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.
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.’
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.’