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Consultation on future of Oxford Street starts

Oxford Street Programme design images

Consultation starts today, Monday 17 July, on Westminster Council’s plans to revamp Oxford Street. The council, in partnership with the New West End Company – which represents 600 retail, restaurant, hotel and property owners across the West End – has laid out a long-term vision for the nation’s favourite High Street.

The Oxford Street Programme proposes a much-needed facelift to this world-famous shopping destination with public realm improvements along the entire 1.8km length of the street from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road. 

Changes have been designed following engagement with residents, visitors and local traders and landowners to improve the overall appearance and usability of the street, increasing space and safety for people on foot, enhanced lighting, and the addition of more green areas with seating for weary shoppers.

Junctions adjoining the street, including at Oxford Circus will be redesigned to create more space for pedestrians to move around whether it be for getting to work, shopping, or making their way home. The Council will be installing 12 new controlled pedestrian crossings and improving 45 existing crossing points.

Now that the first stage of the design is complete, everyone can now share their views through public consultation, from today until Thursday 31 August   There will be a range of opportunities to participate, including an online survey and face-to-face workshops that will take place at The Salvation Army on Regent Hall on Oxford Street.

The Oxford Street Programme is part of wider plans from Westminster Council to enhance both the West End and the boroughs’ local highstreets. New ideas and proposals for Regent Street, Paddington and Bayswater and Shepherd Market are also open for consultation.

Cllr Geoff Barraclough, Westminster City Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, said:

The West End constantly needs to adapt if it is to continue draw to shoppers from around the country and around the world. We have great brands such as Selfridges and John Lewis, and we’re pleased that, IKEA and HMV will both be opening on Oxford Street later this year. But we need to innovate and ensure we can offer a top-class experience for everyone. 

I want Oxford Street to be a place local communities, residents and visitors and businesses can feel pride in. New West End Company and Westminster City Council have a long track record in successful collaboration and are looking forward to working in partnership to keep Oxford Street thriving.”

Dee Corsi, Chief Executive Officer, NWEC added:

The proposed enhancement of Oxford Street’s public realm infrastructure is part of a bigger, once-in-a-lifetime, opportunity to regenerate one of the world’s most iconic retail and leisure destinations. 

“This partnership between NWEC and WCC is happening against a backdrop of wider, positive shifts in the market; from the progress of ambitious, multi-use redevelopment projects to the signing of new global flagships, and the return of iconic brands such as HMV. We are already seeing increased footfall and dwell time as a result of the Elizabeth Line, which underscores the need for an enhanced visitor experience that will encourage more visitors to come more often and stay for longer. 

“We look forward to working with WCC to ensure that we are capitalising on this momentum and delivering on a vision for Oxford Street in which enhanced public realm provision is a key component of its long-term, sustainable growth.”

Find out more about the programme and share your views.

Published: 17 July 2023