Decision to drop pedestrianisation of Oxford Street is a missed opportunity

We are disappointed by Westminster Council’s announcement yesterday (7 June) that they are dropping plans to pedestrianise London’s Oxford Street.

Vanessa Griffiths, our chief executive, said: “This is a huge missed opportunity by Westminster Council. Turning Oxford Street into a traffic-free zone offers the chance to create a fantastic public space for the millions of people who visit it on foot every year, encouraging walking, improving air quality and public health as well as potentially boosting the economy and enhancing safety.”

We’re campaigning for cities and towns designed to encourage people to go about their everyday lives on foot - making walking the easy choice for any type of urban journey. Prioritising cars over pedestrians will make Oxford Street less welcoming to visitors on foot.

Vanessa added: “The pedestrianisation of this iconic London street, visited by millions of people from all over the world every year, would be an opportunity for London to be a leader in creating healthy, walkable cities that put pedestrians first.

“We are extremely disappointed in Westminster Council’s short-sighted decision to drop these plans, at a time when pollution and obesity are growing problems that need to be tackled urgently.”

We’re urging councils across the UK to sign our Charter for Walkable Towns and Cities, pledging to make all new developments designed to improve local walking networks and make urban areas more green and walkable. The charter already has over 50 signatories, including Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham and Salford’s Mayor, Paul Dennet. Find out more about the Charter for Walkable Cities here

Dominic


I wonder who briefed on this, 'cos it overlooks the deep concerns of people who live on the surrounding and parallel streets. Through which TfL seemed to assume could carry both the additional traffic and suffer vastly elevated levels of air pollution, not to mention the noise. And also for central London residents the ability to travel reasonably conveniently by bus across the West End.

Residents are not all posh or affluent, and both the RA and Living Streets need to reflect on their interests and health.

The new regime in Westminster haven't dismissed this out of hand - and there is certainly scope for a scheme that can meet those requirements. But it won't be done by high-handed action by TfL often a law unto itself as we saw over the Garden Bridge as was indeed obnoxious and seemingly very much in the pocket of other interests Robert Davis.

https://news.fitzrovia.org.uk/2018/04/29/westminster-tories-in-disarray-labour-opposition-defies-mayor-and-new-party-to-fight-oxford-street-pedestrianisation/

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Dominic


I wonder who briefed on this, 'cos it overlooks the deep concerns of people who live on the surrounding and parallel streets. Through which TfL seemed to assume could carry both the additional traffic and suffer vastly elevated levels of air pollution, not to mention the noise. And also for central London residents the ability to travel reasonably conveniently by bus across the West End.

Residents are not all posh or affluent, and both the RA and Living Streets need to reflect on their interests and health.

The new regime in Westminster haven't dismissed this out of hand - and there is certainly scope for a scheme that can meet those requirements. But it won't be done by high-handed action by TfL often a law unto itself as we saw over the Garden Bridge as was indeed obnoxious and seemingly very much in the pocket of other interests Robert Davis.

https://news.fitzrovia.org.uk/2018/04/29/westminster-tories-in-disarray-labour-opposition-defies-mayor-and-new-party-to-fight-oxford-street-pedestrianisation/

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Dominic


It's despite the spin by the RA not a matter of doing nothing. There's also a refreshing commitment made - and we'll need to hold their feet to the fire to make sure that they do not welch.

"However, we do think that most people, ourselves included, feel that doing nothing is also not an option.



In doing this, we must also ensure that residents’ quality of life is enhanced with any improvement plans, with local amenity and cleaner air the absolute priority. For example, we want to continue to work with the Mayor of London, as many of the ways air quality can be improved are within his gift, such as the reduction in buses and introducing cleaner taxis. We will also ensure that the street and surrounding district is accessible and easy to navigate for everyone."

https://maryleboneassociation.wildapricot.org/MA.../6293231

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