HL Deb 13 March 1962 vol 238 cc107-8

2.40 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how long it is intended to keep Pall Mall as a one-way street; and whether it will be possible to institute a pedestrian crossing about half-way along the street.]


My Lords, as my right honourable friend announced at the time, the present one-way working experiment was extended in January for a further experimental period of up to six months, to enable its working in normal traffic conditions to be properly studied. Until this study is complete it is not possible to say how long one-way working in Pall Mall will continue.

The answer to the second part of my noble friend's Question is, Yes. Plans have already been made for an extra pedestrian crossing to be installed soon at the junction with the western arm of St. James's Square, roughly halfway between the Regent Street and Marlborough Gate crossings. There will then be three pedestrian crossings not more than 200 yards apart.


My Lords, arising out of that Answer, may I ask whether St. James's Street should not be added to the Question? At about the time of day when everybody wants a taxi, five o'clock, I have frequently seen the impossibility of attracting the notice of any taxi or vehicle driver coming up St. James's Street, because the whole street is filled by a race of buses and vehicles. Is the noble Lord not aware that the taxi rank is always empty now? If there were any taxis there they would be marooned between one-way streets on each side of their rank.


My Lords, the only matter on which I feel I must disagree with my noble friend is whether that point arises from the original Question. Whether it should or should not is another matter, but it did not.


My Lords, arising out of this Question, may I say that five days ago I saw a woman killed within five yards of me in Piccadilly, because, I suppose, she had come from the country and was looking the other way, and a taxi travelling at 50 or 70 miles an hour hit her and killed her? Cannot provisions be made to put up a large notice on the stands in the middle of the road saying, "Pleaset look this way" or "that way"? I saw only to-day in Piccadilly a notice on one of the platforms but not on the other.


My Lords, I think I should be right in saying that I do not think that that matter arises out of the Question, either. However, in view of what the noble Lord has told us and the seriousness of that kind of thing, I will certainly look at this matter, although it is my impression that quite large and clear notices are put up for that purpose.