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Public consultation launches next month ahead of 12-month trial

Plans have been revealed to ban all motor vehicles other than buses from Bank junction in the City of London, the location where cyclist Ying Tao lost her life earlier this year, in a bid to improve the safety of people on bikes and on foot.

Michael Welbank, chairman of the City of London’s Transport & Planning Committee announced in a speech at a formal dinner in the Guildhall Library that a public consultation will open next month ahead of a proposed 12-month trial.

News of the project, dubbed the “Battle for Bank,” was broken in a blog post by one of the attendees at the dinner, Peter Murray, who is chairman of New London Architecture and master of the chartered architects livery company.

It transpires that the proposals were not meant to be made public until next month, and the blog post has subsequently been amended to remove some of the remarks made below by Mr Murray.

He said that Mr Welbank had revealed “a plan to remove all vehicles except buses from Bank Junction and restore it to its traditional role as a major public space in the Square Mile.

“The busy six-way junction is a blight on the City, polluted and dangerous, it was the site of the death of Ying Tao, a young employee of PricewaterhouseCoopers, in June this year. She was crushed by a construction HGV.

“The Corporation has plans to remove through traffic from the junction making it more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists for a 12-month period in order to test the proposition in the way that Mayor Bloomberg did in New York’s Times Square,” he continued. “If it works it will be made permanent.”

He added that while Transport for London had yet to approve the plans, “traffic modelling shows that there would be minimal impact on the general flow of traffic in the City.”

One area of concern may be the potential for conflict between pedestrians and cyclists, something the City of London Corporation has previously cited as particular concern when blocking plans for proposed Quietways.

– Plans for safer cycling routes in City of London likely to be scrapped

Following Ms Tao’s death, Bank junction was the scene of a vigil and die-in organised by campaign group Stop Killing Cyclists, which said on Twitter in response to the proposals to ban traffic: “We wholeheartedly approve of this. Ying Tao did not die in vain.”

Prior to that vigil, the group said: “It is a horrendous junction – seven major and two minor roads merge there, meaning no matter how good the driving or cycling it’s a nightmare - with absolutely no sensible provision for cyclists and even pedestrians poorly looked after.

“At least three of these roads needs to be closed to through traffic and made over for the huge numbers of pedestrians and cyclists using this junction at rush hour every day.

“A staggering 33% of the rush hour traffic is already cyclists at this junction.

“The City of London opposes provision of physically protected cycle lanes.

“They have spent zero on protected cycle lanes over last five years.

– Second Bank die-in to protest death of 26 year old cyclist killed while commuting

 

http://road.cc/content/news/155493-tomorrow-second-bank-die-protest-deat...

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

16 comments

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KiwiMike [1307 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

Well this is properly awesome. 

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Brooess [85 posts] 1 year ago
7 likes

Wow, and wow.

They'll need to design it well to keep pedestrian and cyclist conflict to a minimum - if it looks like a fully pedestrianised area then you can bet that no-one walking will be looking where they're going! it'll need to be very clear where cyclists can go.

Coupled with the new major segregated routes east/west and north/south and the daylight car ban on Tottenham Court Road, it seems like we're beginning to see real change in facilities for making London quieter, less polluted and generally more people-friendly.

It'll take a long time before motorised traffic is really minimised but the momentum is currently in the right direction it seems...

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PaulBox [675 posts] 1 year ago
7 likes

The cabbies must be doing their nuts... laugh

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bikebot [2119 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

LTDA threatens a judicial review in 3...2...1....

 

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dafyddp [440 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

That photo readlly doesn't do it justice - here's a link to Google StreetView, rotate round to see the junction in it's glory (likewise, look at the map). I can't begin to imagine how treacherous it must get during rush hour. https://goo.gl/US4gVy

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jacknorell [972 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

About time to do something significant here. Today's experience was typical, with multiple lanes 'getting stuck' when crossing (i.e. not waiting until clear on other side, like highway code says) and still moving about 30 seconds after my lights turned green... Mostly black cabs, has to be said.

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bikewithnoname [94 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Hmmm, I kind of like the idea but would be really interested to see where/how they are going to re-route that junction, it'll turn Gracechurch street, and Canon st into car parks! Also, can cars please use it at weekends? It's my quickest route sarf of the river and is never busy at weekends.

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itboffin [12 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

About time but the buses are a huge part of the problem particularly the tourist ones, they run reds block the cycle lane and generally ignore all the rules.

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ibike [165 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Very welcome move, and not before time.

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tatsky [42 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Is this the junction where Clarkson lost his chain when Top Gear did one of their cycling through london specials?

Looks like some lovely architecture around there, not that I bet many people get the time to enjoy it.

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bikebot [2119 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
tatsky wrote:

Is this the junction where Clarkson lost his chain when Top Gear did one of their cycling through london specials?

Looks like some lovely architecture around there, not that I bet many people get the time to enjoy it.

The only time I see it is when it's empty. I've never worked there, but sometimes pass through on a Sunday, either cycling or walking between stations.  

It is a stunning location, and on a Sunday morning it's like a scene from 28 Days later.  Hopefully this can become permanent, allowing some of the road to be torn up and returned as public space.

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bikebot [2119 posts] 1 year ago
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tatsky wrote:

Is this the junction where Clarkson lost his chain when Top Gear did one of their cycling through london specials?

Looks like some lovely architecture around there, not that I bet many people get the time to enjoy it.

The safety video one was all filmed in Westminster borough, most of it in the West End.

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squired [22 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

London needs to be taken back from cars.  That specific part of London sees a huge flow of pedestrians and at certain times of the day there simply isn't enough footpath for them.

Personally I would completely pedestrianise (with cyclists allowed via shared use) the whole junction, along with the length of Cheapside.  Having a pedestrianised road all the way to St Pauls Cathedral would be wonderful and would probably be extremely popular with tourists (as well as the retail units).

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Edgeley [484 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

 

London needs to be taken back from cars.  That specific part of London sees a huge flow of pedestrians and at certain times of the day there simply isn't enough footpath for them.

Personally I would completely pedestrianise (with cyclists allowed via shared use) the whole junction, along with the length of Cheapside.  Having a pedestrianised road all the way to St Pauls Cathedral would be wonderful and would probably be extremely popular with tourists (as well as the retail units).

 

 

I don't disagree.  But equally you wouldn't want Eastcheap/Fleet St to be even more horrendous than they are now by displacing the buses and taxis. 

What we need are fewer motor vehicles all together.

 

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jollygoodvelo [1670 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
squired wrote:

London needs to be taken back from cars.  That specific part of London sees a huge flow of pedestrians and at certain times of the day there simply isn't enough footpath for them.

Personally I would completely pedestrianise (with cyclists allowed via shared use) the whole junction, along with the length of Cheapside.  Having a pedestrianised road all the way to St Pauls Cathedral would be wonderful and would probably be extremely popular with tourists (as well as the retail units).

Agreed.  Never mind the motor traffic, it's a hugely busy pedestrian area.  All the through traffic should, by rights, go up/down Bishopsgate/Gracechurch Street, or around London Wall, St Martins le Grand,  Cannon Street etc.

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thereverent [448 posts] 1 year ago
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This would be a great idea. I never though I'd see the City of London bite the bullet and close the lot, I knew they were looking at closing Cornhill.

Currently on weekdays it;s gridlocked with cars/taxis/buses driving into the middle of the junction then getting stuck and blocking vehicles from other dirctions. There is a hugh amount of pedestrian traffic as well, currently squeezed onto narrow pavements.

<blockquote>One area of concern may be the potential for conflict between pedestrians and cyclists, something the City of London Corporation has previously cited as particular concern when blocking plans for proposed Quietways.</blockquote>

If they are still having buses run through the junction, that would reduce the potential conflict as people would recongise it's not a pedestrianised zone.

Now they just need to sort out the five road junction at the top of London Bridge.