The zebra crossing is a feature of every British high street. The rules are simple. Pedestrians wait by the side of the road at the zebra crossing, until traffic halts, allowing them to cross. Drivers approaching a zebra crossing where there are pedestrians waiting must stop to allow them to cross.
There’s an exception to every rule, and this zebra crossing is that exception. Any informed driver approaching it will not stop to let the waiting crowds cross. For a simple reason. If he or she stops, the pedestrians won’t cross. They don’t want you to stop. You’ll be an unwanted intrusion in their photo. Uninformed drivers do stop, and there is then an awkward impasse. There’s actually a live 24 hour webcam showing the crossing – you can go and see what I mean for yourself.
Yes indeed, this is that zebra crossing. The one made famous by the Beatles in the late 1960’s. I’m sure you’ve seen it. Even today, hordes of tourists – mostly, but by means exclusively, foreign – cross there, with camera toting friends snapping away to try and duplicate that result. There are even plenty of famous people who do it. As certified by the photo below, Paola has now crossed this off her ‘To Do In London’ list. I have a handful of photos to prove it, on Flickr.