Oxford St begins to respond in advance to Westfield opening

Oxfordcircusshoppersbeatcrosstowntr A plan has been unveiled to introduce a ‘Tokyo Style’ pedestrian crossing plan at Oxford Circus, in a move which is clearly part of the Street’s imminenet battle with the new Westfield London centre at White City.

Westminster council wants to remove existing barriers and remodel the crossings. Traffic lights would be rephased so that vehicles from all four directions would be stopped simultaneously for 30 seconds, allowing people to walk across the junction diagonally.

The scheme is based on Tokyo’s Shibuya District crossings, famous for allowing people to get around with ease.

Danny Chalkley, Westminster’s cabinet member for environment and transport, told the Evening Standard: "We want to make it as easy as possible for the 200 million visitors a year who come to the West End to get around on foot.

Oxford Street is therefore starting to get its act together on combatting the negative effects of the giant Westfield centre, which will reduce shoppers going to the West End from West London.

It is hoped that the Town Centres of Ealing Broadway, Hammersmith, Harrow-on-the-Hill and so on have, or are preparing, strategies to ensure their retail offers, and thus the health of the Town Centres, are not destroyed.

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