Image by lindseymclarke
The French Embassy has lodged complaints with the Foreign Office, TfL and Kensington and Chelsea council about the potential 2,000 buses that will be re-directed past the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle, the science and technology centre and the French language institute when the dreaded pedestrianisation of Exhibition Road kicks in. Citing health, pollution, noise and the unwelcome prospect of crowds gathering at the new bus stops causing disruptions to the surrounding buildings, there’s a certain sympathy to feel for the French. Residents have joined the complaining and have thrown money (which residents at this postcode probably have going spare) at drawing up alternative bus routes for the day the pavements are taken away. Anyone who has tried to quietly read the paper while a row of double deckers putter and rumble in a traffic jam just two feet away will understand the disgruntlement and can feel that deep, throbbing bass note of pain.
Still, is this a fuss about nothing? After all, Boris has brought bus crime down by 18 per cent with his PCSOs on bus patrol in his year as Mayor, we learn today. The buses look likely to come to the French but at least they won’t get mugged while boarding them. Silver linings, oui?