News

Central London is set to change forever

Yes: there's good news for London shoppers - and there's also bad news for drivers.

Newly-crowned London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street by 2020. All traffic, including buses and taxis, will be banned from the street, from Tottenham Court Road all the way up to Marble Arch. Currently, cars are banned on Oxford Street between 7am and 7pm but this will mean the famous site of black cabs and big red buses on London's most famous shopping street will soon be a thing of the past. It is not known how cyclists will be affected, but presumably they too will be unable to ride along the stretch of road.

Victoria Shawcross, the deputy mayor for transport told the London Assembly that the move will occur in two stages: firstly, the Tottenham Court Road to Oxford Circus stretch, with the western section to follow.

While there will be obviously benefits for pedestrains - more room, and lower air pollution - it will surely create huge problems with any deliveries, or essential drop-offs, as well as the big question of what to do with the 168 buses an hour that currently move (slowly) down the street. Robert Davis, the deputy leader of Westminster city council, told the Guardian that this is a “major problem”, with the buses presumably being rerouted to other, already congested areas of the capital.

The move will coincide with the opening of Crossrail - aka the Elizabeth Line - which will begin running through the centre of London by December 2018.

(Image: Rex)