Shop 'n' stroll

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The Independent Online

To Londoners, the idea of taking a leisurely stroll down Oxford Street of a weekend afternoon has long been absurd. There is but one reason to visit the capital's renowned thoroughfare, and that is to shop, with purpose and determination. Strolling is out. The pavements are heaving. Don't even think about opening an umbrella.

To Londoners, the idea of taking a leisurely stroll down Oxford Street of a weekend afternoon has long been absurd. There is but one reason to visit the capital's renowned thoroughfare, and that is to shop, with purpose and determination. Strolling is out. The pavements are heaving. Don't even think about opening an umbrella.

We can see only two solutions. One is for the Mayor to extend his Congestion Charge to pedestrians at weekends. The other, infinitely more attractive, is the suggestion reported today: to plant trees down the middle, pave the rest of it over and transform it into a street that is really for strolling. What are we waiting for - anyone for an Italian-style passagiata?

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