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Plans to turn Oxford Street into a vehicle-free zone are pulled

Visualisation of the scheme Credit: Mayor of London

Westminster Council has confirmed it has pulled the plug on a scheme to pedestrianise Oxford Street.

It had been Mayor Sadiq Khan's ambition to turn the busy shopping and tourist area into a car free zone to make it more 'environmentally friendly' and 'cleaner'.

Under the proposals, a half-mile stretch between Oxford Circus and Orchard Street would've become traffic-free.

Instead, Westminster Council now want a rethink and says there was little support for the scheme when details were put out to public consutlation.

In a statement they said:

"It was clear through two public consultations and recent council elections that local people do not support the pedestrianisation proposals.

"But doing nothing to improve the area is not an option either if we are to maximise the potential benefits from the opening of the Elizabeth Line. We must future-proof Oxford St and the surrounding district so it remains the pre-eminent shopping district in the UK and maintains its crown as the nation’s high street in an ever changing business and retail environment."

Mr Khan described the decision as a 'betrayal' and says he will not 'walk away' from Oxford Street. In a statement on Twitter he said:

"This will be seen as a betrayal for the millions of Londoners and visitors to our city who would have benefited from making Oxford Street a safer, healthier and better environment.

"This project was a good example of political parties putting politics aside, working together to improve our city for everyone.

"This now poses a real threat to the future of Oxford Street, which could not be worse timed, coming on the same day House of Fraser announced they will be closing their Oxford Street store."

Westminster Council say they're now working on their own vision which they plan to share in the autumn.