Five months ahead of mayoral election, Boris boards pedestrianisation bandwagon
Outgoing Mayor of London Boris Johnson has confirmed that London’s transport bosses are already in the process of examining the possibility of pedestrianising Oxford Street.
All four of the main candidates to replace Boris as Mayor have said they back the proposals, and over recent years Oxford Street has been used to highlight London’s air pollution problem.
The move comes in response to Lib Dem London Assembly member Stephen Knight, who presented a petition urging the Mayor and council “to remove all motor traffic from Oxford Street, introduce a zero emission shuttle bus, leading to full pedestrianisation of Oxford Street by 2020.”
In a letter to Knight, Johnson said TfL and Westminster Council were “examining a range of options for improving the environment for pedestrians on Oxford Street”.
The plans include “reducing traffic, widening footways, reducing and relocating bus stops and pedestrianisation”, Johnson added.
Responding to the Mayor’s letter, Knight said: “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.”
Boris previously ruled out full pedestrianisation of Oxford Street. Is he trying to lay the foundations for a final scheme that will end up being linked with his tenure in City Hall?