Beatles' zebra crossing is listed
The world-famous zebra crossing which features on the cover of the Beatles' Abbey Road sleeve has been given "listed" status by the Government.
Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are seen crossing the road in Ian Macmillan's cover shot, later emulated by dozens of other bands.
Macca said of the listing: "It's been a great year for me and a great year for the Beatles and hearing that the Abbey Road crossing is to be preserved is the icing on the cake."
The crossing - just outside the renowned Abbey Road studios, where the Beatles recorded much of their output - was given Grade II listing by heritage minister John Penrose.
It is the first such listing of its kind - such status is normally afforded only to buildings - and follows advice from English Heritage. The nearby studios were listed in February.
The heritage minister said: "It is a fantastic testimony to the international fame of the Beatles that - more than 40 years on - this crossing continues to attract thousands of visitors each year, trying to mimic their iconic Abbey Road album cover."
The 1969 album was the last to be completed by the Beatles, although the earlier recorded Let It Be was actually the last to be issued.
Fans flock to the crossing from all over the world and for the 40th anniversary of the photoshoot on August 8 last year hundreds of people relived the moment, causing traffic chaos in the area.
Other groups who have copied the pose include Red Hot Chili Peppers, who staged the shot naked except for strategically placed sports socks.
Mr Penrose added: "This London zebra crossing is no castle or cathedral but, thanks to the Beatles and a 10-minute photo-shoot one August morning in 1969, it has just as strong a claim as any to be seen as part of our heritage. And as such it merits the extra protection that Grade II listing provides."