The pedestrianisation of Oxford Street, and the potential problems that could create, were among the issues discussed at a hustings in Soho ahead of Thursday's (May 3) elections.
Representatives from each party fielding candidates were invited to attend the event, hosted by the Soho Society.
The Campaign Against Pedestrianisation of Oxford Street, a new single-issue party which is fielding a candidate in the ward, and the panel discussed the future of the celebrated shopping street.
Transport for London is asking people what they think about plans to "transform Oxford Street into the world's best outdoor shopping experience".
The Conservatives ’ Jonathan Glanz told voters: “It will be a very large space without vehicles.”
He said there was a risk that “we could create our own problem with beggars and street entertainment of not particularly good standard."
“It could be a long strip of space," he added. "We are concerned about the displacement which has not been discussed by the scheme. Unless that is addressed we will not support it.”
Liberal Democrat candidate Alan Ravenscroft said: “I’d like to see Oxford Street as a place where you can have cafés to sit out. I am totally in favour of the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street.”
Ronald Whelan from the Campaign Against Pedestrianisation of Oxford Street told the gathering: “The West End has been my home for all of my life. I care for it immensely. The community has not been involved in decisions.
“Footfall is not and can’t be the single answer.”
Labour candidate Patrick Lilley said: “We will continue to oppose the pedestrianisation because residents’ concerns have not been addressed by the Mayor and TFL. There are no plans for traffic displacement and no impact for people with disabilities.”
Residents raised concerns about changes to the Berwick Street market, the number of hotels in Soho and planning.
Labour’s Pancho Lewis said if elected his party would let residents talk to planning committees - which does not currently happen in Westminster.
The Green candidate Minne Fry was unable to attend the event.