Ambition

An ambitious vision for the Oxford Street District

Westminster City Council has a long term and ambitious vision for the Oxford Street District that will strengthen its world-renowned status as a great place to live, work and visit. 

We are delivering a comprehensive programme of changes to improve and enhance the district as a global destination with thriving residential neighbourhoods, successful businesses and an unrivalled visitor experience. 

Our coherent and district-wide strategy responds to the big challenges the district faces and will ensure that Oxford Street retains its reputation as the nation’s favourite high street.  

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Key facts and challenges

100 million

Recognised worldwide as a leading retail destination with 100 million visitors a year.

38,000

Home to over 38,000 residents

114,600

One of London’s largest employment centres, employing around 114,600 people

69%

69% of people travel to Oxford Street by Tube

Recognised worldwide as a leading retail destination with 100 million visitors a year.

Home to over 38,000 residents

One of London’s largest employment centres, employing around 114,600 people

69% of people travel to Oxford Street by Tube

An excessive number of vehicles contribute to poor air quality and road safety issues

60 million

The Elizabeth line will bring in an extra 60 million pedestrians a year adding to high levels of congestion at peak times

Higher footfall will generate increased demand for more public space and better green spaces

Oxford Street faces rapidly evolving retail trends and increased competition

An excessive number of vehicles contribute to poor air quality and road safety issues

The Elizabeth line will bring in an extra 60 million pedestrians a year adding to high levels of congestion at peak times

Higher footfall will generate increased demand for more public space and better green spaces

Oxford Street faces rapidly evolving retail trends and increased competition

A district wide approach

Key Principles for the District

01

Make the district inclusive, accessible and liveable

Such an intensively-used district at the heart of a World City needs to cater for the many varied users: for all who live in, work, visit and pass through the area at all times of the day and night. It is therefore an essential overarching principle that everyone will have easy access to beautiful, safe, clean, well-managed and enhanced civic amenities.

02

Improve air quality

Poor air quality is recognised as a significant issue across the district with vehicular traffic being the major contributor to emissions.

03

Improve safety

Improvements in safety will be fundamental to the perception – and experience – of the Oxford Street District as a place which is inclusive, liveable and welcoming and a pleasure to visit by day or by night.

04

Take immediate steps to address management

Feedback from stakeholders has highlighted a number of issues regarding the existing management of the district and has reinforced the need to have a collaborative approach to managing and keeping the district safe.

A comprehensive partnership management plan will be produced and implemented which will set out the arrangements for all aspects of safety and management within the district.

05

Prioritise pedestrians and value every space

The strategy recognises and prioritises walking as the primary form of movement within and across the district.

06

Make the district better for cycling

Westminster City Council supports the growth of cycling as an active, zero-emission mode of transport and is committed to make cycling across the borough practical, enjoyable and safe.

07

Support economic growth across the district and promote innovation and experimentation

Investment in the Oxford Street District is important to protect and develop the area as a major employment district and to catalyse the inward investment and improvements that will support its continued status as an international shopping street.

08

Design for flexibility

There is a finite amount of space to be shared between competing uses – a flexible approach should be used to create a design and management system that responds to the life of the district.

09

Build from existing and connect the whole district

The district is a remarkable place, with many existing assets and a history of creative thinking by landowners, neighbourhood forums, retailers and developers. The strategy sets out to enhance and build on the area’s existing qualities and harness its population’s enthusiasm, vision and expertise.

10

Create beautifully-designed streets, gateways and a diversity of public spaces across the district

This strategy seeks to unlock the full potential of the existing urban realm and its built fabric; to reveal, connect, and upgrade the environmental conditions, whilst respecting the distinctive character and identity of the local historic neighbourhoods, making well-connected and enhanced civic amenity for all users.

11

Take every opportunity to add additional trees and planting, creating new green spaces and revitalising the garden squares

Creating linked green spaces through the district will enhance biodiversity, increase local amenity, create valuable habitats for wildlife and improve the environment for all.

12

Enrich the cultural life & identity of the district

This strategy aims to celebrate and build on the district’s cultural and artistic assets whilst developing a programme of events which gives a reason to celebrate – and to visit – all through the year.

13

Diversify land use and extend the life of Oxford Street

Retail is changing and evolving. The economic vitality of Oxford Street will be strengthened by its ability to adapt and experiment and offer a range of attractions and ancillary, complementary uses that support the retail and commercial activities of the district.

14

Make Oxford Street spectacular

Oxford Street has a long tradition of celebration and spectacle. The aim is to celebrate the daily urban theatre of its existing retail and leisure uses whilst creating settings for events at every scale.

15

Embrace Oxford Street’s role as an important sustainable transport corridor for the West End

Oxford Street transports people and traffic within, to and from the West End, either to visit Oxford Street or the surrounding district. A balance must be struck between the clear need for an improved pedestrian environment and this important city function.

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