Radical new plans for a pedestrianised Oxford Street have been revealed

Well, a 150m long section of it, anyway

Samantha Willis
Written by
Samantha Willis
Head of Social, North America & UK
Plans for Oxford Street's pedestrianisation revealed
Plans for the pedestrian ‘piazza’ on London’s Oxford Street. Photograph: Westminster Council

It feels like we've all been trying to cross the road in front of the ‘Big Topshop’ (RIP) safely for decades and now, all of a sudden, on the hottest day of the year so far – something's finally being done to make that intersection easier for shoppers to navigate. 

The answer is a pedestrian ‘piazza’ on either side of the busy junction that links two of London's famous shopping streets: Oxford Street and Regent Street. Under the current plans, published by Westminster Council and The Crown Estate,  a 150m-long stretch between Great Portland Street and John Prince's Street will be shut to buses and taxis. They'll be rerouted around Oxford Circus through Marylebone and Fitzrovia along the parallel Margaret Street.

Traffic will still be permitted along Regent Street, but will be controlled by longer green phases at crossings and other measures still to be confirmed.

There will also be new entrances to Oxford Circus Tube station, to ease the bottleneck of passengers entering and leaving under the current design. Both pedestrian crossings and station entrances can become dangerously overcrowded. I mean, we've all joined the mass of late Christmas shoppers at some point and vowed never to be part of it again.

Plans for new entrances to Oxford Circus station
Photo: Westminster Council

The area was last redesigned with a distinctive diagonal format, at a cost of £5 million, in 2009 to address all of the same issues – but failed to tackle up to 40,000 pedestrians per hour waiting for the ‘green man’ at any one time.

Let's hope they can get the work completed before the Elizabeth Line opens, when tens of millions more visitors descend on the district for a browse around the new Sports Direct Superstore. Frankly, it wouldn't be worth it. Not even for those prices. 

Did you know that the South Bank has been named third coolest street in the world?

More good news – London is getting four NEW cinemas.

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