Bank Junction to go car free!

In hugely welcome news, the City of London has today announced that Bank Junction will be completely redesigned to become a safer place for cyclists and pedestrians, by removing motor traffic.

Bank Junction is currently dangerous and overcrowded; it was the location of an LCC protest in June 2015 following the death of Ying Tao, a cyclist killed following a collision with an HGV. Currently, around 18,000 pedestrians, 1,600 cyclists, 1,400 cars, and 220 buses use Bank Junction in the peak morning rush hour.  Modelling data has shown that 30% of pedestrians do not use the prescribed crossings, and 70% do not cross at the green man.  Moreover, if they were to wait for the green man, the crossings would not be able to cope with the weight of pedestrian traffic. 

The City of London has put forward four options for the redesign which will be discussed and agreed with TfL. Whilst the complete redesign won’t be completed for several years, an interim measure beginning in 2016 will close the junction to motor vehicles, except buses. Signage will be changed, and local access agreements will be in place to allow vehicles to serve buildings on the junction. 

A consultation will then follow on the best long-term solution; which will aim to create a “better public space for all the City’s users”.

London Cycling Campaign’s Infrastructure Campaigner, Simon Munk said:

“The plans for Bank are hugely welcome news, following the London Cycling Campaign’s protest at this dangerous and overcrowded junction. But we urge the City of London and TfL to try and bring as much of this important scheme forwards as soon as possible. No one wants another fatality while we wait.”

The short-term, interim scheme will aim to create more space for pedestrians and cyclists at Bank. Moreover, modelling work done in conjunction with TfL has shown that removing motor traffic from Bank junction will actually increase the efficiency of car journeys throughout the City, as they will no longer be competing for space with so many buses and cyclists.  It will also improve journey times for buses and make bus journeys through the junction easier according to the City.  London Cycling Campaign hope that the final scheme will remove motor traffic completely from Bank Junction.

Chairman of Planning & Transportation  at the City of London, Michael Welbank said:

“Bank Junction is dysfunctional, dangerous, dirty, congested, and polluting.  It is grossly inefficient for traffic, unsafe for pedestrians, with too many people milling around in a space design for horses and carts.  This is completely inappropriate to form the heart of a modern city.  We are committed to changing this, and making Bank a truly wonderful place for people to safely enjoy.  The safety of all our road users is of paramount importance to us, especially pedestrians and cyclists.  This is a radical step which will help reduce the number of tragic casualties within the Square Mile and make Bank a practical public space, and improve traffic flow in the City.”

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of TfL Surface Transport, said: “We are working with the City of London and other partners to develop and assess options for a complete redesign of Bank Junction, which aims to transform the junction into a safer and better environment that all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can enjoy. We are supporting the City in delivering a scheme that will help reduce the number of collisions and ensure safer routes and improve bus journey times.”