JULY 10 - LONDON MAYOR Boris Johnson has scrapped plans to transform Parliament Square into a pedestrianised piazza by the time of the 2012 Olympics, it was reported today.
Building Design magazine reported today that the £18 million project, which was being designed by Hawkins Brown, DSDHA and German firm Vogt and originally given the go-ahead by Johnson’s predecessor Ken Livingstone, had been dropped because of concerns over traffic congestion.
The current plan for Parliament Square would have seen the road in front of Westminster Abbey closed to cars and the inaccessible lawn at the centre replaced with stone paving and benches.
It was intended to attract more than 30 million visitors a year.
It was abandoned by Transport for London after studies suggested it would worsen traffic jams.
A source close to the scheme told Building Design: “We’ve got a Tory mayor and Parliament Square is in a Tory Borough.
"Neither wants to lose votes because of stopping people driving across London.”
Daniel Moylan, chairman of London Councils’ transport and environment committee called on the Mayor to ensure the area did not prove an embarrassment during the 2012 games.
He said: “The Mayor has a fantastic opportunity to make London’s streets better in time for the Olympics.
"We’ll be very embarrassed if he does not do that in front of millions of visitors.”
The full article can be read at http://www.bdonline.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=426&storycode=3117962&c=1&encCode=00000000017c7d6b.