Hundreds of commuters were locked out of Oxford Circus tube last night to prevent overcrowding.

The shut down occurred at around 5:30pm, just as central London workers were leaving to go home.

Oxford Circus is London's fifth busiest station, with 428,000 customers using it each weekday with demand rising by 50% over the last 10 years.

"Due to vast crowds that often visit the West End we sometimes have to temporarily close the station to ensure safety and prevent overcrowding at lower levels of the station. We are sorry to those who got caught up or delayed. We are expanding Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations to meet demand and the opening of Crossrail will mean vital new capacity."

Peter McNaught, Operations Director for London Underground