The independent London newspaper

We need a safer and less polluted environment

01 September, 2017

Peter Hartley, Chair of Westminster Living Streets

• I HAVE lived and worked for most of my life in the West End and do not need to be told about the problems that too much traffic has brought to central London. That is why the Mayor has taken the bold and welcome decision to pedestrianise Oxford Street.

It is simply not good enough for your correspondents Alida Baxter (Visit Soho for dangerous streets, August 18) and Ethan Pod (Oxford Street simply isn’t one of the most dangerous streets in London, August 18) just to point out that they might suffer from more traffic.

The West End is not just a haven for residents, its the heart of our capital with millions of shoppers and businesses to consider and its not acceptable to allow the appalling pollution and collision statistics to continue for a moment longer.

Planning our lives in big capital cities like London has moved on since the motor car became king and our councillors in Westminster were only interested in appeasing the powerful motoring lobby with their equally guilty transport officers only concerned with moving vehicles around as quickly as they could.

The Mayor of London’s transport strategy is quite clear that pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport are the priority now and motorists are not.

The excellent concept of “Vision Zero’ is to be adopted with the objective of eliminating all collisions in the future. We can’t do that by protecting the status quo.

Pedestrianisation of Oxford Street is part of that process and will lead to a safer and less polluted environment for all us. Surely that is an objective that all residents would support.

Chair, Westminster Living Streets


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