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Transport for London Supports Walking Promotion

For the first time ever, the whole of Oxford Street and Regent Street in London will be closed to traffic for a day of entertainment and shopping on 2 December. The event, supported by Transport for London (TfL), is entitled “Shop West End VIP Day for Very Important Pedestrians.”

TfL is committed to improving the pedestrian environment in the capital, and for the day have created a special walking map of the area, which will help shoppers work out how many steps they have taken towards their recommended 10,000 daily total. (The British Heart Foundation (BHF) says 10,000 steps a day (about five miles) can give you a healthy heart and reduce body fat.)

The maps, along with 3,000 free pedometers and other walking gifts, will be available from the TfL Good Going Marquee, located halfway between Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road Tube stations on Oxford Street. Copies of the map will also be distributed at Tube stations in the area.

Walking accounts for 80% of trips of less than one mile and is the main way in which public transport is accessed in London.

The Mayor of London is committed to making London one of the most walking friendly cities by 2015. During 2003, a Walking Plan for London was developed in consultation with the London boroughs and other organizations with an interest in walking. The project—Making London a walkable city—the Walking Plan for London—was launched in February 2004.

The Plan includes:

  • An assessment of the current extent of walking in London, including recognition of its social, physical and environmental benefits and an appreciation of the difficulties faced by pedestrians;

  • Identification of the key players and mechanisms to achieve objectives;

  • Advice on how to integrate walking within the wider context of planning and transportation policies;

  • Details of complementary measures that improve the pedestrian environment and promote walking;

  • The promotion of headline initiatives, including the completion and enhancement of the six strategic walking routes;

  • A monitoring, marketing and publicity plan.

Encouraging walking is also an important component in the city’s T2025 plan for transport over the next two decades. (Earlier post.) The Mayor has already established a target to increase the number of walking trips per person by 10% by 2015. The T2025 analysis incorporates this beginning, indicating that walking’ss mode share would increase from 21% to 22% in the future, with more than one million extra walking trips taking place every day by 2025.



fyi CO2

Hurrah - the US will retain the obesity trophy for years to come, uncontested!


Is there any incentive for someone to do this walking? Or is this just another volentary program.

Thomas Pedersen

Great initiative! Oxford Street is cramped enough on a hot summer day - I cannot even imagine what it must be like to navigate that area during Christmas shopping with several large bags... (shudder)

Every major town in Denmark have exclusive pedestrian streets in down town shopping areas. Every time they are planned, there is an out-cry about loss of customers and revenue, but every time the result is more customers and a much improved shopping environment.

These areas are of course lined with public transportation and parking facilities. Driving directly to the store was never possible anyway because of lack of parking. This way, you have more space to walk on once you have parked your car. And you can visit both sides of the street without being run over...

It turns out that walking between boutiques (not grocery stores) is more calming and improves the shopping experience. It has meant that down town shopping areas have not yet lost the battle against shopping malls.

Why more cities do not employ this concept is a mystery to me..? However, all the streets that have been converted have been two-lane streets, so perhaps this concept works best in cramped European cities...

TfL are really being creative these days :-)

Rafael Seidl

Thomas -

pedestrian zones are actually quite common all over Europe. The entire old town of Vienna (roughly circular, ~1km across) is either pedestrian-only (shopping areas) or else limited to residents/hotel guests by way of parking restrictions. Deliveries are only allowed at certain hours and otherwise, the most common vehicles are horse-drawn buggies for the tourists. It helps that there has long been a ring road around this old town. frequented by many tram lines. Two subway lines and several LPG-powered bus lines provide access public transport into the old town itself. As in Denmark, shopkeepers screamed blue murder when all this was proposed back in the 70s but revenues and commercial rents have actually gone way up since.

Montreal features a huge underground pedestrian zone to encourage shopping in those cold winters. It can really be done anywhere provided traffic planners have the wisdom and the opportunity to route cars around city centers. It also helps enormously if you have a subway system that's modern, clean and safe.

john parkin

Snip and Clip will perform Santa’s Beard live at Oxford Street’s Pedestrian Day

The song Santa’s Beard by Snip and Clip, that’s competing for this year’s most prestigious place as the Christmas number one single, will played live at HMV store in Oxford Street during “Shop West End VIP Day”.

London’s most famous shopping street is being closed to traffic from 10.30am, on December 1st.
Oxford Street is set to be transformed into a traffic-free zone, when London’s West End hosts this year’s largest traffic-free shopping day, called VIP Day, standing for Very Important Pedestrians.

Shoppers and families will be able to enjoy one of the world’s premier shopping streets without the fear of fumes from passing traffic, as well as, being entertained by the popular and loveable, larger than life characters, Snip and Clip.

The song Santa’s Beard is a catchy up beat single, has a very traditional Christmas feel, it even has some sleigh bells playing in the background. It’s already had lots of airplay and Lucio of Capital Radio has called for it to be the challenger to the X factor single for this year’s Christmas Number One slot. Dannii Minogue even gave the song ten out of ten, when she heard it on his drive time show.

John Parkin, from Snip and Clip said “Our message is about, having a thought for the environment at this festive time and reduce the amount that inevitably gets thrown away, while still having fun. And this traffic-free day in Oxford Street fits in well with our environment friendly message. If we get this song to the top of the charts it will be the first time there has been a Christmas Number one with a green message. The response so far to the single has been just brilliant.”

Well it looks like, this year some people are set to enjoy their Oxford Street Christmas shopping experience, for a change.

For further information please contact:

John Parkin
Garden Barber Recordings
P O Box 23, Hertford, Herts, SG14 3PZ
Telephone: 01992 504167 E-mail: [email protected]

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