Have your say on the transformation of Oxford Street

Closes 3 Jan 2018

Opened 6 Nov 2017

Overview

In our last consultation in April 2017, we explained that our vision is to transform Oxford Street into the world’s best outdoor shopping experience and an unrivalled place to live, work and visit.  We received nearly 12,000 responses. There was support, as well as some understandable concerns, and many respondents indicated the key issues they felt we should consider. We have listened very carefully to the issues raised and in the months since then we have discussed our vision with a large number of local residents groups, businesses and others to help us understand such issues in more detail. As a result, we have developed a set of detailed proposals for the transformation of the street and the entire surrounding district. We genuinely believe these proposals respond positively to the concerns raised by some and would enable us to deliver a significantly improved Oxford Street and the wider Oxford Street area for everyone.

Our vision is not simply to transform Oxford Street: the proposals we have developed are for the entire district. They would:

  • Make it much easier to walk throughout the area
  • Create beautiful, safe, accessible and inspiring public spaces full of life and spectacle to address some of the very serious and pressing issues of poor road safety and air quality in the Oxford Street area
  • Support businesses to grow and respond to the district as it transforms and create new jobs
  • Equally protect and enhance the quality of life for residents in the area
  • Support the introduction of the Elizabeth line to the area

Our proposals represent one of the most significant investments in central London for many years. This is a once in a generation opportunity to transform a key area in central London. 

For the first time ever we are substantially reducing the number of buses in the area. This has allowed us to bring forward these proposals.

Doing nothing to transform the Oxford Street district would mean that traffic and pedestrian congestion on Oxford Street and in the surrounding area would worsen. Transformation gives us an opportunity to address the very poor air quality in the area, and reduce the number of collisions on Oxford Street in which people are hurt. It would give us the opportunity to create a network of truly world-class and inspiring public spaces, in which businesses could thrive and grow.  It would deliver investment for transformational improvements to the entire area.

Our proposals set out how we would improve the look and feel of the Oxford Street West district, and changes to how people could access and use the space. All of the proposals are intended to transform the way that the West End feels and functions for everybody. We have made no decisions on whether to proceed and we will not do so until you have had your say and we have had chance to consider the points you raise. 

Cllr Robert Davis MBE DL, Deputy Leader, Westminster City Council
Valerie Shawcross CBE, Deputy Mayor for Transport
Mike Brown MVO, Commissioner, Transport for London

About our consultation

We propose to transform the district surrounding the section of Oxford Street from Orchard Street to Oxford Circus. For simplicity, we will refer to this section as ‘Oxford Street West’. Other sections of Oxford Street will be subject to transformation work in later phases. 

The proposals for Oxford Street West have been developed in response to our previous consultation on the transformation of Oxford Street, which ran from April – June 2017 (details of which are available here). We have also continued to work with a range of local stakeholders, residents groups and business to refine the proposals and address the concerns raised.

We recognise that we are proposing a number of significant changes across a wide area, and that different people may be more interested in responding on some aspects in particular. We have organised this website into sections, each of which deals with how the changes we propose to make would affect particular uses and users, including residents, of the Oxford Street district. We would like to know if you support our proposals, and if you have any comments on any aspect of the changes we plan to make. 

Our vision is also to transform the district including the eastern section of Oxford Street, from Oxford Circus to Tottenham Court Road (or ‘Oxford Street East’). We have made no assumptions about what changes should be proposed for Oxford Street East and will be developing specific proposals in the coming months.  We plan to hold a separate consultation on the detail of these proposals in early Summer 2018 but are seeking your views about the principle of changes to this part of the district now.  We believe that subject to consultation, these proposals could be in place by late 2019 or early 2020. We explain below what issues we will be considering as we develop these proposals. We would like to know if you think we should be considering any other issues. 

We have provided a consultation questionnaire, although if you wish to reply in writing please do so to our postal or email address. Further details are below. The closing date for comments is Wednesday 3 January 2018.

Transforming Oxford Street in stages

In our last consultation we explained that we would make changes to Oxford Street and its surrounding district in stages. Our Consultation Report, setting out our response to the issues raised in that consultation, is available here. The first stage of our work to transform Oxford Street is intended to:

  • Prepare Oxford Street and the surrounding area for the significant increase in the number of pedestrians that will brought into central London with the arrival of the Elizabeth line by the end of 2018
  • Protect residents living in the wider area from the existing pressures of traffic and pollution
  • Begin to establish Oxford Street as a place for people rather than traffic, and more immediately address the existing issues which harm the area, including poor air quality, traffic congestion, traffic domination of streets and inadequate space for walking
  • Prepare the way for a second stage of transformation, both by making those changes to traffic access that would be necessary and by helping us to understand how a transformed Oxford Street and the areas surrounding it would function in future

We are seeking funding from the Government and the private sector to enable us to continue the larger transformation of Oxford Street to a second stage.  We will develop proposals for this second stage of transformation later, based on the experience of the first stage. This allows us to see what works best and what perhaps could be improved in a permanent design. We will continue to discuss our longer term proposals with local groups and all other relevant stakeholders, to inform our plans. We have prepared a supporting factsheet which includes some artists impressions to show how Oxford Street might look and feel after a second stage of transformation.

The map below indicates each of the sections of the Oxford Street district we propose to transform, and the timescales we are working to.

The transformation of Oxford Street in context

The proposed transformation of Oxford Street is just one part of an unprecedented level of investment in central London. Schemes which are either underway or imminent include the transformation of the stations at Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road to prepare for the introduction of Elizabeth line services to central London, the Baker Street ‘two-way’ project, improvements to Bond Street itself and work at Brook Street/Dover Street, the changes to the Tottenham Court Road/Gower Street area, and the development of Euston Station to become the London terminus of the HS2 high-speed rail link.

Our development of proposals for the transformation of Oxford Street West, and our subsequent assessment of the traffic, environmental and accessibility impacts of our proposals has been undertaken in the context of this wider programme of investment.

As mentioned in the overview the proposals for the Oxford Street District will create the conditions to allow businesses to grow. And while the issues on which this consultation focusses relate to traffic and public realm measures, those linked to growth more generally will be addressed in future consultations, such as those on the London and City Plans.

Further reading

We believe that our consultation provides a comprehensive overview of the changes we propose to make to the western section of the Oxford Street district. We have also prepared a number of supporting factsheets, as well as maps and drawings of our proposals which build on the information presented here. We will provide links to these throughout this page, although we have also prepared a guide to the supporting factsheets, describing all of the additional material we have prepared.

We have also organised a series of roadshow events at which TfL and Westminster City Council will be available to answer questions, or discuss the proposals more generally.  For further details, please see the section ‘How to reply or find out more’, below.

The following sections sets out the impacts arising from our proposals for Oxford Street West and their implications for different uses and users of the OSW district. They cover:

Walking on Oxford Street West and in the surrounding district
Buses on and around Oxford Street West
Improvements in the Oxford Street district
Taxis and private hire vehicles on Oxford Street
Deliveries & servicing
Impacts on traffic and the environment
Impacts on accessibility
Planning the transformation of the eastern section of Oxford Street
How to reply or find out more
Next Steps

Walking on Oxford Street West and in the surrounding district

Other than taxis, the only traffic that currently uses Oxford St is buses. After many of the existing bus services are removed, only two routes will be relocated in the area. Access by taxis, private hire vehicles and freight and servicing vehicles would all be restricted. We would provide appropriate measures to ensure Oxford Street West was protected from unauthorised access. Traffic would be allowed to cross Oxford Street West at five locations – further details are below in the section titled ’New north-south crossing points’, below. In each case, we have taken account of the effects of the transformation of Oxford Street West on these types of journey, and have developed proposals accordingly. 

The only exception would be for the emergency services, who would continue to have full access to Oxford Street as required. We are working closely with the Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance Service to ensure they have the right access to Oxford Street.  Our maintenance vehicles may also need to access Oxford Street on occasions. We explain later in this section how we would enforce this restriction, and how we would ensure the emergency services would have access when required.

These changes would mean that we could make substantial changes to Oxford Street West, making it an attractive, safer, accessible and inspiring public space full of life and spectacle for the growing number of pedestrians who are currently crowded onto pavements. 

Transforming the space

We think that our proposals would mean that the experience of coming to Oxford Street would be hugely improved. They will create a place where people will want to be, and to come back to. Across the wider area we will be making it much easier to get around on foot, with new pedestrian crossings at key points (at every junction on Wigmore St, for example, and a new pedestrian and cycle crossing of Park Lane), wider pavements where we can, and improvements to the streets to make them more accessible.

We want to learn from improvements in public spaces elsewhere to make the best possible use of the new spaces on Oxford Street. This includes installation of public art, lighting design and activation of the spaces to inspire and delight people moving through the area. 

Removing all vehicle access to Oxford Street West would mean that a differential carriageway would become unnecessary. For this reason, we would raise the level of the carriageway and make large sections of Oxford Street entirely step-free. In the coming months we will commission an artist to create an 800m-long piece of public art to be painted along the length of what would be the former carriageway, as a way to give a strong sense of visual identity to a future transformed Oxford Street.

We would review all the existing ‘street furniture’, such as the existing bins, bus stops and other items, and remove all those which are unnecessary or obstructive. All of the existing lighting columns would remain in place.  We will provide new seating, which for the most part would be sited near to the existing trees on Oxford Street, to provide shade. The maximum distance between seats on Oxford Street West itself would be no more than 50m, although in most cases it would be considerably less than this, so that there are plenty of places to rest. We expect that the central section of a transformed Oxford Street West could become a focal point for people to meet and pause, where people would naturally walk more slowly.  

We will commission new public art. These pieces might be located on South Moulton Street, New Bond Street, Marylebone Lane, John Princes Street and Vere Street.  The pieces will serve three purposes: they will further enhance the experience of using Oxford Street West, and we will challenge the artists we commission to create truly exceptional and beautiful pieces; they would help people find their way around a transformed Oxford Street, since they could act as notable place-finding references; and they will help entice people into the surrounding areas around Oxford Street. We will also provide new Legible London signs, to further assist people in finding their way around. We will build into the designs measures to ensure that Oxford Street West is a safe space for all who use it. 

Finally we are working closely with the New West End Company, which represents businesses in the area and who is interested in commissioning and funding a new Christmas lighting display for 2018. We are exploring whether we can go further, and develop seasonal lighting displays for Oxford Street which would augment the new public art we intend to commission, and so further enhance the experience of using Oxford Street. Our plans are at an early stage, but we are excited about the possibilities.

The illustrative artists’ impressions below gives a sense of how Oxford Street West might look and feel in the short term, by the end of 2018. 


Artist's impression (note that designs are illustrative only and not final designs)

Artist's impression (note that designs are illustrative only and not final designs)

Artist's impression (note that designs are illustrative only and not final designs)

Artist's impression (note that designs are illustrative only and not final designs)

We have prepared a range of supporting factsheets about our work to transform the look and feel of Oxford Street West. These are:

We have prepared a range of supporting factsheets about our work to transform the look and feel of Oxford Street West. These are:

Design principles and concept for the first stage of the transformation of Oxford Street – this describes in detail how we have developed proposals for the first stage of the transformation of Oxford Street

The look, feel and use of public space – Activation and public art – this describes how a transformed Oxford Street might be used

Further opportunities for the second stage of the transformation of Oxford Street – this describes how we propose to develop proposals for the second stage of the transformation of Oxford Street

Public realm opportunities: the second stage of the transformation of Oxford Street – this includes some illustrations to show how Oxford Street might look and feel at the second stage of transformation

New ‘north-south’ crossing points for traffic

We propose allowing traffic to cross Oxford Street at the junctions with

  • Duke Street
  • Vere Street/New Bond Street
  • Davies Street/Stratford Place and
  • Harewood Place/Holles Street (although this would be restricted to taxis, cycles and servicing vehicles only)
  • Regent Street would remain open

This would enable traffic heading north or south to avoid having to make a lengthy diversion around our transformed space. We will introduce pedestrian crossings at these junctions, to make it clear to people where and when they must wait and allow traffic to cross.

The ‘side roads’ off Oxford Street West, including Duke Street, James Street and Chapel Place will become crucial points of access to and from Oxford Street, and so we propose to improve the streets, to make them attractive and accessible.

We propose to close off Gilbert Street and Binney Street to traffic at their junctions with Oxford Street.   

The map below summarises the changes we propose to make for pedestrians in the Oxford Street West area.

We know that some people are concerned about the ease with which they could travel to, from and around the Oxford Street area should the street be transformed as we propose. We know too that Oxford Street can currently be a very difficult place for older or disabled people to use, particularly because it is so busy and congested.  Amongst other issues, respondents to our previous consultation were concerned about how the accessibility of Oxford Street might be affected by our proposals.  We have set out our thinking in the section ‘Impacts on accessibility’.

A new Management Strategy for Oxford Street West

Over the last few months we have been working closely with a number of businesses, Residents Associations and other stakeholders including the Police to understand any issues they might have with our management of Oxford Street and the surrounding areas.  We have discussed a number of issues including our approach to managing anti-social behaviour, licensing, street cleaning and enforcement.  These discussions have been very useful in enabling us to understand what aspects of our approach work well and what aspects do not work so well, and could be improved. 

We are developing a new Management and Activation Strategy for the Oxford Street District which we hope builds on the positive best-practice noted by stakeholders, and provides new and improved approaches to managing those issues which stakeholders believe are not currently being effectively addressed. We have prepared a supporting factsheet which explains our work in developing the plan in more detail.

Buses on and around Oxford Street West

TfL has made a number of changes to the West End bus network over the past few months, following a consultation which ran from late 2016 – early 2017.

Changes to buses in the West End consultation

There has already been a reduction of four bus routes down Oxford Street since 2017.  In all, only nine bus routes now serve Oxford Street West during the day: these are routes 7, 10, 23, 94, 98, 113, 139, 159 and 390.  Eleven night buses serve Oxford Street West: routes 10, 23, 94, 139, 159, 390, N7, N98, N113, N137 and N207.

Improvements to the fleet

Although not the subject of this consultation, we thought it would be useful to explain some of the steps TfL is taking to reduce noise and other harmful emissions from the London bus fleet.

TfL is making good progress in introducing around 3,000 Ultra Low Emission double-deck buses to central London. We plan to have completed introduction of these vehicles by 2019.  By this time, all buses operating in central London will meet the latest ‘Euro VI’ standard in engine technology.  These produce 95 per cent fewer harmful NOx emissions than the previous generation of buses. TfL will introduce a further 250 Zero Emission single-deck buses into central London by 2020. 

These new buses will contribute to significantly improved air quality in the central London area, and are also much quieter than previous generations of buses. There is a commitment that those bus routes still operating in the Oxford Street district will be a priority for low emission vehicles.

Click here for further information about TfL's work to improve the fleet

Futher changes to buses using Oxford Street West

The graphic below shows which bus services currently use Oxford Street West, the destinations each route serves and how passengers can interchange between each service.

Click here for a larger version of the above map (PDF)

We have thought very carefully about what further changes could be made to the bus routes which currently serve Oxford Street West during the day and at night. We propose making a number of changes, as set out in the following table:

We have already consulted on a proposal to withdraw route 23 during the daytime between Aldwych and Paddington, and extend it to Lancaster Gate, with a night bus route N23 continuing to run between Westbourne Park and Aldwych (details are available here). The changes we propose to route 23 in the table above would replace these changes. This would give passengers in the Westbourne Park and Paddington areas a new connection to Knightsbridge. It would also reduce the amount of space required for buses to stand at Marble Arch.

The following graphic shows how these routes would serve Oxford Street West in future, including their new destinations and how passengers could interchange between them.

Click here for a larger version of the above map (PDF)

Each route would run via Wigmore Street and Henrietta Place 24 hours a day, as shown in the map below. Route 139 would run every eight minutes during the day and every 30 minutes at night in each direction. Route 390 would run up to every six minutes during the day and every 30 minutes at night. 

The table below shows how frequently each route would run (in terms of the number of buses that would run in an hour) throughout the day and night during the week.



And this table below shows how frequently each route would run at the weekend.



The map below shows the route each service would take in the Wigmore Street area.

Click here for a larger version of the above map (PDF)

Having considered the issue very carefully, we propose that no night buses should operate on Oxford Street West. Routes 94, N113 and 159 would therefore terminate at Marble Arch 24 hours a day. Routes N7, N23, N98 and N137 would be diverted to follow the same route as they do during the day. Route N207 would run via Park Lane and Piccadilly to Trafalgar Square to retain connections to the West End. Routes 10 and 23 would be withdrawn and replaced by a new 24-hour route between Hammersmith and Westbourne Park as described above.

Impacts on passengers

For people wishing to access Oxford Street West directly, the changes we propose would mean that they will have to walk a short additional distance to and from their bus.  Those people who travel beyond Oxford Street West may need to change buses to complete their journey, depending on where they are travelling to and from.

We aim to limit the extra distance people would need to walk by keeping the remaining routes and their stops as close to Oxford Street West as practical, hence buses will use Henrietta Place where possible. We are also looking to improve all of the connecting streets, widen footways, and introduce new pedestrian crossings to make these short trips as safe and convenient as possible. 

The introduction of the Elizabeth line to central London at the end of 2018 will serve newly step-free stations at Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road, and will also help make Oxford Street and the surrounding area much more accessible.

TfL’s bus Hopper fare allows people using pay as you go on a bus to make a second bus journey for free within one hour of touching in on the first bus. TfL is also now testing new technology that will allow customers to take unlimited bus transfers within one hour, which is not possible with current system software. Provided this testing is successful, it is anticipated that customers will be able to benefit from the changes in early 2018.

We have given very careful thought to how we could help people access Oxford Street West in light of our proposals for local bus services.  We explain what improvements we propose in the surrounding area in the following section ‘Improvements in the Oxford Street district’.  The section ‘Impacts on accessibility’ describes what possible further steps we could take to assist people to access Oxford Street West.

This interactive map shows how journey times for bus passengers may be affected by the transformation of Oxford Street

Bus stops and stands

The changes we propose to bus services on Oxford Street West would mean that it is also necessary to change the location of some bus stops and stands.

All of the bus stops on Oxford Street would be closed and removed as result of the proposal to remove buses from Oxford Street West. We would introduce two new stops on Wigmore Street, close to the junction with Duke Street, which would become a key point of access to and from Oxford Street. We explained in the section ‘Walking on Oxford Street’ that we plan also to improve key side roads between Wigmore Street and Oxford Street, including James Street. We will introduce additional new stops in Henrietta Place, keeping routes close to Oxford St and to significant destination stores.  We have reviewed the locations of stops in the Marble Arch area, and propose moving some stops in order to make it easier for people to interchange between routes if necessary, and additionally to reduce the distance to Oxford Street.

Bus stands are very important because they allow us to account for and minimise the effects of traffic congestion or other delays on bus services. We propose creating new bus stands at North Row and Park Lane in the Marble Arch area, and on Welbeck Street (south of Wigmore Street), Wimpole Street (south of Wigmore Street), Great Castle Street and Great Portland Street in the Oxford Circus area to accommodate those routes which we propose would terminate there in future.    

The map below shows where buses would operate in the Oxford Street West district.  We have prepared a pack of additional maps which provide further detail about our proposals.

Improvements in the Oxford Street West district 

Wigmore Street

We have focussed on how Wigmore Street and the streets between here and Oxford Street would function in future. We have developed proposals for Wigmore Street that are designed to ensure that it will continue to work well  in future, and additionally to make improvements to the street which will benefit bus passengers, pedestrians and residents.

Currently, traffic on Henrietta Place and Margaret Street operates one-way for most of its length. We propose to change this ‘corridor’ so that traffic would operate in both directions. This would help buses operate here and also enable us to introduce two new bus stops, to help people reach Oxford Street West more easily. In addition, this change makes traffic movements in the surrounding area much more straight-forward.

The Wigmore Street corridor (comprising Wigmore Street and Cavendish Place) is currently one-way only from Wimpole Street to Regent Street. We propose to make this section two-way, so that the Wigmore Street corridor would be two-way along its whole length. We believe that this would have a number of benefits. It would improve the accessibility of the Wigmore Street area to all road users, including cyclists, buses, taxis and private hire vehicles. It would also make Wigmore Street simpler, and therefore easier to use for all.

We propose amending the traffic signals at every junction along Wigmore Street so that pedestrians could cross each ‘arm’ of the junction simultaneously. This would help pedestrians cross Wigmore Street more easily and safely. We will, where possible, increase the width of the pavement to give pedestrians more room along Wigmore Street. 

Alongside the walking improvements along Wigmore Street, many other important walking routes will be improved with new crossings and wider footways. More detail is provided in the section below.

As a result of the changes we propose to make to Wigmore Street, our modelling shows that fewer vehicles would use the street in future. 

Additional improvements

Harewood Place and Holles Street are currently used by buses serving Oxford Street and the local surrounding area and has ‘standing’ for a number of buses when they are no in service. When the Elizabeth line has opened, the number of people using Harewood Place and Holles Street to reach Bond Street station in Hanover Square will increase. We propose removing the three bus stands currently sited here and restricting access to all traffic except buses, taxis and delivery vehicles. This would allow us to significantly improve Harewood Place and Holles Street, particularly for pedestrians.  We would widen the pavements to give pedestrians much more room, and introduce a new two-way cycle route so that cyclists could access these streets in both directions. Westminster City Council is also developing proposals for public realm improvements in Hanover Square. 

The number of people walking along the southern section of Marylebone Lane will increase once the Elizabeth line has opened.  We propose widening and improving the pavements on the section of Marylebone Lane to the south of Wigmore Street.  This would complement our proposals to amend the traffic signals at every junction along Wigmore Street to make it easier for pedestrians to cross.

We also plan to improve the northern section of Marylebone Lane. We propose creating a new pedestrianised area in the section from the junction with Wigmore Street up to Jason Court. Doing so would mean that we would need to close this junction to traffic.  That said, we are aware that there are a number of businesses on this section of Marylebone Lane, who would need to make and take deliveries from time to time.  It may be necessary to allow delivery and servicing vehicles to exit the northern section of Marylebone Lane onto Wigmore Street. Residents and businesses who wish to access the northern section of Marylebone Lane using a vehicle would do so from its junction with Bentinck Street.

We propose to improve the existing pedestrian crossings around Cavendish Square. We would introduce new crossings to better connect Holles Street and Harley Street to the gardens within the square and all existing crossings. We would widen all of the crossings and some of the pavements on Cavendish Square, to give people more room to walk and to cross.  

In the longer term we are interested in looking at improvements to Cavendish Square Gardens. We will create new entrances to the gardens which would be much better aligned with the new crossings we would provide. This would make the gardens feel much more like a part of Cavendish Square, maximising their value as a public space.  Doing so would also improve connections between the areas to the north and south of Cavendish Square. 

James Street and Duke Street will become busier in future as they will be key routes between Oxford Street and the proposed bus stops along Wigmore Street, as well as attractive destinations in their own right. The footways on Duke Street are currently being improved and we propose to develop a scheme for James Street that would restrict access to all vehicles except those required to service or deliver to and from businesses. This creates additional space for people to walk along the street.

The map below summarises the changes we propose to make throughout the Oxford Street West district. We have prepared a pack of additional maps which provide more detail on the changes we propose. Also included is a document listing every proposed change. 

Futher plans for cycling

Surveys show that many cyclists tend to avoid Oxford Street, and instead use alternative routes, including Wigmore Street (historically part of the London Cycle Network), Brook Street or Grosvenor Street. Only one per cent of the trips made on Oxford Street currently are by bike.

We have described above how we propose to make some modest improvements to Wigmore Street, Harewood Place and Holles Street for cyclists, amongst other users. We want to go further however, although our work is at a relatively early stage, and more detail will be available in a proposed consultation in 2018.

We are developing proposals for a high quality east-west cycle route to the north of Oxford Street. This network would complement new facilities coming to the area. 

Depending on your feedback, we will continue to develop these proposals over the coming months, and will hold a further consultation in 2018, in which we will seek your views on more detailed proposals.

Parking and loading in the district

It is always necessary for us to strike a balance when developing proposals for improvements such as those we described in this section. For example, if we are to provide additional space for pedestrians in those areas where we know greater numbers of people will walk in future, then we must also consider reducing or relocating any existing parking or loading bays in those areas, to release the additional space we would need.  But we need to strike the right balance so no one group feels particularly disadvantaged.

In considering what changes to the provision of facilities for parking and loading we have:

  • Retained residents and motorcycle parking as much as possible
  • Ensured that disabled parking is retained throughout the area
  • Taken into account the potential future demand for facilities like this throughout the surrounding area
  • Looked to provide new facilities for loading as close as possible to the new ‘crossing points’ on Oxford Street West
  • Endeavoured to increase the amount of cycle parking in the area

We have prepared a map showing all proposed changes to existing parking and loading bays

Taxis and private hire vehicles on Oxford Street West

Black cabs (taxis) and private hire vehicles are important parts of London’s transport network and complement local buses and the London Underground services as a means for people to travel to, from and within the area. 

Our proposals will make the entire area even more attractive to residents and visitors, which could add to the extra footfall predicted in the area. 

Improving the London taxi fleet

London’s taxi and private hire fleet is the greenest it has ever been as a result of strict age limits on vehicles, and further measures which are planned.

From 1 January 2018, all taxis presented for licensing for the first time will need to be ‘zero emission’ capable while all private hire vehicles licensed for the first time during this period must have a Euro 6 engine, or a Euro 4 petrol-hybrid engine.

Access to Oxford Street by taxis and private hire vehicles

We propose modifying and extending the existing taxi ranks at Orchard Street, Duke Street and Cavendish Square. We propose supplementing these with new taxi ranks at Vere Street and Holles Street. These changes will help ensure that taxi ranks are visible and accessible throughout the area. There are a number of existing ranks in the area, for example at Bryanston Street and Granville Place, which will be retained.

We also propose restricting sections of Orchard Street, Margaret Street, Harewood Place and Holles Street so that taxis, buses and cyclists only would be permitted to use them (although delivery and servicing vehicles would also be permitted to use Holles Street and Harewood Place). This would help improve access to Oxford Street and the surrounding area for people using taxis, and would additionally enable us to make improvements to these streets for pedestrians, for example by widening the pavements at some locations. 

As we described earlier, we will maintain ‘crossing points’ for traffic moving north or south across Oxford St, for example at Duke Street, Vere St/New Bond St, Davies Street/Stratford Place and Harewood Place/Holles Street. These would enable traffic, including taxis and private hire vehicles, to cross Oxford Street directly.  Private Hire vehicles would not be permitted to use the Harewood Place/Holles Street crossing point however, because we propose that access to it be limited to buses, cycles, taxis and servicing vehicles only. Private Hire vehicles would also not be permitted to use Orchard Street, access is limited to bus, taxi and cycle only. 

We also propose amending a number of streets in the surrounding area so that traffic would operate in both directions, rather than one-way only. In other cases, we would reverse the existing direction of flow on certain roads. These changes have been designed to fit together and, taken as a whole, protect the wider area from through-traffic but also help the overall network function efficiently. 

The map below summarises the changes we propose to make in the Oxford Street West area, including some of those changes described above which are relevant for taxis and private hire vehicles.

Deliveries and servicing

We have met with a large number of businesses in and around the Oxford Street West area, and carried out a number of surveys to understand their servicing and delivery requirements in much greater detail. Local residents’ groups have also shared their views with us.

We explained in the section ‘Improvements in the Oxford Street district’ that we have reviewed all the facilities for parking and loading throughout the district, and among other changes, we have provided loading bays as close as possible to the north-south ‘crossing points’ at the junctions of Oxford Street West with Duke Street, Vere Street/New Bond Street, Davies Street/Stratford Place and Harewood Place/Holles Street.  This would provide delivery and servicing vehicles with a series of convenient points at which they could park to load or unload. For most businesses on Oxford Street West, the changes we propose mean that the maximum distance to a loading bay would be no more than 50 metres.

We are also suggesting new loading facilities elsewhere in the area. We have prepared a map showing all changes to existing parking and loading bays

In light of the extensive network of loading and parking bays we propose to provide in the area, we believe that it would not be necessary for businesses to have access to Oxford Street West itself to make or take deliveries. However we are continuing to discuss this issue with businesses and therefore the option remains open to allow some access overnight if required. We have prepared a supporting factsheet which examines this issue in greater detail.

We would welcome your views about access at night.

We believe that the changes we propose to the Oxford Street West district would both enable businesses to continue trading effectively and would allow us to provide pedestrians with the additional space they need. These changes would make Oxford Street itself much more attractive for residents, visitors and shoppers, and the surrounding area a better place to get around. We believe that the transformation of Oxford Street would therefore support businesses throughout the area to grow. 

For further details about our work to ensure that businesses in the Oxford Street West district can continue to trade effectively, please see our Freight Plan Summary.

Changes by mode

The map below summarises the changes we propose to make across the Oxford Street district. We have prepared additional map which show these changes by mode.



Click here for a larger version of the above map (PDF)

Impacts on traffic and the environment

This section describes in summary the impacts of our proposals on traffic flow, air quality and noise in the Oxford Street West district. 

Impacts on traffic

The following films show how traffic and pedestrians would use Oxford Street West and the surrounding area in the morning and evening peak periods. The videos show anticipated future pedestrian movements along Oxford Street. Projected future demands have been assessed by TfL, including an uplift in pedestrian numbers as a result of opening the Elizabeth Line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following films show how different traffic modes would use the Oxford Street District in the morning and evening peak periods. The Future Base scenario represents 2021 without the Oxford Street West Transformation and the Proposed scenario represents 2021 with the Oxford Street West Transformation.
 

 

 

 

 


 

 

The Mayor’s Transport Strategy describes how the future of central London must involve a steady reduction in private car use. Walking, cycling and public transport use must continue to increase and deliveries must be consolidated, rescheduled and switched to more efficient and sustainable vehicles. All of these changes will reduce the congestion that inefficient travel causes, freeing up space for essential freight trips and more reliable bus journeys. The Strategy aims that by 2041, 80 per cent of Londoners’ trips will be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport.

We explained in our last consultation that we had built a model to show how traffic currently uses the road network in central London, and that we would use it to help us understand what impacts our proposals might have on traffic levels throughout the Oxford Street West district and beyond, and additionally on journey times.

To understand the impacts of our proposals on traffic levels and journey times, we have assessed how London’s roads would operate in future, bearing in mind predicted population growth and the impacts on traffic flow of all those planned developments and road improvement schemes likely to have an effect on the operation of the central London road network. We have also tested how London’s roads would operate if we were to introduce these proposals. This allows us to understand the specific impacts of the transformation of Oxford Street West.  

Irrespective of whether we transform Oxford Street West or not, traffic in central London in the coming years will change. This is because London is growing: more than 10m people will live here by 2041. A growing population brings with it a growing demand to travel and the pressure on our road network will increase. This is a significant challenge, and we will need to think very carefully about how we manage our roads in future so as to ensure that London can continue to thrive and succeed.  We have prepared a supporting factsheet which explains how central London will change in future.

The closure of Oxford Street West to traffic and the improvements to the surrounding district which we described earlier would mean that some traffic would take a different route to get to its destination. This would mean that some roads would be likely to see an increase in traffic because of these proposals while other roads would see a reduction in traffic volumes. 

We would take a number of steps to ensure that the effects of our proposals are balanced, to avoid creating congestion elsewhere in the local area. TfL is investing in advanced traffic signal technology to allow us to better manage traffic depending on differing conditions at any given time, and we are working to improve road user information so people can make informed journey choices before they travel.

Environmental impacts

We have prepared a supporting factsheet which provide further details about the environmental impacts of our proposals.

We have also made available a technical report which explains in detail the noise and air quality impacts of our proposals

We must take action to improve the quality of London’s air, which in the West End in particular is a significant issue. Air pollution ‘limits’ in the Oxford Street area are regularly exceeded, despite steps over recent years to reduce harmful emissions, such as improving the London bus fleet and extensive steps to encourage businesses to consolidate their deliveries, amongst other steps. Further initiatives to improve the quality of our air are planned or have been implemented already. For example the ‘T-Charge’, which is an emissions surcharge to the Congestion Charge, was introduced on 23 October. The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which would require all vehicles to meet tough exhaust standards or pay a daily charge, will be introduced in 2020.

We have assessed the likely impacts of our proposals on air quality and noise throughout the Oxford Street West district. 

Without our scheme in place, air quality would improve to an extent in the area, mostly owing to the introduction of the ULEZ and with future improvements in engine technology.  Crucially however, air quality would not improve to the extent that EU ‘limit values’ would be met.  Air quality on main routes such as Oxford Street, Park Lane, Piccadilly and Regent Street would remain a significant concern.

Existing noise levels throughout the district are generally typical for central London, with highest levels on busiest streets such as Oxford Street, Regent Street, Park Lane and Piccadilly. With our scheme in place, noise levels throughout the area will largely stay unchanged or would decrease for the most part. The most significant benefit would be on Oxford Street itself as a result of traffic removal, although there are also significant benefits on James Street and on Wigmore Street, near Cavendish Square Gardens, owing to improvements in traffic flow. That said, there may be an increase in noise levels at Margaret Street between Cavendish Square and Regent Street, and also at Upper Brook Street just to the West of Grosvenor Square.

Should we decide to proceed with the transformation of Oxford Street, we will be undertaking comprehensive air and noise monitoring throughout the Oxford Street West district both before and after the implementation of our proposals. We are committed to developing mitigation measures if the monitoring shows significant increases in air pollution or noise levels on local streets.

Impacts on accessibility

Our proposals would change how people move through, along and to/from Oxford Street with the aim of creating a new pedestrian environment that is more inclusive for everyone.

We are carefully considering the effect that our proposals could have upon inclusivity in the Oxford Street West area and have discussed our proposals with a wide range of stakeholder groups that represent the needs and interests of disabled people, older people and other equality groups. We have also appointed independent consultants to provide expert advice on inclusive design (for example, of the new ‘north-south crossing points’ we will provide at the junctions of Oxford Street West with Duke Street, Vere Street/New Bond Street, Davies Street/Stratford Place and Harewood Place/Holles Street), assess the impact of our proposals on accessibility, and recommend potential improvements. We have prepared a supporting factsheet which provides a summary of this work and how we are seeking to improve the accessibility and inclusivity of Oxford Street.

Improvements in accessible transport in central London

From the end of 2018, the Elizabeth line will serve newly step-free stations at Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road, and will also help make Oxford Street and the surrounding area much more accessible. The number of people living within 45 minutes of the West End by step-free travel is expected to double to over two and a half million people by 2021.

We are proposing to build on this through a range of improvements along Oxford Street West and in the surrounding area. The removal of traffic from Oxford Street West would enable us to provide more space for pedestrians and significantly reduce crowding levels. The removal of unnecessary street furniture and improvements to paving across the district will also assist people moving through the area and improve the quality of the routes between Oxford Street West and new bus stops on Wigmore Street.  We are committed to delivering an inclusive public realm and will introduce high quality resting places, public art features and improved way-finding to further assist people in navigating Oxford Street. For further details, please see the section ‘Improvements in the Oxford Street West district

Travelling to Oxford Street West by bus or taxi

We propose that the existing bus stops outside Selfridges on Oxford Street West would be removed and new stops installed on Wigmore Street, approximately 300 metres away. In the same way, existing bus stops near House of Fraser and John Lewis on Oxford Street West would be removed and new stops installed on Henrietta Place, around 200m away. The nearest bus stop to Bond Street station would be on Henrietta Place, around 200m away. For comparison, bus stops on Oxford Street West are, on average, 113 metres apart currently.

Taxis ranks would also be relocated under our proposals as we seek to provide more space to pedestrians, though we have worked to ensure that taxi ranks are located no further than 200 metres from any point on Oxford Street West.

Travelling along Oxford Street West

We recognise that our proposals would affect the ease with which some people move along Oxford Street West. For this reason, we are considering the feasibility of providing a further mobility service, which would be aimed at helping all those people who need additional assistance to get along Oxford Street and to/from local bus stops.  We are considering how, and where, any such service could feasibly operate, how many people might be likely to use it, and how or whether it would interact with the large numbers of pedestrians on Oxford Street. We also need to consider how such a service would operate in the context of the necessary provision of security features in such a high-profile location.

Planning the transformation of Oxford Street East

In the coming months we will develop proposals for the transformation of the section of Oxford Street between Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road. We call this section ‘Oxford Street East’.

Our first consultation on the transformation of Oxford Street, which ran from April – June 2017, was enormously useful in making clear to us what issues local people and others felt should be considered and addressed. There was support and opposition for the project, and very clear themes in the issues people raised, including:

  • The effects of the transformation of Oxford Street on traffic flow and air quality in the surrounding area
  • The impact of the transformation of Oxford Street on safety and security
  • The ease with which people could travel to and from the Oxford Street district, and along Oxford Street itself in the future
  • The design of any future proposals for improvements to the look and feel of the Oxford Street district
  • How the Oxford Street area would be managed and maintained in future
  • What changes would be required in the surrounding area to balance the effects of the transformation of Oxford Street

Westminster City Council, the London Borough of Camden and Transport for London are working together to develop a defined set of proposals to transform of Oxford Street East. Although our overall ambition is the improvement of the entire Oxford Street district, our current proposals for Oxford Street West do not rely on a particular set of proposals for Oxford Street East, and likewise the potential proposals for Oxford Street East will not rely upon particular arrangements in the West.

We are currently planning to hold a consultation on the transformation of Oxford Street East in 2018 to seek your comments on these proposals. We will not make any decisions about whether or how proceed until we have considered all of the issues raised by people who respond.

How to reply or find out more

You can reply to our consultation:

The deadline for comments is Wednesday 3 January 2018.

We have arranged a number of ‘roadshow’ events at which TfL and Westminster City Council staff will be available to answer any questions you might have. The roadshows will be held at the following times, dates and venues:

Regent Hall, Salvation Army, Church and Community Centre, 275 Oxford Street, London, W1C 2DJ
Tuesday 14 November 2017, 12:00 – 19:00
Saturday 25 November 2017, 12:00 – 17:30

Grosvenor Chapel, Garden Room, 24 S Audley Street, London, W1K 2PA
Monday 27 November 2017, 12:00 – 19:00
Saturday 11 November 2017, 12:00 – 17:30

Wigmore Hall, Bechstein Room, 36 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 2BP
Friday 8 December 2017, 12:00 –  17:30
Saturday 9 December 2017, 12:00 – 17:30

Next steps

Once our consultation closes on Wednesday 3 January 2018 we will begin considering all of the responses we receive.

In preparation for the delivery of the proposals described above, Westminster City Council and TfL have appointed Conway AECOM to begin planning how the scheme could be delivered with minimum impact to residents, local businesses and visitors to the Oxford Street area. This includes identifying opportunities across the local area to deliver preliminary improvements alongside planned general maintenance work to help further minimise disruption.

We will use your feedback to help us decide whether or not we should implement our proposals, or whether we should amend any aspect of them. We hope to make a decision in the late Spring 2018.  We will publish a Consultation Report, which will list all of the issues raised by respondents to the consultation and include our response to them.

Should we decide to proceed with the transformation of Oxford Street West and the surrounding district we will begin the necessary works in early summer 2018.

We plan also to hold a consultation on our detailed proposals for Oxford Street East in 2018.

We plan to develop proposals for the transformation of the section of Oxford Street from Orchard Street to Marble Arch in 2020.

 

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  • Oxford Street
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