The Anonymous Widower

Could More Pedestrianisation And Better Public Transport Be A Weapon Against Terrorism?

Protecting against the sort of attack like the one in Nice last night , must be every policeman’s nightmare.

The City of London put a ring of steel around the Square Mile and there hasn’t been a serious attack since. But it caused lots of other problems.

I actually think, that we now have so many areas where large crowds congregate for work, shopping and sporting events, that we need more and more traffic restrictions like those proposed for Oxford Street.

Intriguingly, the City of London is going the same way and wants to remove a lot of traffic from the area around Bank.

So is this pedestrianisation, perhaps linked with better public transport, one of our best weapons against terrorism?

The Mind Of A Terrorist

I don’t know, as I’m at best, a poor amateur psychologist, but it strikes me there are two types of terrorist wanting to create mayhem and kill lots of people.

The first group, are those who want to leave a bomb or device and get safely away.The Bishopsgate and Baltic Exchange bombings which in today’s money together caused over a billion pounds of damage, are examples of this type, where no-one was ever prosecuted, or even publicly named.

The second group are the much-more suicide bombers, who generally strike without warning

Incidentally, I only think one Irish bomber was killed by his own bomb and we can all be thankful for that, as if suicide tactics had been employed, we would have seen many more deaths.

The City Of London’s Ring Of Steel

The City of London is protected by a so-called Ring of Steel, which is a network of barriers, check-points and 649 CCTV cameras.

It certainly seems to have protected the City from further bombings and made terrorists seek out alternative targets outside the Square Mile.

It has had one very positive effect, although at times that doesn’t seem to be as effective as it was. The City inside the ring, is now a very pleasant place to walk about and explore, as traffic is much-reduced.

Also, at weekends, the City is now a very quiet place for much of the year.

When I was still driving and needed perhaps to park a car for the evening or overnight, I would also park it prominently on a meter or legal parking space inside the ring, as I knew it would still be there in the morning.

The Future Of The City Of London

The City of London is pushing ahead with a policy of pedestrianisation, improved walking routes and better access to the Underground and rail network.

They have one great advantage compared to most other local authorities. Land is so expensive in the City and therefore fortunes are spent to create buildings that will earn billions, that if the City says to a developer, can you put an Underground entrance in your building, the answer is usually yes.

At the present time, Bloomberg are creating a new headquarters building called Walbrook Square, that will incorporate a second entrance to the Waterloo and City Line.

Other cities across the UK and the wider world are not so lucky!

Crossrail and the upgraded Thameslink will have their effects on the City, because of the positions of their stations and other factors.

  • , Crossrail will have a massive double-ended station stretching from Liverpool Street in the East to Moorgate in the West.
  • Thameslink will have a line of stations; Fasrringdon, City Thameslink and Blackfriars, down the West of the City.
  • Crossrail and Thameslink will have their important interchange at Frarringdon.
  • Crossrail will have a major interchange at Whitechapel serving the East of the City.
  • Thameslink will also have a major interchange at London Bridge, just across the River from the City.
  • Crossrail and Thameslink will be running two hundred metre long trains at a frequency of twenty-four trains per hour in both directions.

Add to that the existing services of the Central, Circle, District, Metropolitan and Waterloo and City Lines of the Underground and National Rail services out of Cannon Street, Fenchurch Street, Liverpool Street and Moorgate, all of which will be upgraded and I believe that at some point in the future, the City of London, will take the bold and very green step of making the whole area a pedestrian-only one, with the only vehicles allowed in the day, being approved electrical ones.

It would be a bold move, but it have several positive effects.

  • Air quality would improve.
  • The City would be the place to work!
  • The City would become one of London’s major tourist attractions, with visitors able to walk all across from St. Pauls to the Tower and the River.
  • Innovation would work to provide the services a city needed despite the restrictions.

Would terrorists realise that the sort of spectaculars they love, would be more difficult and go elsewhere?

We could see a return to suicide bombers on the Underground!


The City of London will reinvent itself, as it does periodically with great success.

Given that Oxford Street has said that it will pedestrianise by 2020, are we seeing a green transport revolution?

I can think of a few other cities and towns, that could follow London’s example.




July 15, 2016 - Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , ,


  1. That is a great idea, I am all for pedestrianisation, however disabled people MUST be part of any planning groups. Yesterday Neil and I went to Croxteth Country Park, near Liverpool, for a stroll/scoot, and we took a picnic. It is a favourite place for a quiet day out. However, whilst some of the pathways are very level tarmac type of surface, which are easy and comfortable to use with my scooter, some of the path surfaces are much less smooth, almost like gravel which has had something poured over it to make it set solid but still be rough. That is much less comfortable as it is bumpy and hips, knees and wrist start to hurt after a couple of miles. That is only one instance – people who are partially sighted or blind also need to be consulted about their needs.

    So often, planners look at regulations related to disability and plan accordingly. But they aren’t realistically workable for some of the people who use them. My church is a prime example of that!

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | July 15, 2016 | Reply

    • Like many roads in Hackney, my pavements were relaid before the Olympics. Islington’s weren’t, so when I walk down to the local shops, I always walk on the Hackney side of the road. I wonder, if Hackney gets less claims than Islington?

      It’s funny despite these smooth pavements, you don’t see many scooters.

      Comment by AnonW | July 15, 2016 | Reply

  2. You have buses in London, they are frequent and plentiful. You also tubes if people can handle the escalators. And you have cabs which people with a disability may get at a reduced rate. And London is pretty crowded and so using a scooter might be hard work.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | July 15, 2016 | Reply

    • Where I live we have no Tube, two rail stations with lifts, wide pavements, adequate residents parking and no hills. There are also quite a few buses going through or around the area.

      Comment by AnonW | July 15, 2016 | Reply

  3. Good public transport then, despite no tube – how far are you away from the tube? We have a bus stop on our doorstep, but there is always a long way to walk the other end for places I tend to go. And we are the top of a hill, with quite a few other hills around. I could get a bus to church from across the road, but my scooter wouldn’t manage the very steep hill at the other end. Two local stations, a mainline one to London and other places with lifts. A local one about 3 miles away. No trams in Stockport at all. Nearest is East Didsbury, which has a large car park, I need to get an approved tram pass to be able to take my scooter on it. Both the person and the scooter have to be approved.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | July 15, 2016 | Reply

    • The big difference between London and the rest of the country, is that all wheelchairs and permissible scooters, enter and leave through the middle door on the bus, which has the ramp. This means that loading and unloading a wheelchair is quicker.

      I’ve never heard of a case of other passengers getting annoyed with the guy in the wheelchair in London, as has happened elsewhere.

      Comment by AnonW | July 15, 2016 | Reply

  4. Going by what the Manchester Even News have to sat, there are problems on buses with people in wheelchairs, because they have to go into the bay where prams go and apparently there are arguments on occasions. I don’t do buses, with having balance issues I find it hard to walk up and down the aisle to get on and off. If I can’t drive myself or get a lift, i take a cab.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | July 16, 2016 | Reply

    • People in wheelchairs don’t seem to get problems in London. I’ve never seen any and it is accepted bif you’ve got a pram in the wheelchair bay, you take it out of the way and get off if need be!
      London’s Routemasters now have a totally flat floor and you can get in the exit walk perhaps a metre or so and sit in one of the priority seats.

      Comment by AnonW | July 16, 2016 | Reply

  5. I am not certain but I think prams have priority over wheelchairs in Manchester.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | July 16, 2016 | Reply

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