2: The bit of road on the north side of Trafalgar Square

This did not get nicked overnight. Instead the Mayor put in place a long and some say tedious process to turn London’s squarest roundabout into – his words – a continental piazza. He failed. Trafalgar Square is still Trafalgar Square. Its just you don’t have to cross the road to get to it any more.

The traffic got worse of course. And then got better when every driver in London realised that traffic lights which phase for five seconds mean you will get nowhere fast. Truth was, this was exactly the case when that bit of road was in place. It was just there you would get horrendous traffic jams at three in the morning. The largest change this piece of road thievery has caused is in the night buses.

Some time in the eighties a bright spark at London Transport noticed that almost seventy percent of night buses went through Trafalgar Square. Rather than thinking this might make the stops congested, he had another idea. Why not make ALL nightbuses go to Trafalgar Square. This means you can connect anywhere to anywhere in just two buses. If you can ever get on said buses, and said buses can ever get out of the square. The nineties saw scenes of chaos as on a Saturday night, the concourse out front of the National Gallery was solid with expectant passengers, and the road four lanes deep of buses going nowhere. You ever wonder why the National Gallery was dissolving of piss? You might wait a long time for a bus. And an even longer time for it to see free road.

Now there are some nice steps, a cafe and a really swanky public toilet. And the night buses, well less visit and skirt round the bottom like old girlfriends.

(And try telling me this bit of tarmac has been moved to Great Marlborough Street as well…)