More information has been released about plans to pedestrianise the lengths of Oxford Street next to Oxford Circus and divert road traffic around it.

The initial phase will see traffic restricted from using Oxford Street between Great Portland Street on the eastern side and John Princes Street on the western side. That comes into effect next month.

With road traffic – which is mainly buses and taxis unable to use the east-west route across Oxford Circus, it will be diverted northwards to parallel roads.

Image credit: Publica

Initially, the traffic will be sent via Wigmore Street while road improvements are carried out to allow for a long term diversion around Oxford Circus, with improvements to Margaret Street and Cavendish Square, and a number of smaller side streets.

Getting rid of Oxford Circus as a junction is expected to will see westbound journeys by buses becoming about a minute longer in the evenings, but they expect southbound journeys to be 5-10 minutes quicker throughout the day.

Image credit: Publica

A lot of pedestrian improvements on the side streets are being proposed as part of the plans, along with some additional loading bays for deliveries. In terms of total works being carried out, the enabling works in the side roads are as big a project as the Oxford Street pedestrianisation, even if they get far less attention.

Enabling works and the piazzas will be developed by December 2021, with permanent works to follow following the award of a design competition and a second consultation round in 2022.

The completion of the surface works is expected to be by the winter of 2023.

The additional information was included in a brochure which has been added to the consultation webpage.

A proposal to add two new entrances to the Oxford Circus tube station will come later, with plans for one to be added from 2024 and the second a year later in 2025. Those changes will be entirely dependent on finding the cash for the additional entrances though.

A missed opportunity would have been to include the proposed western entrance into the Crown Estate’s planned redevelopment of the corner block currently occupied by Microsoft. Including a new entrance into the frontage facing Oxford Street roughly where Swallow Passage is today would remove the need for an entrance to sit in the middle of the pavement.

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7 comments
  1. Ed says:

    Great that they’re finally pedestrianising part of Oxford Street, but it feels like they’ve missed a trick by not putting in any cycling infrastructure at all. Oxford Street is a great direct route for people on bikes.

    • Brendan Kavanagh says:

      People on bikes should be banned from using all roads, paths etc. Everywhere, in fact.

  2. Michael packham says:

    Absolutely ridiculous. all your doing is closing London down , You’ve not even give it a minute though about all the Disability people and old people, absolutely disgusting.

    • ianVisits says:

      a) The proposal closes off a tiny section of road that vehicles are already not allowed to stop in, so there’s no impact on road accessibility for the disabled.

      b) Bus stops will be moved closer to the newly pedestrianised area, and pavement improvements in the roads around the area will improve accessibility.

      c) Rather than ranting on a random website, why not respond to the consultation with evidence of how these changes will impair accessibility?

  3. tops says:

    It looks like the SW entrance is removed in the longer-term illustrations.

    • ianVisits says:

      As always, these are just indicative illustrations and never to be taken literally.

    • tops says:

      > As always, these are just indicative illustrations and never to be taken literally.

      Agreed. Funny that the other three are left out, though. In all the visualisations. That would seem to indicate purpose, whether it comes to be or not.

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