it lasts, because it won’t be around much longer. Who knows, you may even find that you end up missing it! Probably not this guy though: