London's Oxford Circus to be a pedestrian-only zone soon

London - Air quality will be improved as people are preferred to vehicles on the High Street



By Prasun Sonwalkar

Published: Thu 17 Jun 2021, 2:20 PM

Last updated: Thu 17 Jun 2021, 2:21 PM

The next time you visit London and go shopping in the iconic Oxford Circus, you may not be able to drive there.

The Westminster City Council has announced plans to transform the area, popular with tourists, into two pedestrian-friendly piazzas by the end of the year.

The plans drawn up by the council and the Crown Estate will be implemented later this year following an international design competition run by the Royal Institute of British Architects, and will include several improvements, including creating more places to eat, drink, shop and enjoy the centre of London.

Roads will be closed between Oxford Circus and Great Portland Street to the east, and Oxford Circus and John Princes Street to the west, turning the area into a pedestrian-first zone.

Westminster council leader Rachael Robathan said: “These new bold plans to reinvent Oxford Circus will see the first significant redesign of the nation’s favourite high street in decades. We hope the creation of these pedestrian-only piazzas at Oxford Circus, surrounded by newly planted trees and large seating areas, will instil much needed confidence in the West End and support local businesses severely affected by the pandemic. We want to bring the excitement and buzz back to these famous streets and make Oxford Circus London’s front door”.

Dan Labbad, chief executive at the Crown Estate, added: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Westminster to deliver a transformation of what I think we all recognise as one of the most iconic locations in the World. It is essential, as we rebuild our capital, that we create places that better serve all those who use them – improving air quality, reducing congestion, prioritising safety and delivering a world class visitor experience”.

Pedestrians walk past a coronavirus information sign as they pass shops on Oxford Street. Photo: AFP
Pedestrians walk past a coronavirus information sign as they pass shops on Oxford Street. Photo: AFP

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