Boris Johnson: ‘officials are drawing up plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street’

London transport bosses are drawing up proposals to ban traffic from Oxford Street.

Clearing vehicles off the street is among the options on the table to “improve the environment for pedestrians”, the Mayor of London has confirmed.

It comes four months ahead of the mayoral election in which all the major candidates have backed the idea of pedestrianising the shopping hub, which records some of the worst pollution levels in the country.

Boris Johnson has previously told business owners he would consider banning buses and cars from parts of Oxford Street but ruled out full pedestrianisation.

But now Mr Johnson has written to Lib Dem London Assembly Member Stephen Knight confirming Transport for London and Westminster City Council were “examining a range of options for improving the environment for pedestrians on Oxford Street”.

These options include “reducing traffic, widening footways, reducing and relocating bus stops and pedestrianisation.”

But any move to ban cars, buses and taxis from Oxford Street would need to go through public consultation first, the Mayor added.

Mr Knight said: “If Oxford Street and the West End is to remain a world class retail centre if must become a much safer and pleasant place to visit, and that must mean moving towards permanent pedestrianisation.”

Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan and Tory Zac Goldsmith have both backed the pedestrianisation of the street, as have Caroline Pidgeon (Lib Dems) and Sian Berry (Green).

Mr Knight lodged a petition with City Hall in November calling for traffic to be removed from Oxford Street and replace public transport with a “zero emission shuttle bus”.

The West End Partnership Board will consider the proposals this year, Mr Johnson added.

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