The Anonymous Widower

Oxford Street Could Be Pedestrianised By Next Christmas

The title of this post is the same as the sub-title of this article in the Independent.

The aim is to pedestrianise Oxford Street from Oxford Street to Orchard Street by December 2018, which is the date when the Elizabeth Line will open.

It is an ambitious plan and despite substantial backing from the Mayor, Westminster City Council, the West End Company and groups like the British Heart Foundation, I don’t think it will be plain sailing.

Walking Along Oxford Street

In Walking Along Oxford Street, I show various pictures I took this morning whilst walking between Marble Arch and Tottenham Court Road stations.

Oxford Street looked to have improved, since I last did this. But then it’s a long time since I’ve walked the streets without crowds.

My views are as follows.

Measuring Success Or Failure

The success or failure of the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street is very easy to gauge.

The rate of change of turnover is a direct measure.

The Buses

I regularly go shopping in Oxford Street and often used a bus to travel there and back.

I used to be able to get a 73 bus from either 200 metres from my house or by changing at the Angel. But since the 73 has been cut back to Oxford Circus, I’ve tended to use the Underground, often by taking a bus to Bank for the Central Line.

Under Sadiq Khan’s plan all buses will be removed from Oxford Street and only the 139 and the 390  will remain, being rerouted along Wigmore Street.

A lot of people who go to Oxford Street regularly by bus, will lose their direct bus route. How will they react?

Will they use the Underground or the Elizabeth Line or will they go shopping elsewhere?

Since the 73 has been cut back, I think I’ve also gone to Oxford Street a lot less.

Why? I’ve no idea.

But it could be, that regularly, I’d buy something in John Lewis,Selfridges or perhaps in Bond Street and get straight on a 73 bus to the Angel, where I just got off the bus and waited until a bus home arrived at the same stop. As the 73 buses are New Routemasters, they’re a real shoppers’ bus and a lot easier than the Underground.

The Underground And Crossrail

Oxford Street will have the following stations and entrances as you proceed from East to West.

  • Holborn – Central and Piccadilly
  • Tottenham Court Road (Current Entrance) – Central, Elizabeth and Northern
  • Tottenham Court Road (Dean Street Entrance) – Central and Elizabeth
  • Oxford Circus – Bakerloo, Central and Victoria
  • Bond Street – Central, Elizabeth and Jubilee
  • Marble Arch – Central

Between Oxford Circus and Orchard Street, which will be the first section to be pedestrianised, you’ll never be more than two hundred metres from a fully step-free Elizabeth Line station.

Will this be enough to do away with the buses on Oxford Street?

Holborn station is being expanded with a new entrance, so will Oxford Circus and Marble Arch be upgraded?

Cycling

This will be banned. Although the plan envisages alternative cycle routes to the North and South.

Taxis

These will be banned from Oxford Street. Taxi ranks will be provided.

Will this be acceptable to the taxi drivers?

Uber And Mini-Cabs

These will be banned from Oxford Street.

How will these effect the surrounding streets?

Deliveries

How will these be arranged? You can’t get behind all the shops!

The Stalls

There are lots of stalls selling various goods along Oxford Street.

Will the stallholders give up their pitches quietly, if necessary?

Security

I’m no security expert, but after the latest attacks in the UK and Europe, surely keeping out vehicles must remove the weapon of choice from a large group of terrorists.

Local Residents

There are quite a few residents in the area perhaps two hundred metres on either side of Oxford Street.

They could be the biggest losers with traffic cramming  the side streets.

Timing

Crossrail opens in December 2018. Does this mean the 1st, 31st or some day in between?

How do you time the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street to fit in with Crossrail?

Especially, as December 2018 will probably contain Christmas!

Conclusion

There is going to be a lot of discussion about this scheme.

As to my view, I like pedestrianised streets and Oxford Street should have gone this way years ago.

November 7, 2017 - Posted by | Travel, World | , , , ,

13 Comments »

  1. he can’t do it, actually

    Comment by simonjkyte | November 7, 2017 | Reply

    • I think it will be very difficult! But Westminster and the West End Company are backing it.

      Comment by AnonW | November 7, 2017 | Reply

      • Yes but i worked on a previous proposal – he will need to have fire and emergency service access and if it discrimates against disabled people it can’t go ahead

        Comment by simonjkyte | November 7, 2017

  2. Interesting, let’s see what happens!

    Comment by Little Miss Traveller | November 7, 2017 | Reply

  3. Around twenty-five years ago Stockport Council built a small by pass around Edgeley. The main shopping street was then partially pedestrianised. By ten years ago vacancy rates had reached around thirty percent and to this day the street is full or boarded, shuttered and closed units and even ones that remain open often sport estate agents’ boards.

    Similarly Union Street Oldham, now with trams, suffers from similar occupancy problems: –
    https://goo.gl/maps/mpVV3GeQKwL2

    Obviously Oxford Street does have good public transport, and it is set to get better, but don’t imagine that pedestrianisation is a magic potion.

    Comment by Mark Clayton | November 7, 2017 | Reply

    • You can’t pedestrianise a town centre, unless the public transport is of a high standard. That’s why Crossrail was planned to run down Oxford Street.

      It also has to be remembered that most Londoners and those that live in the Greater London are quite happy to use publiic transport, rather than their cars. In the North, there is much more an attitude of I have a car and I’ll use it!

      Comment by AnonW | November 7, 2017 | Reply

  4. Mark Clayton – the reason for the decline of Castle Street isn’t just down to pedestrianisation, it may not be at all in fact. The by pass was built more than 25 years ago, because I have been here 30 years and it was here when I came. In that time many of the shops have changed hands and stock type _ I really miss the haberdashery shop opositet co-op. And there are places to park. But Castle street in competing with other places such as the big Morrisons on Edgeley Road, which now sells some clothes as well. Plus B&M which also sells a great deal of stuff.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | November 7, 2017 | Reply

  5. If they are going to pedestrianise Oxford, which I think they should, they do need to make provision for people using mobility scooters – a hire shop for people who are coming by other transport would be good. In Manchester anyone can go to any of the railway stations, car parks or tram stops and the Shopmobility will bring a scooter out to me if I pre-arrange it; they will come back and collect when you have finished. I have my own scooter, which folds completely, and a hoist to get it in and out of my car, but on Oxford street I might need a larger, depends on the state of the pavements. I was in Preston a few weeks ago, and the pavements were atrocious.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | November 7, 2017 | Reply

  6. I have not been to Oxford Street since the eighties. I remember one had to go from Hyde Park Corner to Baker Street to get north from the Sussex Coast before the M25 opened. Looking at other pedestrianized towns, I feel that the area will die off over time. How will people get heavy goods home? Parking in London is expensive and scarce. Public Transport will be no good to the mobility challenged, and encourage crime. It is much easier to drive a Lorry down a pedestrian street if one is that way inclined, so not very secure for shoppers. Why not put the trams back to work, it makes more sense, and cheaper than buried trains to have a network of trams in Central London. I would put Crossrail on a high level viaduct straight through the buildings which works well in Tokyo. I wonder what Planet the Mayor normally lives, after all, he hates car owning people. I have a car that is OK for the ULEZ,which does 10 to the gallon on petrol, yet my euro 4 Discovery is not compliant now, it was in June though. It means I cannot travel into London to collect goods or cross Central London when the M25 is shut, which it is often. I wonder if the Green Loonies have a financial interest in Lithium Batteries and Bus Manufacture, or am I paranoid. London has very little pollution compared to 1949, when you could not see a bus at 20 feet away in winter. Perhaps the Elites paid Adolf to clear the Slums for them to make money out of redevelopment. Stranger things have happened.

    Comment by Jagracer | November 7, 2017 | Reply

    • I didn’t actually buy anything during my walk today, but I did go into a Dyson shop and might buy one of their products. But I’ll do that on-line, so I didn’t have to carry it home.

      Crossrail should be in a tunnel, as I think it’s actually cheaper and easier to build. The noise and pollution wouldn’t be bad, but everybody would be against a viaduct across London.

      Comment by AnonW | November 7, 2017 | Reply


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