WE PLEDGE TO
PEDESTRIANISATION OF OXFORD
STREET AND WORK TO IMPROVE
NOT CLOSE THE STREET
Periodically local issues arise which transcend Party Politics.
One such issue that currently threatens our neighbourhood is the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street. You cannot close Oxford Street to public transport without consequences:
Increased traffic on nearby streets
Displacement not removal of air pollution
Increased Anti-social behaviour
Significant curtailment of Bus Services
We make no apology for standing on a single issue policy.
Both the Conservatives and the local Labour Party have given a series of not very helpful pledges.
We pledge to Campaign Against Pedestrianisation of Oxford Street and to work with all the stakeholders for improvement not closure.
The scheme as proposed is inside out. It should be the local and residential areas where traffic is reduced and the commercial streets, like Oxford Street, which are kept open for through traffic. But instead of a holistic scheme for the improvement of the overall look and feel and function of the whole of the Oxford Street area, what is on offer is a piecemeal project for the possible benefit of part of one street in the West End, to the definite detriment of the surrounding area.
It is quite possible to improve Oxford Street whilst keeping it open to a certain number of buses and taxis and cycles. In fact there are many positive advantages to be gained by keeping a modest amount of traffic on it. There is of course scope for traffic reduction in the area as a whole, but the opposite will be achieved by closing its main street. Pedestrianisation is too great a price to pay for the benefits on offer. To choke off a key part of the road capacity of central London like this will increase congestion, reduce access, harm the many surrounding businesses in the area, and damage the health of its residents, it is entirely unwarrantable.
THE HARD TRUTH
WESTMINSTER RESIDENTS AGAINST
OXFORD STREET FOOTFALL IS IN DECLINE
Local residents fail to be convinced by TfL’s traffic models, which attempt to show that the displaced bus, taxi and delivery vehicles from a closed Oxford Street will somehow miraculously disappear from the area. The reality will be relentlessly traffic in side streets causing, congestion, disruption, more pollution and accidents.
The electorate has been effectively disenfranchised on this vital subject. It is for this reason that it was felt necessary to give them the opportunity to vote for at least one candidate in each of the adjacent wards to Oxford Street who could offer an option. One candidate who would not be tied to a party manifesto that justifies pedestrianisation, albeit with a series of near useless compromises, or pledges.
Each of the candidates standing have already undertaken decades of local voluntary community service. They are only standing to attempt to stop pedestrianisation, something that Westminster Council gave written assurances, as the owners of Oxford Street, they would not allow to happen; until they changed their mind about 18 months ago. The only reason that they changed their mind, as the Council themselves confess in their Eight Pledges document, is because of threats from the Mayor. It is hard to imagine a worse reason for going along with such a plan, which has not sprung from a desire to improve the area, but from mere political expediency and the perceived necessity to satisfy a rashly made electoral promise.