Rethink Over Parliament Square Plans

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 109 months ago
Rethink Over Parliament Square Plans
Parliament Square

Plans for a pedestrianised Parliament Square piazza (a tautology, surely?) have been scotched by City Hall. Mayor Boz has decided to review an £18m plan minted by his predecessor to "do a Traf Square" on the area, paving the southern bit beside Westminster Abbey and putting in extra benches in aid of turning it into a nice spot to gather and graze.

The reason for this rethink? Concerns over traffic congestion, an issue that Boris, who used to pedal into Parliament on his bike every morning, has personal experience of. This might not be the only park plan to be knocked on the head, either. A victory for motorists, but it may be a short-lived one - the idea has not been shelved permanently just yet: Director of Transport Policy Kulveer Ranger has asked TfL to investigate what the best option is.

Londonist's conspiracy theorist uncle, muttering from his tinfoil-lined lab underneath the staircase, reckons the whole plan is a devilish attempt to neuter protest by creating a bucolic little 'burg on a spot which is notorious for mass gatherings of pissed-off protesters. What would the Square's collection of statues - Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Brian Haw - make of it?

More importantly, what's wrong with the word "square"? All this talk of piazzas has got us feeling a bit Middle England and righteous. Piazza, plaza, be damned - we'll just call a square a square.

Image courtesy of Peter Pearson under the Creative Commons Attribution license

Last Updated 11 July 2008

ZoZo

Dear Uncle,

Just think how much more effective, visible, and visual protests would be in a large open space with none of that ever-present traffic to confuse those all-important down-with-war/buses/pigeons/men messages!

Personally, I'd love to see Parliament Square made into a proper, er, square.

(You're right about the "piazza" nonsense.)