Tourists visiting one of the UK’s top musical landmarks could soon see a lollipop lady appearing in the back of their photos.
The large number of tourists visiting the Abbey Road crossing made famous by the Beatles has resulted in significant traffic problems – with the steady flow of tourists lining up in the middle of the road to recreate the Beatles’ iconic 1969 album cover, preventing drivers from passing.
Following the tide of “thousands and thousands” of tourists to the zebra crossing, Westminster Council has raised concerns over safety as frustrated drivers struggle to get past. The problem is worsened by tourist buses which add to traffic, by double parking or stopping on double yellow lines.
As a result the council is considering introducing a lollipop lady to control pedestrian and traffic flow and to protect pedestrians on the crossing in St John’s Wood, north London.
A council spokesperson told the Press Association: “Safety concerns at the crossing are being discussed and we are looking at the options. We’re looking at what the best thing is to do. The council is, to some extent, responsible for keeping people safe.”
It's a residential area and it's not geared to receiving thousands and thousands of people – so it's quite hard to get some tangible solutions.
Westminster City councilor Lindsey Hall told the Daily Mirror: “It's a residential area and it's not geared to receiving thousands and thousands of people – so it's quite hard to get some tangible solutions.
I've seen huge double-decker buses parking on double yellow lines right outside the studio, causing total chaos to traffic and causing danger to people trying to get their photograph. It would be good to have somebody there permanently."
These discussions have taken place after stars of Beatles-centric West End musical, Let It Be, took to the crossing to pose for their own photo – exactly 45 years after the original image was taken.
A spokesperson from Westminster City Council added: "Local Abbey Road ward councillors raised their residents' concerns about the number of tourists spilling in to the road and traffic near the crossing at the height of the summer season, and put forward various suggestions, asking the city council to review pedestrian safety and crowd management.
“However, no proposals have been agreed by the council, nor the review completed."