Oxford Street, London, is one of the most populated and polluted boulevards in the UK. The diesel engines from buses and taxis have left the street with high-level records of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).
Today, Transport for London released plans to eliminate vehicles on Oxford Street. Their proposal is open for public commentary until December 17, and aims to form a decision by Spring of 2018. According to the proposal: “Access by taxis, private hire vehicles and freight and servicing vehicles would all be restricted.”
Transport for London claimed:
We genuinely believe these proposals respond positively to the concerns raised by some and would enable us to deliver a significantly improved Oxford Street and the wider Oxford Street area for everyone…Doing nothing to transform the Oxford Street district would mean that traffic and pedestrian congestion on Oxford Street and in the surrounding area would worsen.
Mayor Sadiq Khan has tweeted the plans:
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) November 6, 2017
In addition, Transport for London hopes to establish a space for public art: “In the coming months we will commission an artist to create an 800m-long piece of public art to be painted along the length of what would be the former carriageway.”
This project would accompany the opening of the Elizabeth Line, the new underground line.
Twitter accounts have voiced mixed reactions:
Terrible idea which takes no account of the disabled. Large pedestrianised areas lose trade as ppl can only carry small purchases.
— Helen Chapman (@HC_Zedart) November 6, 2017
Please do this; the air in Oxford Street is toxic and dangerous to health at the moment.
— Navahra Lindsay (@NavahraLindsay) November 6, 2017
Was just the other day thinking they should do this. Hope actually happens & be good way for the street to compete with BlueWaterWestfield
— Ross Thoroughgood (@LordRoss) November 6, 2017
If the proposal is approved – Oxford Street may look something like…
Looks like the future?