A Tramway for Oxford Street
Contents Contents Chapter 2

1. Introduction

The objective of this special study is to investigate the impacts and the feasibility of a tramway on Oxford Street in central London. Due to the shortage of time for this project not all impacts and aspects of feasibility will be studied in detail but the focus is on some selected issues.

The idea of this project is to pedestrianise Oxford Street between Marble Arch and St. Giles Circus and provide access by a tramway. The last tram in London ran in 1952 but trams were never introduced into central London. Currently access to Oxford Street is mainly by bus and tube. But the underground network is not suited well for travel within this area because of the following reasons:

The bus network overrides these problems, but others arise:
Fig. 1.1: A tram on Westminster Bridge around 1900 (Vintage Postcards International)

Apart from these there are problems of overcrowding and poor crossing facilities for pedestrians. A modern tram system can possibly solve all there problems. The obvious argument against a tram system is the spatial constraint, but since there is enough space for bus lanes, why should not there be room for a tram.

In this report I will first look at other Light Rail systems in England and on the Continent in order to outline some useful features. A small questionnaire survey, which is discussed in section 3, was undertaken to get an overview on the public opinion about this project. In Section 4 the outline for the proposed Light Rail and pedestrianisation scheme on Oxford Street is given. The issues of feasibility are outlined in section 5. Finally section 6 and 7 focus on two aspects in more detail, that are environmental impacts and the diversion of bus services.

Contents Contents Chapter 2

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