Oxford Circus takes CIHT/WSP Award for urban design

When Europe's busiest diagonal crossing was rejuvenated with its innovative 'X' design, the aim always was to balance both the needs of pedestrians and traffic - and now it's official.

25 June 2010

The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation presented the 2010 Award for Urban Design sponsored by WSP to the Oxford Circus diagonal pedestrian crossings. A wide-ranging project involving West One Infrastructure Services, City of Westminster, Transport for London, Atkins, New West End Company and The Crown Estate, it was unveiled in November 2009 by London Mayor Boris Johnson, Roger Bright, The Crown Estate Chief Executive, and WCC Cllr Colin Barrow.

The £5 million makeover now allows shoppers to cross the busy intersection diagonally in an 'X' as well as straight ahead, meaning the junction will be able to handle double the number of pedestrians and ease overcrowding.

Oxford Circus, the gateway to London's premier shopping destination, had its barriers and street clutter ripped out and remodelled, giving the 200 million shoppers and workers that visit annually around 70 per cent more freedom to move around. Half a kilometre of both Regent Street and Oxford Street are also being redesigned with wider pavements and new lighting.

The redesigned road has increased the amount of pavement space by 312 metres squared, up 69 per cent from its previous capacity of 453 metres squared, and provides more room around the exits to Oxford Circus tube station.

The new crossing, jointly funded by The Crown Estate and Transport for London, builds on The Crown Estate's £750 million Regent Street regeneration programme and also forms part of wider £40m plans led by Westminster City Council to renew the West End ahead of 2012.

The 5th Annual CIHT Awards ceremony took place last night at Lord's Cricket Ground, London. The CIHT Awards 2010 are a celebration of the highways and transportation industry, it is an opportunity to reward the remarkable achievements of those working in the sector and to promote this professionalism and best practice to a wider industry audience.

The host for the evening was Jonathan Agnew, from Test Match Special who delighted guests as they relaxed in the Nursery Pavilion.