History of Oxford Street in pictures

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A gallery of images from the history of London's busiest shopping streets

Its hard to imagine that Oxford Street was once lined with independent traders selling their wares from small shops, while the main mode of transport wasn't the bus but horse and cart. Today, it is the capital's most famous shopping area, attracting millions of people each year to browse its department and flagship stores. Time Out takes a look back at images and facts about its history. Words by Abigail Lelliott

The Diagonal Crossing

Oxford Street diagonal crossing Oxford Street diagonal crossing - © Westminster Council

The most recent change to Oxford street happened in 2009, when the pedestrian crossing at the busy interchange with Regent Street had a much overdue rethink. Barriers were taken down and diagonal crossing points with countdowns were installed making it much easier to negotiate this often overcrowded crossing – especially around the tube entrances. Inspired by the Tokyo's Shibuya crossing London Mayor, Boris Johnson commented, "This project is a triumph for British engineering, Japanese innovation and good old fashioned common sense. The head scratching frustration caused by the previous design is over and we’ve brought one of the world’s greatest crossroads into the twenty first century."



The Street Marble Arch Selfridges HMV John Lewis The Plaza shopping centre Marks and Spencer Christmas Lights Diagonal Crossing Future developments

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