London

Oxford Street buses 'could be halved' under TfL proposals

Buses on Oxford Street
Image caption Twenty-three routes which travel along Oxford Street would be affected

The number of buses on London's Oxford Street could be almost halved from next year as part of plans to reduce congestion and improve air quality.

The proposals by Transport for London (TfL) would see alterations to 23 current bus routes, cutting about 40% of buses from using the street.

The transport agency said a changing demand for buses meant fewer people were using them in central London.

Mayor Sadiq Khan plans to ban all traffic from the street by 2020.

TfL said running fewer services along Oxford Street would make services "faster and more reliable", with buses starting and finishing at Park Lane, Trafalgar Square and Tottenham Court Road.

Gareth Powell, director of strategy and contracted service, said the proposals ‎"respond to the changing way people travel".

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Sadiq Khan plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street by 2020

According to TfL figures, the demand for buses outside central London has increased much more than in zone one, with more people choosing to use the Tube.

Mr Powell said the introduction of the Elizabeth line in December 2018 would also see more people "choosing rail rather than road to get to and through the West End".

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, said reducing traffic was "essential... to ensure the West End retains its position as a world class retail destination."

A consultation on the plans will close on 29 January with the alterations proposed to begin later that summer.

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