Two pedestrian-friendly plazas will transform Oxford Circus under plans unveiled by Westminster City Council and the Crown Estate on Wednesday.
The proposals will include “significant improvements” to public spaces, with additional planting and seating areas designed to maximise dwell time and encourage visitors, as well as improved access to the Tube.
There are thoughts the project will have a positive impact on pubs and restaurants in the area.
Work on the piazzas is set to begin later this year and will be introduced through a phased approach, starting with two ‘car-free’ zones on Oxford Street set to be finalised by the end of 2021.
Westminster City Council leader Rachael Robathan said: “These new bold plans to reinvent Oxford Circus will see the first significant redesign of the nation’s favourite high street in decades.
“We hope the creation of these pedestrian-only piazzas at Oxford Circus, surrounded by newly planted trees and large seating areas, will instil much needed confidence in the West End and support local businesses severely affected by the pandemic.
“We want to bring the excitement and buzz back to these famous streets and make Oxford Circus London’s front door.”
Dan Labbad, chief executive at the Crown Estate, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Westminster to deliver a transformation of what I think we all recognise as one of the most iconic locations in the world.
“It is essential, as we rebuild our capital, that we create places that better serve all those who use them – improving air quality, reducing congestion, prioritising safety and delivering a world class visitor experience.”