London's famous Strand to become traffic free piazza

2019-02-01 03:10:56 GMT2019-02-01 11:10:56(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

LONDON, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Proposals to pedestrianize a 200-meter stretch of the famous Strand, a major throughfare in central London were welcomed Thursday by national heritage campaign group SAVE.

Plans unveiled by Westminster City Council for public consultation will pave the way for the creation of a new public piazza around some of London's finest buildings, including St Mary Le Strand church, The Courtauld Institute of Art and Somerset House in front of King's College London.

SAVE first proposed the pedestrianization of the Strand in 2015 after successfully campaigning to stop the demolition of four houses next to Somerset House owned by King's College.

SAVE proposed what it described as an opportunity to create a magnificent new piece of public realm for the capital along a traditional processional route between Queen Elizabeth's home at Buckingham Palace and St Paul's Cathedral.

"This is a unique opportunity to create a fantastic new public space, as impressive as Trafalgar Square, and to clean up the air on one of central London's most congested and polluted streets," said Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE.

"It will create new and wonderful views of the surrounding historic buildings, including the Grade I listed St Mary Le Strand church, currently marooned on a traffic island," said Billings.

The current consultation runs until March 13, and a second round of consultation with more detailed plans is expected in late 2019.