London Mayoral candidate plans to pedestrianise Soho

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One of the Labour candidates for Mayor of London has hinted he plans to pedestrianise Soho if he is elected.

Voting is currently underway in the Labour Party to select a candidate to run for Mayor of London – with Dame Tessa Jowell facing off against MPs Diane Abbott, Sadiq Khan, David Lammy and Gareth Thomas for the nomination.

Author Christian Wolmar – considered an outsider in the race as the only contender who has not served in Parliament – this week spoke about a “radical” new plan to transform Soho, the historic home to the city’s gay nightlife.

Speaking to the Independent, he said: “Soho is another area you might think of saying look – is it rational to allow a few cars in, when you’ve got hundreds of people walking in the streets?

“It’s a different way of thinking of urban planning and thinking how do we design an attractive city for 20 years time rather than thinking ‘how do we accommodate all this traffic’.”

Parts of Soho were previously pedestrianised in the 1990s, though the policy was eventually reversed.

It follows his plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street – London’s main shopping district.

London has recently been hit with the closure of a number of historic gay venues, including those in Soho.

Madame JoJo’s and the Green Carnation both shut their doors, while the Yard Bar staved off plans for redevelopment.

Outside of Soho, Camden’s historic Black Cap was also shut – with plans to turn it into a chain coffee shop.