Oxford St closed amid crush fears
Published 03/12/2011 | 19:22
Part of London's Oxford Street was shut to traffic on Saturday as building work threatened to contribute to a Christmas crush.
Westminster City Council said it closed part of the busy shopping street amid fears there could be crushing on pavements which have been narrowed due to construction work.
The section of the shopping street was closed from noon to 8pm, with the same arrangements in place for Sunday, and there could be similar traffic closures on other weekends in the run-up to Christmas.
Building work near Bond Street London Underground station means pavements are narrower, prompting the concerns that there could be crushing during the Christmas rush.
Westminster City Council transport commissioner Martin Low said: "The decision was made by Westminster City Council to apply for a traffic management order in consultation with the Metropolitan Police to close a section of Oxford Street to traffic between noon and 8pm today (December 3) and tomorrow (December 4).
"This was a pre-emptive decision in response to concerns about possible crushing on the pavements as a result of narrower walkways, which are being caused by ongoing construction works.
"The council is hopeful that a redesign of the building site will be possible going forward, but cannot rule out further weekend traffic closures at this stage.
"Our paramount concern is to ensure the safety of pedestrians during this busy weekend of Christmas shopping in Oxford Street."