The road on either side of Britain’s busiest pedestrian junction will be transformed into two pedestrian-friendly areas when it is closed at the end of the year, under plans unveiled by Westminster City Council and The Crown Estate on Wednesday.
The stretch of road from John Prince’s Street to the west of Oxford Circus, through to Great Portland Street in the east, will be shut to buses and taxis.
They will then be turned into two pedestrian piazzas on either side of Oxford Circus.
Although there will still be traffic running along Regent Street, it will be “calmed” through longer green phases at pedestrian crossings and other measures.
Watch: Shoppers return to Oxford Circus as restrictions eased
The plans aim to create more pleasant areas to eat, drink, shop and enjoy the centre of the city, and will include additional planting and seating to improve the overall look and feel of the area.
There will also be improved access to Oxford Circus tube station.
An international design competition will be held later in the summer by the Royal Institute of British Architects to deliver the final scheme.
The scheme is part of Westminster Council’s £150m commitment to attract investment to the West End.
Westminster council leader Rachael Robathan said: “There is an urgent need to tackle pedestrian congestion and safety, poor air quality and noise.
“The serious congestion of Oxford Circus – of people and of traffic –is unsustainable and demands action. In the aftermath of the pandemic, and with the arrival of the Elizabeth line, there is an overwhelming need and a compelling opportunity to build back better.
“We hope the creation of these pedestrian-only piazzas at Oxford Circus will not only improve safety, security, accessibility and but create an iconic destination at the heart of London.”
Watch: UK inflation rate soars past boe expectations to 2.1% in May