Oxford Circus will be transformed into two, “pedestrian-friendly piazzas” as part of plans unveiled by Westminster City Council and The Crown Estate to revive Oxford Street and the wider district.
The organisations said that work will begin on the area later this year, with the reconstruction set to provide “significant improvements” to the public spaces in and around Oxford Circus – creating more places to eat, drink and shop.
The council will also provide additional planting and seating to improve the “overall look and feel” of the area and encourage dwell time.
In addition, there will be road closures through the introduction of ‘Experimental Traffic Orders’, between Oxford Circus and Gt. Portland Street to the East, and Oxford Circus and John Princes Street to the West, “turning it into a pedestrian-first zone”.
The new Oxford Circus plans will be delivered through a phased approach, starting with two ‘car free’ piazzas on Oxford Street, either end of the Circus, with a target delivery by end of 2021.
The changes also aim to improve air quality. Works on Oxford Circus are expected to “reduce vehicle traffic” and “improve efficiency” of bus journeys across the area.
The scheme is linked with Westminster City Council’s ‘Greenways’ project, which is designed to improve the experience of cyclists across the Oxford Street district and in the borough.
Dan Labbad, chief executive at The Crown Estate, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Westminster to deliver a transformation of what I think we all recognise as one of the most iconic locations in the world.
“It is essential, as we rebuild our capital, that we create places that better serve all those who use them – improving air quality, reducing congestion, prioritising safety and delivering a world class visitor experience.”
He added: “These latest plans build on the recent improvements to Regent Street, and will help create a fitting gateway to all that the West End has to offer.”