The Westminster Authority refused to make Oxford Street a pedestrian street

One of Sadiq Khan's main campaign promises is in jeopardy: in the Westminster government it was considered inappropriate to withdraw public and private transport from the main commercial street.

According to the mayor's plans, the transformation of Oxford Street, the busiest shopping street in Europe, from transport to pedestrian, was to begin at the end of 2018 with the closure of the 800-meter stretch from Oxford Circus to Orchard Street for traffic. The project caused mixed reactions among local residents and shop owners. In particular, the residents of Marylebone, Fitzrovia and Mayfair expressed fears that previously quiet streets would turn into continuing traffic jam after the redistribution of traffic flows.

All the preparatory work to turn the transport main line into a pedestrian zone was stopped in an instant by a tough decision of Westminster's government. All the proposals of the mayoralty were called "unacceptable" and authority demanded to close the project.

The head of the council, Daniel Esther, commented on the decision to journalists: "The mayor's office was very surprised when I informed them that all the detailing of the project should be stopped. They were already going to hire a specialist in conceptual street design, but we blocked this work too. At the moment, there is no strategy, no specific proposals that would suit our government."

The mayor himself did not comment on the unexpected turn of events, but his spokesman said that the idea of ​​turning Oxford Street into a pedestrian zone was a joint project of the mayor, the Westminster Department of Transport and Administration, and not Sadiq Khan's personal initiative. So the mayoralty will continue to seek compromise opportunities with local self-government bodies.

The demarche of the council can be connected with the latest corruption scandal in the district: an agreement on the withdrawal of transport from Oxford Street was signed by the mayor's office with the government, when the high post there was occupied by the conservative Robert Davis. This official, as it became known in February this year, for three years in office received from London businessmen more than five hundred suspicious gifts, which can be regarded as bribe.

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