Oxford Street To Be Completely Pedestrianised By 2020 Says Mayor’s Office
When Sadiq Khan was first elected as mayor of London, Britain First went crazy about the fact that he is a Muslim man. Our editor, a woman who happens to share his religion, was upset by their views. She strongly feels that religion is not at all relevant to anyone’s ability to do a high profile job.
She decided to wait and see what Sadiq Khan’s political policies and ideas for London would be before complimenting or criticising him.
Unfortunately, yesterday our editor discovered that Sadiq Khan has an idea for London that she will never agree with. He plans to completely pedestrianise Oxford Street by 2020. The BBC reports:
All traffic including buses and taxis will be banned from the shopping street – one of the most famous in the world – as part of Sadiq Khan’s plans to tackle air pollution.
The report goes on to say:
Cars are already banned on most of Oxford Street between 07:00 and 19:00 every day apart from Sunday.
As a disabled woman, our editor strongly feels that this policy will make Oxford Street, a world famous shopping area, landmark and tourist attraction, completely inaccessible to disabled people whose disability makes them unable to use tubes independently to reach the location. At best, it will mean that such visitors to Oxford Street will need the company of a non-disabled person before they can visit Oxford Street. This will remove spontaneity from the experience of shopping, which may particularly be a problem for disabled tourists.
Our editor can understand the reasons behind London’s Congestion Charge, which she is glad that Blue Badge holders are exempt from. She can understand the reasons behind banning cars from Oxford Street in working hours. However, extending the ban to buses and taxis seems a ‘step’ too far.
It is to be hoped that the ban will not apply to wheelchairs, either manual or electric, although reports have not clarified this possible exemption.
Pollution control is important. However, to our editor, accessibility always comes first.
It is to be hoped that before these plans become reality, an exemption for all types of wheelchair will be clarified. Also, our editor would like to see an exemption granted for wheelchair accessible vehicles and cars carrying Blue Badge holders, similar to the one which currently applies for the Congestion Charge.
It is to be hoped that such an exemption will be considered, and clarified to the public at the earliest opportunity.