Parts of Oxford Street were closed to traffic last weekend amid fears that Christmas shoppers could be crushed on pavements that have been narrowed due to building work near Bond Street London Underground station.
Major building work is taking place near the station as part of its major redevelopment and the ongoing work has narrowed the pavements in the surrounding areas.
Fearing a Christmas crush, Westminster City Council transport commissioner Martin Low said the decision was made by the council to apply for a traffic management order in consultation with the Metropolitan Police.
The area from Oxford Circus to Portman Street was closed for eight hours on Saturday and the same stretch of road was closed on Sunday too.
It is unlikely to be a one-off either. As Christmas draws nearer and the roads get busier, similar closures could happen on future weekends and possibly even weekdays.
Commenting on closure, Low said: “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.”
Similar work is ongoing on the other end of Oxford Street near the Tottenham Court Road Tube station.
New Crossrail stations are being built along the central route of the line at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and Canary Wharf.