Plans to transform Oxford Street “into one of the world's finest public spaces” have been backed in a public consultation.
However, results show one-in-three people do not support the proposals, which would make a stretch of Oxford Street traffic-free .
The plans were subject to an online public consultation by Westminster City Council and Transport for London (TfL), with the results published on Tuesday (March 13).
More than 22,000 responses were received.
Among those who participated were local residents, businesses and visitors, with 64% of responses supported plans in some form.
Proposals include a new traffic-free area between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus, delivered by December 2018 to coincide with the launch of Elizabeth line services.
TfL says the changes would create safe, accessible and inspiring public spaces for people of all ages to enjoy.
“These would rival those in other world cities such as Paris and New York, and include improved pedestrian crossings, wider pavements and provide additional taxi ranks on surrounding roads”, it said.
All residents, those working in the area and visitors were invited to comment on the detailed plans on the section between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus, as well as the surrounding area, as part of an eight-week consultation which ran from November 6 2017 to January 3 .
A third of those who responded to the consultation did not support the plans.
They raised issues including traffic and air quality on residential roads, provision of a safe cycle route through the wider area, management of the public space and ensuring that Oxford Street remains accessible for all.
TfL and Westminster City Council say they will consider every one of the issues raised by the huge response to the consultation, before the local authority takes any further decision on how to proceed.
Cllr Daniel Astaire, head of planning and public realm at Westminster, said: “We’re pleased that we have had such a significant response to this important consultation and we now need to take our time to look in detail at every issue raised before we take any final decision to make sure we get it right.
“We know that people are very passionate about this iconic part of London and that is why we are clear that it has to be the right scheme that works in the best interests of those who live, work and visit the area.”
Val Shawcross, deputy mayor for transport, said: “Our plans will make Oxford Street one of the finest public spaces and shopping streets in the world, while investing in widespread improvements to make the area cleaner and safer.
“We will now look at all the consultation responses in detail to ensure that everyone’s views are taken on board.
“Whether you’re a resident, a business, or regularly shop in the area, we must ensure the final details of the plan truly provide benefits to the millions of people who use the area every year.”
Keith Prince, chairman of the London Assembly Transport Committee, said it was right to address all concerns.
'TfL has its work cut out'
“The fact that 33% of those who responded to the consultation did not support the plans, means TfL has its work cut out addressing the issues which clearly concern a considerable number of people”, he said.
“I am glad to hear that before Westminster Council takes any further decision on how to proceed, these matters will be addressed.”
During an earlier initial consultation in spring 2017 , 62% of the 12,000 responses supported the principles behind the transformation of Oxford Street.
A final decision is still to be made.
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