I was in central London yesterday so picked up a copy of the Evening Standard. The Editorial covered the question of “Can England show the world we’re winners?”, to which of course the answer is “Yes” after the evening match, but perhaps more interestingly it had a section entitled “Keep London Moving”. This is what that said:
“Walk, cab, car, bike or bus: however you travel London’s streets you’ll know they are packed. The big question is how to share the space fairly. Plans to redesign Oxford Street are on hold after a battle between Transport for London (which wants buses to make way for people) and Westminster council (which wants to keep side streets quiet).
Today there’s news of plans for a much-needed redevelopment of Olympia as a cultural hub, which will add to pressure to keep people moving in the west. And this week has also seen a plan from the City of London authorities for “pedestrian’ priority” routes around some of the biggest office buildings in the east, including Leadenhall Street, Lime Street and St Mary Axe. Narrow pavements can’t handle the crowds that now use them — and that’s before Elizabeth line trains bring even more people into the City from the end of the year. If schemes like this are to work, they need to pass two tests.
First, places like the City can’t be cut off from the rest of London. People still need to get through, by car, on the way to other commercial centres such as Canary Wharf.
Second, they can’t slow bus routes down even further. As the battle over Oxford Street’s future has also shown, planners need to think of the impact on the whole of London and not just a handful of roads.
A successful city needs space for buses, bikes, people — but also cars, something we’ve sometimes forgotten in recent years. Get change right and London will keep on moving.”
This is a well argued point that TfL and the City Corporation seem to have lost sight of.
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