Sadiq Khan and Cressida Dick say pedestrianisation of Parliament Square will be discussed

Sadiq Khan and Cressida Dick say pedestrianisation of Parliament Square will be discussed

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have both said that pedestrianisation of Parliament Square could be a possibility after the terror attack in which a car crashed into barriers.

Yesterday, a man drove a car into barriers outside the House of Lords after veering into and injuring three pedestrians, who were taken to hospital.

The suspect is thought to be a British citizen of Sudanese origin, Salih Khater.

In the aftermath of the attack yesterday, Conservative MP Nigel Evans said it would likely "reignite the debate" in government of whether Parliament Square should be pedestrianised, and that he would support moves to restrict traffic to "protect everybody on the parliamentary estate" (watch him in the video above).

Khan and Dick echoed his comments, with Dick telling LBC: "Whether that area should be pedestrianised further… is a matter that will be discussed no doubt between the parliamentary authorities, the intelligence agencies, the local authorities and the mayor."

 

'Challenges with pedestrianising entire square'

Khan backed the part-pedestrianisation of Parliament Square but stressed there would be "all sorts of challenges" with making the entire area vehicle-free.

Asked on Radio 4's Today Show if the physical security around Parliament should be strengthened, including potentially pedestrianising Parliament Square, he said: "I think it should be, I've been an advocate for a while now of part-pedestrianising Parliament Square, but making sure we don't lose the wonderful thing about our democracy which is people having access to parliamentarians, people being able to lobby Parliament, visitors being able to come and visit Parliament.

"What I'm seeking to do, you've seen since last March the temporary barriers across a number of our bridges, but also you can design in ways to keep buildings safe from hostile vehicles.

"You'll have seen around Whitehall barriers which don't look like barriers because they've been designed in a way to look attractive.

"So some of the things we're keen to do, working with the Palace of Westminster, working with the council and the experts, is to part-pedestrianise that part of Parliament Square immediately outside the gates to Parliament, but at the same time making it attractive...

"I think there'd be all sorts of challenges with doing the whole square because it is a thoroughfare for cars, vehicles, commercial deliveries going through London."