Mark recently had a very good post on the privatisation of public space in London, with a focus on inmidtown in particular and its implications for cycling:
The rangers in question are private security guards employed by the Holborn and St Giles “inmidtown” Business Improvement District (BID)
More worrying still is that the BID is able to pick and choose which laws they wish to see applied by their street rangers.
I haven’t been able to find out which businesses are associated with inmidtown but I would not be surprised to learn that Pizza Express was one of them.
Inmidtown claims to be passionately concerned about protecting pedestrians. Which is funny when you walk around in mid town and see who is obstructing the pavement. This is Little Russell Street, where you would be unable to pass with a wheelchair, mobility scooter or large buggy.
(Below) Blatant and inconsiderate obstruction of the crossing on Montague Place. But you can be quite certain that the inmidtown wardens won't be having a word with the contractors who did this.
(Below) Southampton Row. A huge, pointless and unsightly street banner promoting inmidtown (with a wasp, for some reason). It's much, much bigger than the directional sign for pedestrians.
(Below) Cycle parking just below the 'In Mid Town' banner. I would not be particularly surprised if inmidtown was working towards removing bicycles locked to railings (as opposed to, say, providing adequate cycle parking).