THE OXFORD CIRCUS redesign starts today, with pedestrians set to get more time and space to do their thing once work is finished by the autumn.
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In general this will mean wider pavements for the 200 million people that visit Oxford Street every year, less street clutter and, most obviously, a total makeover of the Circus itself.
Queues for crossing the junction with Regent Street have become an annoying part of using Oxford Street over the years, but when the £5M revamp is finished, the plan is for periodic light sequences to stop traffic in all directions.
Not such good news for drivers, obviously, but that’s the price paid for a power switch to shopper-walkers, who were out in record numbers in the West End on Easter weekend as foreign tourists took advantage of the weak pound.
Schemes for improving the lot of Oxford Street visitors have been talked about for years. most of them staying on the drawing board.
Back in 2000, plans were announced to create a pedestrian fast lane, complete with fines for dawdlers and there have long been proponents of a special Oxford Street rail line from one end to the other, with rival camps favouring a tram and monorail.
One wheeze that has proven successful are the occasional traffic-free days, which have drawn even more shoppers to their shrine than usual and from where we got the photo.