Letter: London traffic

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The Independent Online
Sir: For someone who has watched the development of thinking over traffic design in London over several decades, it is interesting to read ("The new Battle of Trafalgar", 30 October) of the proposals that have been dreamt up by Norman Foster and Partners for Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square, on which public comment is about to be invited.

The wiser heads at City Hall are well aware of the pointlessness of asking the public to comment on schemes that are simply not feasible. At their meeting of 21 July the Environmental and Planning Committee resolved that "any consideration of the proposals for the so-called Strategy 2 be deferred until such time as HM Government is able to introduce wider proposals for reducing the volume of traffic in Central London". But the client for the study is not Westminster Council but a consortium of which Westminster is only one member. Thus Westminster was overruled, and the unrealistic Strategy 2 is going forward for public consultation. What a waste of time and effort.

To deplore the more extreme proposals for pedestrianisation in the two squares and in Whitehall does not mean a total indifference to improving facilities for pedestrians. But wholesale pedestrianising of important traffic arteries is quite another matter. Even if car traffic should be reduced, traffic is still the lifeblood of a city. We must not restrict it unduly, as the extreme schemes would do. And "demand management" of car traffic must be imposed on the approaches to London, not right at the centre.


Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire