Victory for London as Bank junction redesign gets go-ahead
Despite opposition from taxi drivers, the City of London’s Policy & Resources Committee is giving the go-ahead to traffic restrictions and major safety improvements for pedestrians and cyclists at Bank junction. All motor vehicles, aside from buses, will not be allowed to travel through the junction from 7am till 7pm Monday to Friday, allowing much safer passage for the many thousands of pedestrians and cyclists who use it every day.
At an open meeting of the Committee, City of London officer, Iain Simmons, said with the proposed scheme bus journey times would be improved, there would be a slight improvement in taxi movements and casualties would be reduced significantly (Bank has one of the worst casualty records in London).
Most of the benefits of the scheme, said Simmons, would be far reduced if taxis were allowed to travel through the junction. After some debate, the Committee supported the proposals, rejecting calls from the London Taxi Drivers Association for through access for black cabs – they will still be allowed right up to the junction to pick up passengers. Several Committee members said doing nothing at the junction was not acceptable.
Speaking in front of the Committee, LCC noted that the issue was both about safety and about restoring the heart of the City of London and making it attractive to workers, visitors and commuters – a view that was acknowledged by Committee members.
At a vote, the proposals were supported by a strong majority of the Committee. The experimental scheme will be implemented in late April 2017 for an initial period of 18 months with a final report in the Summer of 2018.
The radical changes at Bank follow the tragic death of Ying Tao, in 2015. LCC called for significant changes at a demonstration held at Bank junction after Ying Tao’s death.