On Thursday 8 June, Westminster City Council decided to shelve the idea to turn the shopping district into a traffic-free zone and take it off the table “for good”.
On his Twitter, Khan wrote that the decision will be seen as a “betrayal to millions of Londoners” and said it posed a “real threat to the future of Oxford Street”.
Westminster Council's decision to pull the plug on Oxford Street pedestrianisation will be seen as a betrayal of the millions of Londoners & visitors to our city who would have benefited from making Oxford Street a safer & healthier environment. pic.twitter.com/ggTwDXHmfU
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) June 7, 2018
In response, the leader of the council, Nickie Aiken, wrote a letter to residents which said she could “confirm that the council [did] not support the full scale pedestrianisation of Oxford Street” and suggested a rethinking of the strategy was required.
She also said she needed to ensure that everyone could benefit and rejected Khan’s statement that it was a betrayal.
In December, Sadiq Khan proposed that the area would be fully pedestrianised by the end of this year between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus, including a rerouting of buses and cyclists being required to dismount. Taxi ranks were also expected to be widened.
In March, Transport for London (TfL) and Westminster City Council a consultation report found that of the 22,000 people asked, 48% were completely happy for the plans to go ahead and another 16% were happy despite having some concerns.