Sadiq Khan, a frontrunner for the Labour mayoral candidacy, has announced plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street as part a campaign for cleaner air in the capital.
He said he would turn the capital’s flagship shopping street and tourist attraction in to a one and a half mile tree-lined walkway, as he vowed to takle London’s “dangerous?” air pollution problem.
As a Londoner, I’m ashamed that it’s also one of the most polluted roads in the world – where illegal and dangerous levels of air pollution are the norm. We are one heat wave away from pollution levels not seen since the 1950’s. That is bad for London and catastrophic for Londoners health, he said.
The street could lose out to competition if things do not change, and that with change the attraction could be better for Londoners, for tours and for our economy.
As mayor, Khan said he would set out to create one of the world’s best public spaces, as one of the most ambitious plans for London, with a tree line from Hyde Park to Centre Point at Tottenham Court Road.
At present Oxford Street is one of the most polluted spots in Europe, a place Khan says many Londoners prefer to avoid.
This is part of the Tooting MPs promise to lead the clean air revolution, with space on Oxford Street given to pedestrians and cyclists over motor vehicles.
If elected, he would also purchase only electric buses for London after 2018, look closely at best practice from other cities and work with boroughs to create ultra-low emissions zones.