“This Assembly notes the recent London Assembly Transport Committee report ‘Feet First’ which reveals that six of London’s top 24 pedestrian collision hotspots are in Oxford Street. This Assembly also notes recent evidence from Transport for London (TfL) revealing that pedestrian collisions with buses have actually increased on this road.
This Assembly also notes the recent statement from the Principal Air Quality Scientist of the Environmental Research Group at King's College London that “measurements of NO2 [nitrogen dioxide] concentration recorded at the Oxford Street roadside air pollution monitoring site were to his knowledge the highest in the world.” This view was endorsed by campaigners who, during a site visit to Oxford Street on 28 January 2014, labelled air quality in the area “a national disgrace”.
This Assembly further notes that compared to the Mayor’s advocacy of cycling, the benefits of walking and pedestrian initiatives have been largely overlooked across London. This Assembly is especially concerned by his inaccurate statement at Mayor’s Question Time on the 22nd October that VIP Day (Very Important Pedestrian Day) has led to a reduction in footfall.
This Assembly believes the safety and pollution record of Oxford Street, combined with the impact of Crossrail, means that maintaining the status quo or even making minor modifications are not sufficient for the long term success of Oxford Street and the West End economy.
This Assembly therefore urges the Mayor to immediately support the re-introduction of the highly popular Very Important Pedestrian Day, which should be combined with a programme of weekend pedestrian closures over Summer months based on the successful New York Summer Streets programme.
This Assembly also calls for the Mayor to authorise Transport for London to draw up a number of options to end pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries as well as reduce air pollution in Oxford Street, which should then form the basis of a public consultation which should start before the end of 2015. This Assembly also calls on the Mayor – in recognition of his statutory environmental duties across London – to establish what steps the City of Westminster are taking to reduce emissions, which will eventually begin to undermine the West End’s attractiveness to Londoners and tourists alike.”