Oxford Circus: Crossing the road made easy

One of Europe's busiest diagonal crossings has opened in central London's Oxford Circus and is just round the corner from SGI! Based on crossings in Tokyo, the new design stops traffic in all directions, allowing shoppers to cross diagonally in an "X" as well as straight ahead. The £5m junction is able to handle double the number of pedestrians and ease overcrowding at the busy intersection. London Mayor Boris Johnson, in homage to its Far Eastern inspiration, struck a 2m high gong as Japanese musicians played taiko drums. Mr Johnson said the crossing, controlled by traffic lights, was "a triumph for British engineering, Japanese innovation and good old fashioned common sense". I couldn’t agree more with Mr Johnson, only that there is another one of these crossings in Balham, London which only cost around £98,000 and does pretty much the same thing.

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