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Oxford Street could become traffic-free by end of 2018

Sadiq Khan has unveiled plans for a "pedestrian boulevard"

Chloe Best

It's one of the busiest - and most polluted - streets in London, but Oxford Street could soon become a "traffic-free pedestrian boulevard" under plans proposed by Sadiq Khan. The London Mayor unveiled his plans to make the shopping street traffic-free by as early as Christmas 2018 on Monday.

"Oxford Street is world famous with millions of visitors every year, and in just over a year the iconic part of the street west of Oxford Circus could be transformed into a traffic-free pedestrian boulevard," the Mayor said. "Alongside the arrival of the Elizabeth Line, the Oxford Street area will be truly transformed over the coming years."

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The Mayor of London has unveiled plans to make Oxford Street traffic-free

More than four million people visit Oxford Street each week, and regular visitors will know how difficult it can be to walk along the crowded pavements, particularly at peak times. But if the new plans go ahead, all east-west traffic will be stopped, and pedestrians will be able to walk along the centre of the street, in the aim of not only improving road safety in the area but also the air quality.

The work would initially start on the west stretch of Oxford Street between Bond Street and Oxford Circus underground stations, where big stores such as Selfridges and John Lewis attract thousands of shoppers. And the east side of the street from Oxford Circus to Tottenham Court Road could follow next, with the proposal to make that stretch of road traffic-free by December 2019.

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The plans are currently under consultation

Many people took to social media to share their opinions on the plans, with several saying they thought it was a great idea. "Excellent. Can't happen soon enough," one tweeted. "Brilliant. As a frequent visitor to London, this would be world's best boulevard," another added. "Please do this; the air in Oxford Street is toxic and dangerous to health at the moment," one Londoner shared.

However others questioned where the money to implement the changes would come from. "Surely the money would be better spent elsewhere?" one person tweeted. "Save the money and spend it policing our streets," others urged. The plans are currently under consultation and members of the public are able to share their opinions before 17 December. What do you think of the proposed changes?

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