Retailers in London’s West End have called for urgent action to cut the number of buses running along Oxford Street and Regent Street in a 10-point ‘manifesto’ aimed at the capital’s mayoral candidates.
Ahead of London mayoral election next year the New West End Company, which represented retailers and other businesses in the premier shopping district, recommended the creation of a Mayoral Transport Commission to come up with ways of reducing the 450 buses per hour that travel the two main thoroughfares.
Other recommendations include action to reduce the impact on business of protests and marches by routing them away from the West End, championing the district by encouraging more traffic-free shopping days, improving the environment and ensuring sufficient police resources to cut crime.
New West End Company chairman Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas said: “Issues of traffic congestion can have an effect on West End visitor numbers, issues which two consecutive mayors have made progress in addressing but more needs to be done.
“73% of shoppers in a recent West End survey cited traffic congestion as the number one issue affecting the West End with the majority in support of more traffic-free shopping days.
“Tackling these priorities could prove to be the deciding factor in the Mayoral elections in May 2012. Other cities around the world have dealt with their traffic congestion such as Shanghai, Tokyo and New York – London can do the same.”
Jaeger and Aquascutum owner Harold Tillman, who is also chairman of the British Fashion Council, backed the ideas. He said: “The traffic-free days bring a very much needed stimulus to London retailers. I would like to see them happen much more regularly, they are a huge success.”