Pedestrians on Oxford street are reduced to shuffling along overcrowded pavements, while hundreds of buses an hour inch forward at an average of 4mph, according to a new report from the London Assembly Transport Committee.
The report, ‘Streets ahead: Relieving congestion on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street’, notes that despite its phenomenal popularity with shoppers, the area continues to be divided by a "slow-moving procession of buses and taxis". On average the area suffers an accident involving a bus every 3.4 days - and air quality in the area, already the worst in London, is on track to be the worst in the UK by 2015
At the heart of the problem is the conflict between the need to provide a pleasant shopping and leisure environment, and meeting the demand for transport links through the West End. And various schemes to reduce traffic congestion and improve the pedestrian experience in one of the world’s premier shopping destinations may not be enough, says the report, calling for more radical thinking.