Mayor scraps pedestrianisation plan

The Mayor of London has scrapped an £18 million scheme to pedestrianise Parliament Square in the capital amid fears it would increase congestion and cost taxpayers too much.

Under the plan, cars would have been banned from the western side of the square, in front of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, and traffic redirected to the east of the historic site.

"There is absolutely no sense in Londoners paying £18 million from their already stretched transport budget in order to reduce capacity on London's roads," Boris Johnson said.

The scheme was mooted under former Mayor Ken Livingstone, but was reviewed after Mr Johnson was elected in order to assess its consequences for London's traffic flow. Transport for London told the Mayor that the plans would have a negative impact on congestion in Westminster and central London.

"The last Mayor was famed for his love of blocking the traffic but this scheme was a step too far," Mr Johnson said. "We will now look at other, more imaginative ways of improving the square, without affecting traffic flow.

"We are committed to ambitious urban realm projects, but not this one."

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