6th November Press release
Oxford Street District strategy consultation underway
Council sets out to re-invent the nation’s high street
Westminster City Council has opened its consultation on plans for the future of the whole Oxford Street District.
The council is asking local residents, businesses, workers and visitors for feedback on new proposals which would massively increase walking space throughout the district whilst retaining two-way vehicle movement along the length of Oxford Street.
The Council’s fresh Place Strategy and Delivery Plan has identified 96 projects across 87 streets and spaces in nine zones, including proposals for major improvements at Oxford Circus, Marble Arch and Cavendish Square. The plan also includes the creation of beautiful and inspiring spaces across the district.
The strategy has looked in depth at every street in order to understand what makes the place so special and what needs to be done to enhance the heritage and character that makes the district unique and gives it the edge as a `must visit’ destination over domestic and international rivals.
As a result, the city council is planning on setting aside £50 million each year for the next three years in order to provide a massive kick start to turn the strategy into reality and is calling on private and public partners to back the improvements. A draft of the detailed Place Strategy has been developed over the summer following rounds of discussion with 50 stakeholder groups, including residents, businesses, workers in the district, young people and special interest groups.
In a separate City Plan consultation, the council is changing planning policies to give greater flexibility in Oxford Street in order to encourage different and diverse uses such as leisure, offices, hotels and restaurants, bringing new life and vibrancy to the district – but with an incredible retail experience remaining the core of the street’s offer.
The consultation will run from 6th November to 16th December 2018 with a series of exhibitions across the district and plenty of opportunities for people to get involved and to have their say.
Cllr Richard Beddoe, Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning, said: “We want everyone with an interest in Oxford Street’s future to share their views through our consultation. We recognise that a major overhaul is urgently required. That’s why we have a new district wide plan with over 90 different projects proposed across 85 separate locations. This is an exciting challenge and our new game changing strategy sets out how we can re-invent the nation’s high street.
“The area’s ongoing success is key to generating prosperity, employment opportunities and wealth for the capital, as well as the country.”
You can view the full strategy here.
Notes for Editors
Find out more at one of our exhibition events taking place throughout the district or visit our pop up space on these dates:
Wednesday 7th November 10am–8pm Salvation Army, 275 Oxford St, W1C 2DJ
Saturday 17th November 11am–3pm Salvation Army, 275 Oxford St, W1C 2DJ
Monday 26th November 4pm–8pm Salvation Army, 275 Oxford St, W1C 2DJ
Tuesday 4th December 5pm–8pm University of Westminster, 309 Regent St, W1B 2HW
Saturday 8th December 11am–3pm Fitzrovia Community Centre, 2 Foley St, W1W 6DL
Wednesday 12th December 10am–2pm Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore St, W1U 2BP
Pop up space
16 Seymour Place,
London W1H 7NG
Thursday 8th November 12pm–2pm and 5pm–7pm
Friday 9th November 12pm–2pm and 5pm–7pm
Saturday 10th November 12pm–3pm
Wednesday 5th December 12pm–2pm and 5pm–7pm
Thursday 6th December 12pm–2pm and 5pm–7pm
Friday 7th December 12pm–2pm and 5pm–7pm
The top ten proposals in the strategy include:
- Prioritise pedestrians by massively increasing walking space throughout the whole district whilst retaining two-way vehicle movement along the length of Oxford Street. It’s proposed to create the equivalent of two Trafalgar Squares of additional pedestrian space amidst beautiful new public spaces.
- Major improvements are proposed at key locations, including a new public piazza style space at Oxford Circus and a reinvigorated gateway to the West End at Marble Arch.
- Work towards a future where all commercial vehicles that are not zero emission are banned and introduce a 20mph limit across the district
- Retain buses on Oxford Street 24 hours a day and ensure they are zero emission.
- Change council planning policies, through the refresh of the City Plan, to give greater flexibility in Oxford Street in order to encourage different and diverse uses such as leisure, offices, hotels and restaurants, bringing new life and vibrancy to the district – but with an incredible retail experience remaining the core of the street’s offer. A separate City Plan consultation will run in due course.
- Celebrate and revitalise the historic garden squares in the District by maximising pedestrian space and connections from Oxford Street
- Deliver an ambitious greening programme for the whole district, including side streets, by providing many new street trees, pop up parks and oases for relaxation, rest or play
- Encourage cycling by retaining access for cyclists to Oxford Street and develop proposals for new cycling routes across the district with two new east–west cycle routes, to the north and south of Oxford Street as well as providing a number of key north-south connections across the district and more cycle parking.
- Our investment will encourage improvements to shopfronts and exteriors, provide special lighting and promote world class architecture throughout the district, celebrating the eclectic mix of heritage and styles
- Encourage a year round programme of amazing cultural events and activities, in collaboration with local, national institutions and retailers, including celebrating cultural events
Some key stats:
Six hundred thousand people visit Oxford Street every day, with 30% from overseas
- It is one of the largest job markets in London, with 155,000 people employed in the district. 49% of those are in professional services and 24% in retail.
- Annual retails sales on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street total an incredible £9bn.
- The two West End Elizabeth Line stations are projected to bring an additional 60 million people annually from 2020; increasing the 200 million annual visits to the District by a third.