Westminster council seeks local views on ‘Oxford Street District’ plans

An exhibition of plans to re-shape the ‘Oxford Street District’ will be held this weekend at the building formerly known as the Fitzrovia Community Centre.

Map of Oxford Street and surrounding area.

Westminster’s ‘Oxford Street District’ plans have so far failed to impress anyone.

Westminster council is asking local residents and people who work or visit the area what they think of their £150m strategy to “improve” the environment of the shopping street and neighbouring districts in a consultation that will run until 16 December 2018.

The plans have so far drawn a mixed response from residents and campaigners who have welcomed the greening initiatives but have criticised the council for failing to tackle the source of road danger, air pollution and congestion.

The Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association has said the plans fail to reduce the amount of through traffic blighting the neighbourhood, and the plans to divert buses around Oxford Circus and through side streets to make a tiny picnic area above the tube station are an unwelcome leftover from the previous shelved plans.

Wendy Shillam of the Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum said she was “pleased to see Westminster making proposals, but Fitzrovia just gets a few trees”.

Simon Monk of the London Cycling Campaign says the plans offer “little more than a collection of potential schemes that are wholly inadequate in addressing the primary issue facing Oxford Street, the west end and indeed central London — too much motor vehicle traffic.”

Ownership and use of motor vehicles in Fitzrovia is among the lowest in the country yet its 8,000 residents have to suffer some of the worst pollution in the country. Most of the tens of thousands of people who work in the neighbourhood commute by public transport, walk or cycle.

The nitrogen dioxide (NO2) level at the corner of Charlotte Street and Goodge Street is 55.26 µg/m3, far higher than the legal limit of 40 µg/m3, according to monitoring over seven months by the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association.

Exhibition of Oxford Street District proposals: 11am to 3pm Saturday 8 December 2018, Fitzrovia Centre, 2 Foley Street, London W1W 6DL; and 10am to 2pm Wednesday 12 December, Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP. See osd.london  for full details.

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