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Will latest attack lead to Parliament Square finally being pedestrianised?

This morning’s terror attack in Westminster has renewed called for Parliament Square to be pedestrianised.

Plans were drawn up ten years ago to turn Parliament Sqaure into a pedestrianised piazza but were scrapped when Boris Johnson became mayor.

After the March 2017 attack on Parliament there complaints about politicians and the public being too vulnerable and claims pedestrianisation would make the square safer.

Police arrest a man after a car crashed into pedestrians near Parliament this morning (Picture: Sky News)

Former deputy speaker Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans this morning said he wants the square pedestrianised.

Evans said ‘something needed to be done to protect politicians’ and this latest attack ‘would certainly ignite the debate’ again.

Wantage MP Ed Vaizey has been a firm advocate for cars to be banned from outside Parliament after five people died when Khalid Masood, 52, mowed down people on Westminster bridge before crashing his car into Parliament’s gates in March, 2017.

He said: ‘I think we have always known the carriage gates were particularly vulnerable and I think government should consider pedestrianising Parliament Square in order to keep traffic away.

‘For example this could then create the space to build a proper entrance for people visiting as at the moment people can be queuing there for an hour.’

PRESTON, LANCASHIRE - JANUARY 24: Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans arrives at Preston Crown Court for a a pre-trial hearing to face charges of sexual assault on January 24, 2014 in Preston, Lancashire. Mr Evans resigned from his position as the House of Commons deputy speaker last year. The MP for Ribble Valley has been charged with two counts of indecent assault, five of sexual assault, and one of rape against seven alleged male victims. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Nigel Evans MP wants politicians protected by Parliament Square being pedestrianised (Picture: Getty)

EDITORS NOTE:We are advised that video-grabs should not be used by daily papers later than 48 hours after the broadcast of the programme, without consent of the copyright holder. ALL TV AND INTERNET OUT. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO MERCHANDISING. BBC News screengrab showing police activity outside the Houses of Parliament in central London after a car crashed into security barriers. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday August 14, 2018. See PA story POLICE Westminster. Photo credit should read: BBC News/BBC/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: Not for use more than 21 days after issue. You may use this picture without charge only for the purpose of publicising or reporting on current BBC programming, personnel or other BBC output or activity within 21 days of issue. Any use after that time MUST be cleared through BBC Picture Publicity. Please credit the image to the BBC and any named photographer or independent programme maker, as described in the caption.

At least two people were injured when the car hit them outside the Palace of Westminster (Picture: PA)

Croydon MP Tory MP Chris Philp told Sky News: ‘I think we should look at all the options. I think maybe making at least part of it (Parliament Square) pedestrian-only might be an idea, the bit immediately in front of the main entrance.

‘If the security services and the police think that is important I think we should listen to that. I think we should be guarded by the experts.’

Ken Livingstone backed an £18 million plan to create a Parliament Square pedestrianised piazza in time for the 2012 Olympics but Boris Johnson cancelled it claiming it would cause traffic chaos.

However, London Mayor Sadiq Khan spoke in support of a pedestrianisation plan for Parliament Square when campaigning last year.

He said: ‘It’s a national disgrace that one of our most iconic squares is choked with traffic, with pavements so packed that at the busiest times people are forced to walk in the road.

‘With Parliament itself up to be rebuilt over coming years, this is the perfect opportunity to rid part of the square of traffic and create a public space worthy of a Unesco Heritage Site.’



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