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Oxford Street plans given go ahead by two-third of residents, visitors and businesses

The £90million upgrade for Oxford Street has taken a significant step forward as two thirds of respondents to a consultation of local people, businesses, and visitors gave the scheme their approval.

The scheme for Oxford Street proposes a more attractive and comfortable street with wider footways, improved seating, more trees and planting, attractive lighting, and clearer signage. The programme includes a number of projects to enhance local areas along the street such as Oxford Circus, where the proposals aim to increase footway space by 40%, allowing for easier pedestrian crossings.

The consultation took place through in-person events, outreach in local markets, and detailed feedback via an online questionnaire. People were asked to share their feedback on different aspects of proposals for including improvements to the look and accessibility of footways, traffic changes, vehicle access, cycle infrastructure, and signage.

Following feedback from over 1,600 people and support for all proposals included in the public consultation, the council will now move the Programme forward. 

Cllr Geoff Barraclough, Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development said:  

It’s heartening to see local people and businesses have given their support for our plans to improve Oxford Street and its surrounding areas. After a number of schemes have been proposed to develop the district in the past, I am confident that we have an ambitious and deliverable plan in place.   

These encouraging results come off the back of a stellar year on Oxford Street; a year in which we’ve seen big names like HMV returning, newcomers like IKEA offering something different and exciting for shoppers and a fall in the number of candy stores along the street. 

With these positive results, we look forward to an exciting year ahead, and progressing this work in partnership between the council and New West End Company, the voice of the district’s owners and occupiers. We are well on the way to give the nation’s high street the upgrade it deserves.” 

Schemes for Oxford Circus, Marylebone Fitzrovia, Oxford Street West, and Eastcastle Street were also included in the consultation. These schemes focus on providing more direct vehicle routes through the areas as well as improvements for pedestrians and the public realm. All five schemes received support from over half of the respondents to an online questionnaire and were approved to go ahead by the Council’s cabinet on Monday 11 December.  

Dee Corsi, Chief Executive Officer, NWEC added:  

The Oxford Street Programme represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to regenerate one of the world’s most iconic retail and leisure destinations, and we are delighted that the proposed plans have been so well received by the local Westminster community and other members of the public.  

Alongside a strong pipeline of ambitious mixed-use developments, a flurry of high-profile new openings earmarked for the next 12 months and, of course, the continued positive impact of the Elizabeth Line, an improved public realm is the final component of the world-class experience all those who visit Oxford Street expect. We look forward to working with Westminster City Council and our members to deliver this clear vision for the nation’s high street.”  

The council will continue to work with local partners and people living in Westminster to refine designs for the street, with construction to begin on Oxford Street in Autumn 2024.  

The full results of the Oxford Street Programme consultation can be found here.

Published: 9 January 2024