Embankment Boulevard

By Rob Last edited 167 months ago
Embankment Boulevard

It's time for the ugly issue of pedestrianisation to rear its ugly head once more.

Remember the furore surrounding the Public Spaces Report and the report in the Independent that Ken was set on pedestrianising "significant portions of the city centre in a ten year plan to model London on the boulevards of Paris, Copenhagen or Barcelona.", which Ken then denied strenuously?

Well here it comes again. Today's Times carries an article about Ken-endorsed architect Richard Rogers' plans to "turn the Embankment into a grand, pedestrian-friendly boulevard."

The idea is to take the north bank of the river, between Westminster and Blackfriars bridges, and turn it into the decidedly-unromantic sounding “Thames Linear Park”.

Going against the current vogue for 'freeform pedestrian-traffic interaction' (see Exhibition Road) traffic would be forced to give way to pedestrians, and new crossings would be installed to make it much easier to walk from the Victoria Embankment Gardens to the riverside.

But the most controversial part of the plan is to close the Embankment to traffic on a Sunday forcing motorists to take a diversion via Trafalgar Square (already a little pedestrianised) or Waterloo.

When asked how he expected motorists to react to the plans 70-year-old, bike-riding Lord Rogers commented "I know it’s annoying for drivers to lose some of their access but they need to think of other people."

Yeah: altruism, that should do it.

Last Updated 01 February 2005