Page last updated at 06:59 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 07:59 UK

Oxford Circus crossing redesigned

Proposed changes to Oxford Circus
The redesigned crossing will open in November

Work is to begin on a £5m project to pedestrianise part of central London's Oxford Circus.

Based on crossings in Tokyo, the new design will stop all traffic in all directions, and allow people to cross diagonally as well as straight ahead.

Street clutter and barriers at the junction of Oxford Street and Regent Street will also be removed.

Oxford Circus is one of the most popular destinations in the world, with more than 200m visitors a year.

The redesign will double the amount of pavement and more space will be created around the exits to Oxford Circus Tube station.

As part of the works more than 500m of both Regent Street and Oxford Street are being redesigned with wider pavements and new lighting.

Shibuya pedestrian crossing
The new Oxford Circus is inspired by Tokyo's Shibuya pedestrian crossing

The revamped crossing is due to reopen in time for the switching on of the Regent Street and Oxford Street Christmas lights in November.

It also forms a key part of Westminster City Council's plans to renew the West End ahead of London's Olympic Games in 2012.

Councillor Danny Chalkley said: "Taking our inspiration from the Far East makes perfect sense as the Japanese have perfected the art of managing large numbers of people through good design and engineering.

"The West End, like Tokyo's Shibuya district, is a fashion and entertainment hub which attracts visitors in huge numbers.

"This new crossing, which will transform Oxford Circus and ensure visitors who emerge from the Tube are impressed by what greets them, is part of a whole series of improvements taking place to ensure the West End looks truly world class in time for 2012."

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A Japanese-styled system will replace the current road crossing at Oxford Circus



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