The London Assembly Transport Committee has laid out new plans to reduce traffic congestion in London’s West End.
The report calls on London Major Boris Johnson to work with Transport for London and Westminster Council to look at the feasibility of re-routing buses to reduce the number of buses travelling through the area and look at longer-term solutions such as providing a shuttle bus along the length of Oxford Street or pedestrianising the area between Oxford Street and Bond Street.
The New West End Company, which represents retailers in the area, has welcomed the report.
New West End Company chairman Judith Mayhew Jonas said: “With the 2012 Olympics and Crossrail due for completion in 2017, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to find a modern, innovative and green solution to congestion in the West End. Oxford Street should be enjoyed not endured and we need a radical rethink for managing traffic in our area, it is about reduction in absolute terms not diversion down neighbouring streets.
“Shoppers from London and around the world are faced with a wall of red buses every time they visit the UK’s most famous shopping streets – Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street. This is unacceptable and we are encouraged by the report’s recommendations and the Mayor’s initiative to review and ultimately reduce the amount of traffic in the West End,” she said.
M&S chairman Sir Stuart Rose said: “Shopping on Oxford Street should be one of the world’s best retail experiences. We retailers are doing our bit by making our stores look great and offering fantastic service, but it’s hard to deliver a complete experience to customers when we’re competing with so many buses. We’re supportive of any initiative that helps to reduce their impact and encourage more people to shop on Oxford Street.”