There are many reasons to support the Mayor of London’s plan to transform Oxford Street from one of the world’s most polluted streets into one of the world’s finest public spaces: it’s overcrowded, unattractive and air pollution on the street is three times over the legal limit. But there is another compelling reason – removing vehicles from Oxford Street will tackle its poor road safety record.
Nationwide, there was a 10% increase in the number of pedestrians killed on our streets last year. It wasn’t front page news – in fact, it hardly made the news at all. Maybe it wasn’t exciting or controversial enough; maybe it was all just a bit too pedestrian? But we all walk or use footpaths at some point in our day; we’re all pedestrians by any other name.
So I’m pleased to fully support Brake’s Road Safety Week aiming to make all our streets safer. For some places, 20mph limits, improved crossings and better facilities are enough to help reduce these horrific fatality rates. But this awareness week falls at a time when we’re talking about the future of one of the UK’s most iconic streets. The rate of collisions on Oxford Street is over 80 times above the London average with someone injured in a collision on average every seven days.
Why is this?
Over 500,000 people use Oxford Street every single day resulting in inadequate…