WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

Thank goodness sense has prevailed on Oxford Street

01 June, 2018

‘Something must be done about the proliferation of buskers in Oxford Street’

• THANK goodness sense has prevailed and Oxford Street is not to be pedestrianised.

I fully endorse the anti-pedestrianisation campaigners who said: “No matter how much pressure the new council may be brought under to again change their minds, they must stay firm. They own the road, they have said ‘No’ and they must now be fully aware that their mandate was achieved through the election promises they made and that these promises must be honoured.”

And the leader of council who has agreed that they “have got to address the concerns brought up by residents. We have eight red lines. We want to look at how we can improve Oxford Street and we want to look at alternatives that make Oxford Street a bet­ter place to walk down.”

The New West End Company who “manage” the street on behalf of retailers claim to be: “A catalyst for change… to maintain the area’s position as the world’s top retail and leisure destina­tion… to deliver sustain­able street management and visitor services to ensure a world-class ex­perience as a key partner delivering a new West End.”

If these are truly the positions of both of the council and the New West End Company they must stop landlords renting to tat-merchants and candy shops. They are simply a blight on the landscape.

The dirty and ugly street furniture must be removed and be replaced with something similar to that on Kensington High Street, which decluttered and transformed the street.

The paving must be addressed, and replaced with an alternative, working to build a cohesive and attractive thoroughfare, with proper consideration of the future impact of the Crossrail pedestrian numbers.

Something must be done about the proliferation of buskers. All along Oxford Street, the pavements are now colonised by would-be pop-stars with loud amplification. The noise pollution is terrible and our space to walk is dangerously impaired.

If the street were to be pedestrianised there would be even more of these noise merchants, along with beggars and their amusingly-dressed dogs. The local residential streets and squares must be preserved, and not transformed into bus stands or bus routes.

Westminster Council and retailers must unite to help develop and build a hospitable, holistically shared, transport and pedestrian environment with an aesthetic coherence which will address the present stagnation which has no economic or social value.

MS PHIL KELVIN
W2

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