Crowd on Oxford Street

Reduce buses on Oxford Street immediately

05 September 2016

Innovative changes to bus routes and service patterns are required to achieve the Mayor’s plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street, according to the London Assembly Transport Committee.

The committee has met with representatives of local businesses, residents, road users, Transport for London (TfL) and Westminster City Council. Today, it published a letter to the Mayor spelling out what it believes needs to be done to make the pedestrianisation plan achievable. 

The letter suggests:

  • An immediate priority for TfL to reduce the number of buses on Oxford Street without creating additional congestion elsewhere
  • A strategic approach to managing traffic around Oxford Street and across the West End
  • Developing a shared vision for pedestrianisation across the full range of local stakeholders
  • Addressing other issues, including wayfinding at Crossrail stations and the need for safe cycling routes[2]

The Committee will produce a full report on congestion issues in the capital later in the year.

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee said;

“Oxford Street is currently a dangerous and dirty destination for pedestrians in the capital - with poor air quality and high numbers of casualties.  Something’s got to give and it’s got to give now. Without significant change to make the area cleaner and safer for Londoners and visitors to the city, the global reputation of Oxford Street is at risk.

Our discussions have made it crystal clear that the immediate issue is buses. However, diverting buses into surrounding streets is not the solution, given the impact this would have on local communities and traffic congestion. TfL needs to deliver a sizeable reduction in the number of buses on Oxford Street. It is impossible to conceive of a pedestrianised Oxford Street until this happens.”

Follow us @LondonAssembly and take part in the discussion using #AssemblyTransport and #OxfordStreet

Notes to editors

  1. Read the letter to the Mayor (attached)
  2. The letter notes the Committee's majority support for more and safer east-west cycle routes through central London. David Kurten AM of UKIP believes London may benefit from these but that further assessment is required to ensure that there is no concurrent increase in traffic congestion or vehicle journey times from the loss of traffic lanes.
  3. Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM, Chair of the Transport Committee, is available for interview – see contact details below.
  4. London Assembly Transport Committee.
  5. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.