Oxford City Council temporarily pedestrianised part of St Michael's Street in 2020 to provide outdoor dining space for nearby restaurants, pubs and cafes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the success of the trial, the City Council submitted an application for the permanent closure of the eastern part of St Michael's Street. This was approved by Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, in January 2022.
The closure has created a pedestrian-friendly civic space in a historic location, supporting several hospitality businesses to provide outdoor seating, and increasing the availability of outdoor socialising opportunities for residents and visitors to the city.
However, the pavement is narrow and in poor condition in places, making it difficult for wheelchair users to navigate.
To address this, the City Council commissioned LDA Architects to deliver a concept design for improvements. This was then presented to key stakeholders, including disability groups and organisations on the street. LDA Architects adjusted the design following the engagement workshops.
ODS has been commissioned to deliver the improvements and, working with the County Council as highways authority, construction is aiming to start in September 2023. The project is expected to take about two months to complete.
- Oxford City Council temporarily pedestrianised part of St Michael's Street in July 2020
- The City Council received approval to permanently pedestrianise the street in January 2022
- The City Council commissioned LDA Architects to design a more accessible scheme in 2022
- Engagement with disability groups and stakeholders took place in 2022
- The City Council commissioned ODS to deliver the improvements, with construction starting in September 2023
- The project is expected to be completed in November 2023.
Have your say
- Oxford City Council consulted Oxford businesses in May 2022, which found that 81% supported new zones for outdoor dining
- Oxfordshire County Council, as highways authority, carried out a public consultation on the permanent pedestrianisation of the eastern part of St Michael's Street in 2022
- Oxford City Council consulted with disability groups and organisations in St Michael's Street on the improvements to the pavement in 2022