Westminster Council and Transport for London are asking for people’s views on changes to Oxford Street that could mean all motor traffic and pedal cycles could be banned from the shopping street. (See https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/oxford-street/consultation/)
Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association made the following response:
We do not support the transformation of Oxford Street.
Our association is very concerned about the quality of air in our neighbourhood. We are particularly concerned about the health of the 8,000 residents here and our local school at the centre of our neighbourhood. The 200 children at All Souls Primary School in Foley Street are exposed to an average of 47.9 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre. This exceeds the EU legal limit which is 40 micrograms per cubic metre of air. Yet there is nothing in the proposals to transform Oxford Street that deals with the air quality in the wider West End. We see the ideas put forward which include pedestrianising Oxford Street as nothing more than a trophy project that fails to deal with the more difficult issue of air in central London.
The Mayor and TfL must tackle air quality and congestion over a much wider area than just Oxford Street. Yet the ideas being put forward would move air pollution and congestion into the streets surrounding Oxford Street.
On high pollution days, the Mayor must restrict motor traffic movement in the whole of central London. The Mayor must ban all but emergency vehicles on high pollution days across central London. The Mayor should not ban cyclists from Oxford Street.
Oxford Street should be an accessible place for all shoppers whether they are able bodied or have disabilities. There should be places to sit and drinking fountains and public toilets at regular intervals along the street. It should also be a pedestrian and cycle friendly street. It should have a 10 mph speed limit.