'It is hoped that the scheme, which marks the latest step in the council’s plans to revive Oxford Street and the wider district, will help re-instil confidence in the West End and support local businesses, including those in the hospitality sector that have been severely affected by the pandemic.
Works on the transformed Circus will begin later in the year, with the wo ‘car free’ piazzas on Oxford Street, either end of the Circus, set to be delivered by the end of the year
Under the proposals, the stretch from John Prince’s Street to the west of Oxford Circus, through to Great Portland Street to the east will be shut to buses and taxis and turned into a pedestrian-first zone
There will still be traffic along Regent Street, but this will be 'calmed' through longer green phases at pedestrian crossings and other measures.
'Significant improvements' will be mad to the public spaces in and around Oxford Circus to bolster both the hospitality and retail offering in the area, with additional planting and seating 'to improve the overall look and feel of the area and encourage dwell time'.
The scheme will also work with Transport for London to create better access to Oxford Circus tube station.
"These new bold plans to reinvent Oxford Circus will see the first significant redesign of the nation’s favourite high street in decades," says Rachael Robathan, Westminster City Council Leader.
"We hope the creation of these pedestrian-only piazzas at Oxford Circus, surrounded by newly planted trees and large seating areas, will instil much needed confidence in the West End and support local businesses severely affected by the pandemic. We want to bring the excitement and buzz back to these famous streets and make Oxford Circus London’s front door."