Plans to create temporary plazas on either side of Oxford Circus in time for Christmas have been delayed by Westminster Council. The council says that in light of consultations with local residents, they will delay the temporary plazas, which were to be used as a pilot for a permanent scheme to be delivered later.
The plans had been to seal off the short stretches of Oxford Street on either side of Oxford Circus to create the pedestrian zone and test how that works, before then embarking on refurbishing the area permanently into a pedestrian space.
It seems that local residents, who strongly objected to plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street a few years ago, also objected to these much more modest plans, so the council is going to carry out more consultations.
In a statement, Cllr Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning said that they will shortly share the engagement and consultation approach and timetable, but that the council has decided that it’s better to move forward with a focus on permanent schemes.
While there may be a pedestrianised zone around Oxford Circus in the future, it certainly won’t be happening this year. The delay also means that diversions of buses that would have been needed later this year now won’t be happening.