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10 Oct 2017

V&A boss calls for pedestrianisation of Exhibition Road following car crash
BY Tom Anstey

Police were quickly on the scene after a car ploughed into people outside the Natural History Museum in the partially-pedestrianised zone

Police were quickly on the scene after a car ploughed into people outside the Natural History Museum in the partially-pedestrianised zone
photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images

V&A director Tristram Hunt has called for a full pedestrianisation of South Kensington’s Exhibition Road following the car crash that left 11 injured on Saturday (7 October).

Exhibition Road, London, which is home to not only the V&A but also to the Science Museum and Natural History Museum, is an outdoor area shared by both pedestrians and vehicles, with patterned street tiles and no raised pavements.

Around 11 million people a year walk through the area, which underwent a £30m (US$39.6m, €33.5m) transformation in 2012.

Commenting on the traffic arrangements for the road, Hunt – who was named V&A director in January – called them “confusing, dangerous and unsatisfactory”.

"The safety and security of our visitors, staff and volunteers is paramount,” Hunt said.

“We believe that reviving the original vision for the area as an open, civic space and shared cultural quarter will greatly improve the experience for all visitors to one of the world's great cultural destinations.

“Saturday's incident has made it clear that we need a solution, and we will be working together with our neighbouring organisations, residents and the council to address this."

Following the incident, which has since been confirmed not to have been a terrorist incident, a 47-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, but released the following day.

Hunt has previously called for the Exhibition Road area to be fully pedestrianised, even calling for the change the day before the accident at an event held by Frieze Academy. During the talk Hunt said the move would be primarily for safety reasons but that it would also create a more pleasant environment for visitors in the area.

The change would also create a safer environment for V&A visitors, after the institution opened its new V&A Exhibition Road Quarter in June, which includes a new entrance to the museum through an open courtyard.



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