A bid to ban buses from Queen Street in Oxford has been turned down.
The request was submitted due to safety concerns about more people using the street following the opening of the Westgate Oxford shopping centre.
But the Department for Transport has declined Oxfordshire County Council’s request due to a lack of evidence.
The council could submit another bid, but more data will have to be gathered by 2018.
One of the main entrances to the new shopping centre is on Queen Street, which is closed to cars but used by buses and taxis.
The closure request was referred to the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling in July after two bus operators, Stagecoach and the Oxford Bus Company, objected.
Oxford Bus Company said the closure would lead to congestion and pollution.
Oxfordshire county council spokesperson Paul Smith said it is ‘doubtful’ that monitoring for more data will start before February 2018, and that buses are likely to be there for at least another six months.
He said: “We need to have some discussion with Westgate, the city council and the bus operators about the timing and content of the monitoring. We don’t want to get into a position where we are arguing over the validity of the baseline data as that won’t help move the Queen Street debate forward.”
Phil Southall, managing director of Oxford Bus Company said: “It is business as usual in Queen Street and we support the plans for detailed monitoring and will continue to liaise closely with key stakeholders on this.
“Our drivers are highly trained and experienced in driving in multiple environments and situations.”
A consultation on plans to fully pedestrianise the busy shopping street in Oxford city centre was launched in May to June 2016.