Oxford Street traffic
Oxford Street traffic
Westminster Labour is supportive of the general direction of travel of reducing traffic and providing increased space for pedestrians, set out in the Council’s draft plan for the future of Oxford Street.
Our initial comments are:
  • More detail is needed about the impact of reducing road space on surrounding residential streets in terms of potential diversion of traffic, as well as the impact of any temporary or short term closures of Oxford Street during peak shopping times.
  • The proposed measures to reduce road accidents will need to be scrutinised closely.
  • Far more detail will be needed to understand how the proposed new cycling routes would work.
  • We urge close working with TfL, particularly on the introduction of low emission buses.
  • The Council should make clear the timescales for the environmental improvements in the streets north and south of Oxford Street. It will be very disappointing if residents have to wait until the end of the programme to benefit from any changes.
In addition, Westminster Labour is calling for a robust and thorough consultation process that meaningfully engages residents, groups and businesses. Any future plans must put the aspirations of local communities at its core and we call for:
  • Innovative ways of engaging communities so that any concerns about the consultation being a mere ‘tick box’ exercise are addressed from the outset and local people are given the tools to genuinely contribute to the final outcome.
  • Full engagement with those ‘harder-to-reach’ residents and groups who don’t always have the opportunity to participate, as well as the already-active residents.
  • The Council may also want to set up a Citizens’ Jury made up of a representative groups of residents and other stakeholders to scrutinise the proposals closely, as well as being given the opportunity to come up with their own solutions.

We note with concern the short timescale allowed for consultation and note that since the summer, when it was announced new plans were being developed, timescales have already slipped. We await the details of the consultation process and will scrutinise it very closely.

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