Hang on, that looks like a bit of street clutter. Burn it. Burn it all.
A scheme to part-pedestrianise Exhibition Road will now begin thanks to a £10 million cash injection from TfL. Foot-bound tourists get the opportunity to saunter annoyingly across a cobbled pedestrian boulevard, running from South Ken Tube to the Albert Memorial. Traffic is relegated to one lane in each direction along the eastern edge. Railings, signposts and all the other street clutter we're often told to abhor are nixed in favour of trees. And soon the South Ken gyratory will gyre no longer.
The new funding was prised out of TfL at the request of the Mayor, adding to the £3.3 million already pledged by the transport body. The remaining cash for the £40 million scheme comes from Westminster and K&C councils. What we'll get in return is detailed here.
Ten million pedestrians use the road each year to reach some of London's most important institutions, including the Science Museum, the Albert Hall and Imperial College's main campus. With the plans also calling for a refurb of the pedestrian tunnel that runs below Exhibition Road, we'll have the unusual scenario of two vertically separated pedestrian routes going to the same place. Overkill, perhaps?
But the biggest question of all: with millions of tourists and students visiting every year, why does this area lack a decent pub?