Westminster City Council’s Cabinet will consider a report on Monday 9 July that sets out the next steps to transform and future proof the Oxford St district so it retains its iconic status as the nation’s high street and offers the best visitor experience in a thriving and successful series of neighbourhoods. This report has been published on the council’s website today (29 June 2018).
Subject to a decision by Cabinet, over the summer months the council will develop a district wide solution for the area spanning Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch and including the surrounding neighbourhoods. This will lead to a planned public consultation in November.
This 'place based strategy' will describe the issues, priorities and vision for the area and will be developed with local residents and stakeholders. The work will give details on a range of realistic projects that will help deliver the desired immediate and longer‐term change. The council will also continue to liaise and work closely with residents, stakeholders and partners such as the Mayor and Greater London Authority, TfL and New West End Company to develop new solutions.
In addition to this work, the council is also looking closely at what pedestrian safety measures may be required in advance of the opening of the Elizabeth Line stations at Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street, currently scheduled for 9 December 2018.
The overall project development will comprise of 4 stages that will run in parallel with the development and implementation of the Oxford Street safety scheme:
|Oxford St district, placed based strategy stages||Timescale|
|A comprehensive audit and engagement with residents and other stakeholders to establish issues, priorities, vision and projects for the district.||July to August 2018|
|The production of a place based strategy to inform the development of preferred solutions for the district.||September to October 2018|
|Public consultation.||November 2018|
|Adoption of the Oxford Street district place strategy and delivery plan by Cabinet.||January 2019|
|Oxford St safety scheme stages||Timescale|
|Development and design of Oxford Street safety scheme.||June to August 2018|
|Start of works for Oxford Street safety scheme.||September to October 2018|
Again subject to Cabinet decision, the activities described above are to be funded from an approved revenue budget for the Oxford Street project. This is made up of a reallocation of £327,000 of council’s own revenue and £400,000 from the 2018/19 Local Implementation Plan (LIP) allocation. The safety scheme funding requirements will be subject to the Cabinet Member decisions on this matter programmed for July 2018. Future allocations for the development of the place based strategy and district wide solutions will be subject to a further Cabinet report, including any additional revenue and capital expenditure to effectively manage and maintain the district.
Cllr Richard Beddoe, Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning, said:
“I would like to reiterate our absolute commitment to bringing forward ambitious plans that will improve and future proof Oxford Street and surrounding district for many generations to come. There is a necessity to vastly enhance the overall experience for residents, workers and those visiting the district and this will be the focus of the new project. We want a district wide solution that will ensure Oxford Street retains its status as the nation’s high street in a rapidly evolving retail environment and is renowned as a must visit destination by visitors from London, the UK and overseas and is a place where distinct neighbourhoods continue to thrive."