Bloomsbury might become the place to relax after a heavy shopping session in town, if new proposals go ahead. Plans are being put forward to Camden Council to pedestrianise the Bloomsbury area and evoke its old free-roaming Bohemian spirit. The constant sound of drilling, and building works isn't conducive to a gentle autumnal ramble and academic chatter. And for most non-student Londoners who are coming into the West End on a bus, the area is currently a scaffold-covered no-man's land before reaching Tottenham Court Road.
Urban planner Sir Terry 'Charing Cross Station' Farrell wants to tranform the old cultural quarter, where figures such as Roger Fry and Virginia Woolf lived, socialised, and got very drunk between creating masterpieces. The British museum is to become a focal point, a pedestrianised route through UCL would be created, and the North Entrance of the museum regenerated. Traffic would be restricted around the two buildings.
Sir Terry told the BBC:
When you cross the university quarter and the museum quarter you'd be aware that these things are there. You'd see student life, frontages opened up and you'd see things from the British Museum out in the new space on the north side so you knew that the British Museum was this kind of place.
He also calls for the removal of traffic gyratories, around Russell Square, Giles Circus, and Euston
Circus. He seems to think the problem is a lack of awareness about how much there is to do in the area. The average non-student Londoner might not see the point of strolling to the capital's academic quarter. To this end, he has proposed opening up Bloomsbury's five squares. WithTavistock Square, scene of the 2005 bus bomb, redesigned as 'a peace garden'.
By Zakia Uddin
Image taken from WallyG's Flickr photostream.