Plans to pedestrianise parts of London’s Oxford Street are “off the table for good”, Westminster City Council has announced.
The council said it had withdrawn support for the scheme in a letter to residents on Thursday, following two public consultations.
“We believe there is a very strong democratic mandate that the pedestrianisation scheme that was under consideration is not what local people want,” it stated.
Westminster City Council leader Nickie Aiken said a “rethink of the whole strategy” was required.
“It was clear through two public consultations and recent council elections that local people do not support the pedestrianisation proposals,” she said.
Some 1m people were directly contacted for the public consultation between November 2017 and January 2018, asking if they supported the proposals.
Transport for London and Westminster City Council received 14,377 responses, with backing from roughly 64%.
London mayor Sadiq Khan described the decision as a “betrayal”, adding that it “poses a real threat” to the future of the shopping destination.
Khan said: “This will be seen as a betrayal of the millions of Londoners and visitors to our city who would have benefited from making London’s Oxford Street a safer, healthier and better environment.
“All the main mayoral candidates agreed on the need for the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street at the last election, as did Westminster Council until today.”
He noted that it “could not be worse timed”, hot on the heels of the news that House of Fraser has earmarked its Oxford Street flagship for closure.
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, said: “This is a disappointing and frustrating situation we find ourselves in after two years of work.
“We are deeply concerned that the partnership between Westminster City Council and the mayor, which we believe is vital for the successful financing and delivery of a project of this scale, appears to have broken down.
“Westminster City Council recognise that something fundamental needs to be done to London’s Oxford Street and therefore it is imperative that these radical changes and pace for change remain its top priority. This investment is also essential to ensure that local residents lives are not worsened by the massive influx of new visitors.”