Letter: A pedestrian's right to choke

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The Independent Online
A pedestrian's right to choke

Sir: Hurrah for Jonathan Glancey; at last someone has the courage to speak out against the whingeing pedestrian lobby, who seem incapable of understanding that pedestrians really enjoy the bustle, noise and smell of traffic ("It's time to step on the cult of the pedestrian", 25 April).

For the past 10 years we have been entertaining foreign visitors to our bustling city. The first thing these simple folk from provincial towns in France or Spain want to do is to see what we have come to call the triangle, the race track formed by the roads (for that is what we should call them, not streets) connecting Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square.

They enjoyed being pinned on the narrow pavement between the railings of Buckingham Palace and the crowd control barriers on the kerb, while taxis, and Mr Glancey's Jag, rounded the Victoria Monument on two wheels on their way to London's nearest approach to gridlock, Trafalgar Square. Sadly this is no more; the road in front of the Palace has been shut to traffic, and tourists can reach the steps of the Memorial without risking their lives.

The only excitement left is in attempting to cross to and from St James's Park. So far Trafalgar Square is untouched - it is best visited on Saturday, when Londoners have more time than in the week to enjoy a really good snarl-up - but this is now under threat. If these ideas are implemented, then much else will soon be at stake; it can only be a matter of time before the citizen's inalienable right to be asphyxiated while crossing Hyde Park Corner will be taken away.

We must rally to the defence of our city and defend it from Foster's pernicious suburban proposals.


London SW12