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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 August 2006, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
Mayor's Oxford Street tram vision
Traffic in Oxford Street
40% of London buses are routed along Oxford Street
One of London's busiest and most congested shopping streets could become a traffic-free zone with a tram running from end to end, the mayor has said.

Mayor Ken Livingstone outlined his vision to BBC London, saying he wants to transform Oxford Street into a road that is pleasant to stroll along.

He said the project would take up to seven years to complete.

The New West End Company, representing local retailers, said it was pleased with plans to make it a "people place".

Mr Livingstone said currently 40% of London bus routes run along the street, but he foresaw a terminus at the Marble Arch end to the west.

Everyone recognises that Oxford Street's challenge is congestion
New West End Company

He added that he wanted to scrap the Marble Arch roundabout and transform the "tacky buildings" at the other end into a convention centre.

Negotiations were under way with the cab trade to run from north to south with dedicated pick-up points, he added.

He told BBC London 94.9: "You should have nothing in Oxford Street, and perhaps Lower Regent Street, just basically a proper dedicated tram service so people can hop on and off."

Transport report

A spokesman for the New West End Company said: "Everyone recognises that Oxford Street's challenge is congestion.

"We are pleased that the decision makers are looking at effective ideas that will address this issue and turn it into a people place."

Findings from a report by the company, the mayor and Westminster Council, looking into transport issues in Oxford Street are due to be released next month.

Last year Londoners were given a taste of a pedestrianised Oxford Street when vehicles were banned on two occasions to make way for Christmas shoppers and a street party in October.

The move proved popular, particularly with London's Liberal Democrats who called for a traffic ban by 2009 and trams by 2013.


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