Buses are to be rerouted away from Oxford Street in London as part of changes announced by TfL. The alterations are part of wider changes to the network in central London that are intended to improve reliability, cut congestion and help tackle air pollution, affecting 23 routes. TfL notes that bus demand on Oxford Street is shifting, as people choose different travel options, including cycling and walking. The opening of the Elizabeth line in late 2018 will further transform how people travel across central London. Buses will be re-routed away from the street, moving the termini for some services to Park Lane, Trafalgar Square and Tottenham Court Road, while extending other routes to maintain connections. TfL will begin to implement the changes in the summer. Once all of the adjustments are in place, there will be 40% fewer buses running on Oxford Street, improving air quality at the heart of Europe’s busiest shopping district.
A faster, more reliable Tube, with the Victoria and Northern lines now among the highest frequency services in Europe with a train every two minutes, has ‘taken pressure off buses’. The Night Tube is also providing new travel options to and from the West End. TfL believes the opening of the Elizabeth line in late 2018 is significant as it will transform how people travel across central London. When fully open, the Elizabeth line is expected to boost rail capacity in central London by 10% and provide a new east-west link across the capital, with 24 trains per hour in each direction serving step free stations. TfL expects many people will choose to use these services rather than taking a bus.
TfL’s Director of Surface Transport, Leon Daniels, said, ‘As our city changes around us, we need to ensure the bus network changes too. Making sure we have the right level of buses in central London is key to keeping our city moving.’