Transport for London (TfL) have announced major changes to the western end of Oxford Street in central London. The road itself will be pedestrianised. All the multiple bus routes that currently use the road, and which cause very poor air pollution will either be simply “withdrawn”, or diverted down Wigmore Street and Henrietta Street in some cases. Even cyclists will be prohibited although one can imagine the problem of enforcing that restriction.
A lot of the surrounding roads will also be affected, and routes north and south across Oxford Streeet limited. For example, the Harewood Place/Hollies Street route north from Hanover Square will be barred except to buses and taxis. This will make it difficult for some vehicles which need to reach the car park under Cavendish Square from the South. This is a large car park used by many shoppers and visitors to the surrounding medical practices in the area around Harley Street. Cavendish Square will be substantially improved though and as a result the entrance/exit to that car park need to be reversed
Note that this section of Oxford Street (west of Oxford Circus to Orchard Street, where Marks & Spencer is sited) is already restricted to buses and taxis. An artists impression of what the street might look like is given below, and you can find more information and respond to the consultation here: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/oxford-street/?cid=oxford-street
Comment: The “bus jams” caused by queuing buses on Oxford Street, often quite empty, certainly needed tackling and there are frequently accidents caused by folks stepping in front of buses. Pedestrianising the street is surely a good concept although some bus passengers may be seriously inconvenienced and Wigmore Street may become congested.
We are generally not in favour of restricting roads to certain types of vehicles, or of having time limited road closures (James Street will be closed 11.00 am to Midnight). But if any readers have other comments on the proposals, please let us know by commenting on this blog post.
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While I appreciate that something needs to be done about the appalling traffic conditions in London (particularly Central London), the Mayor’s ideas of restricting traffic have significant implications for many drivers, in particular, disabled motorists (of which I am one). Much of London is extremely difficult to access for me (more or less a “no go” area). While wheelchair access to public transport has improved, I am still unable to use it (I can expand on this statement). Pedestrianisation of Oxford Street will mean that it will be impossible for me to access it.
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