Page last updated at 05:28 GMT, Thursday, 10 July 2008 06:28 UK

Oxford Circus may get Tokyo look

Proposed changes to Oxford Circus
Londoners are being asked their views on the proposed changes

Shoppers in central London may soon be able to cross Oxford Circus diagonally under plans to ease congestion.

The busy intersection would be adapted under a 4m investment plan inspired by Tokyo's Shibuya crossing, where pedestrians cross with ease.

If the proposal went ahead work would start in summer 2009 and take about nine months to complete.

The Oxford Circus plan would form part of a 40m investment programme designed to upgrade the West End.

'World class'

Westminster City Council's Danny Chalkley said: "We want to make it as easy as possible for the 200 million visitors a year who come to the West End to get around on foot, and looking to Japan for ideas makes perfect sense."

The council is asking Londoners for their views on the plan during nine weeks of consultation.

Mr Chalkley said improvements to the West End would make it "truly world class" in time for London's 2012 Olympics.

Plans to give Oxford, Regent and Bond Streets wider pavements, a series of side street "oases" for al fresco dining and cutting edge lighting are already being undertaken.

The project is co-funded by the council, Transport for London, New West End Company - which represents retailers in the area - and the Crown Estate, which owns much of the land in the West End.


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