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Everyone's talking about... pedestrianising Oxford Street

Written by
Isabelle Aron

So, what's the story?

You know how Oxford Street is pretty much the worst place on earth? The charity Living Streets is on a mission to make it slightly less hellish by launching a campaign that urges London's next mayor to pedestrianise the 1.2-mile stretch that is Europe's busiest retail street.

Sure, it's busy. But is it dangerous?

Living Streets says that every six days a person gets hit by a vehicle on the jam-packed thoroughfare. And figures from the Department of Transport reveal that itís also home to three of the top ten most hazardous crossings in the country. So you'd better watch out.

Haven't people been trying to make it traffic-free for years?

Yes, but with Crossrail stations opening at Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street in 2018, there are concerns that overcrowding and pollution levels will skyrocket. Transport for London's projections show that, if nothing changes, congestion in central London will increase by 60 percent by 2031. And you don't need an A* in GCSE maths to work out that's, er, a lot.

Pedestrianising it's a nice idea, but will it actually happen?

Living Streets London campaigns manager Sarah Williams says Oxford Street is at 'breaking point' but believes that 'with commitment from the Mayor we think this could be achieved by 2020'. Five mayoral candidates - including the Tory and Labour contenders, Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan - have now pledged to pedestrianise the street if elected next year. Here's hoping.

See the Oxford Street Christmas lights in all their sparkly glory.

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