HC Deb 22 July 1968 vol 769 cc7-8
7. Sir R. Russell

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works how the arrangements for enabling pedestrians, especially sightseers, to cross the road in the neighbourhood of Buckingham Palace are working; and if there have been any accidents in recent months.

Mr. Mellish

Considering the crowds that assemble in this area, particularly at the time of the Changing of the Guard, the arrangements are working reasonably satisfactorily. Three pedestrians were slightly injured in accidents there during the first six months of this year.

Sir R. Russell

May I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that reply and the assurance that it has given. However, is he aware that there is often a lot of confusion between pedestrians and motorists as to who has the right of way, there being no pedestrian crossings? Will he bear that in mind?

Mr. Mellish

I am on record as saying that I am trying to avoid pedestrian crossings and traffic signals anywhere in the vicinity of the parks. I have made a statement today that, starting from next Sunday, that part of the Mall from Horse Guards Approach Road to Queen Victoria Memorial Gardens, will be closed to vehicles between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Sundays, and will be made a pedestrian precinct.

Mr. Lipton

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the Metropolitan Police are very good on these occasions in controlling the movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic at these points so that there is a continuous flow all the time, despite the congregation of considerable crowds?

Mr. Mellish

I think that that is fair.