Motorists had been able to travel between pedestrian crossing points at speed, assuming that the railings and zebra crossings would prevent a nasty surprise. Removing them forced drivers to stay alert and keep their foot on the brake, as pedestrians were suddenly free to launch Frogger-style charges for the far side from any spot on the pavement.
This story highlights how a light touch from on high can lead to greater self-regulation from below. And as the Government fields calls for better monitoring of our financial markets, could it be a parable for how to reduce casualties in the economy?
Sadly not: the FSA has taken the same approach for several years. Back in 2005, Gordon Brown promised 'no inspection without justification, no form-filling without justification, and no information requirements without justification. Not just a light touch but a limited touch.' We know what happened.