London

London Oxford Street £150m improvements plans unveiled

Plan for Oxford Street improvements Image copyright Westminster Council
Image caption The new plans suggest a central "piazza" at Oxford Circus

The area around London's Oxford Street will get a £150m investment under an "ambitious" new proposal after plans to pedestrianise the street were scrapped.

Westminster City Council ditched plans to make the shopping street traffic-free after residents opposed the idea.

New plans include a central "piazza" at Oxford Circus and a revamped "gateway to the West End" at Marble Arch.

The council said it would set aside £50m a year for the next three years for the scheme.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the council's refusal of the pedestrianisation plans in June was a "betrayal".

A spokesman for Mr Khan said: "The mayor has made clear that the status quo simply isn't an option for the future of Oxford Street.

"Any new plans must secure the future of the West End's economy and provide comprehensive solutions to the major challenges facing the area."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Original plans to make the shopping street traffic-free were ditched

He said they included "improving air quality and dealing with the serious overcrowding issues that will be exacerbated on Oxford Street over the coming years".

Although the new plans would involve developing more areas for pedestrians, two-way traffic along the length of Oxford Street would be retained.

The council also said it would introduce more 20mph speed limits in the area and "work towards a future where all commercial vehicles that are not zero-emission are banned".

Westminster City Council's cabinet member for planning, Richard Beddoe, said: "In developing this strategy we have listened carefully to those who know best - those who live, work, visit and do business in the area.

"No other major city in the world has sought to refresh and revitalise a whole district in such a comprehensive and ambitious fashion," he added.

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