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London's notorious Bank junction redesigned to reduce danger to cyclists & pedestrians - despite taxi opposition

Motor vehicles except buses to be banned from killer intersection between 7am and 7pm

Major works are to go ahead at London’s Bank, with access limited to cycles and buses, despite huge opposition from taxi drivers.

The City of London’s Policy & Resources Committee has approved traffic restrictions and major safety improvements for pedestrians and cyclists at Bank junction.

No motor vehicles except buses will be allowed through the junction between 7am and 7pm, making it more easily navigated by cyclists and pedestrians.

City of London officer, Iain Simmons, said bus journey times would be improved, there would be a slight improvement in taxi movements and casualties would be reduced significantly.

This summer we reported how passers-by are formed a human chain to block the road after a cyclist was struck by a car at the notorious junction in the City of London. The victim, a man in his forties, was taken to hospital with facial injuries. His condition was initially described as critical before later being downgraded.

Several Committee members said doing nothing at the junction was not acceptable.

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) made a submission to the committee, noting 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.

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 death of Ying Tao, in 2015, who was killed in an incident involving a tipper truck at Bank Junction.

Taxi drivers attempted to halt the changes at earlier meetings.

Steve McNamara of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) spoke at the City's Transport & Planning Committee. The LTDA "totally accepts something needs to be done at Bank and many other junctions," said McNamara, adding ”it's the wrong scheme at the wrong time in the wrong place.”

Speaking on behalf of the LCC, Simon Munk said: "It should come as no surprise to you that a cycle campaigner would mention Ying Tao, the 26 year old woman who tragically lost her life last year at Bank. But I don’t want to just mention her.

“Or the other cyclists seriously injured in the last few years. Because your decision to close Bank to motor vehicle traffic should not be solely about people who cycle through this junction and the risks they face.

“Nor should it be just about pedestrians either. Even though pedestrians suffer as much as cyclists. As do their families, loved ones, co-workers. Bank is a dangerous junction... but [this scheme] is far bigger than just a safety issue."

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6 comments

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ktache | 7 years ago
1 like

One thing that has always impressed me about London taxi drivers, which seperates them from all other black cab drivers across the country, is not their ability to drive well, of course, it's that their brains are so wired because of the Knowledge, that they can instantly, and on the fly, recalculate any journey across our capital, avoiding any areas where there previous experience tells them might be congested, closed or difficult.  So I don't think closing one junction will affect your average cabbie, as they will already have visualised a myriad of different routes avoiding Bank.  I might be able to do something similar with my commute, admittedly after several years, but their minds can do it for the entire network of London.

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gmac101 | 7 years ago
4 likes

I seemed to remember that the taxi drivers also predicted automotive armageddon when the North side of  Trafalgar Square was closed - we are all still here and the square is a much nicer place to spend time.

It may be a fault of the reporting but the LTDA don't seem to come up with any concrete reasons why it'll all be so bad.  Is the traffic modelling flawed, are TFL assumptions incorrect or do the LTDA have a much better idea.   No - Its just all wrong.  I would suggest the LTDA members aren't getting much for their money if thats all they can come up with

Avatar
PsiMonk replied to gmac101 | 7 years ago
1 like
gmac101 wrote:

It may be a fault of the reporting but the LTDA don't seem to come up with any concrete reasons why it'll all be so bad.  Is the traffic modelling flawed, are TFL assumptions incorrect or do the LTDA have a much better idea.   No - Its just all wrong.  I would suggest the LTDA members aren't getting much for their money if thats all they can come up with

1. The City of London councillors/aldermen asked McNamara that question exactly - "why exactly do you need access to Bank junction?" His answer was basically "because we do".

2. Taxi drivers on twitter seem essentially to be saying all modelling is rubbish, and TfL and the City of London are all cyclists in some evil conspiracy to reduce London to rubble. #facepalm

3. What is clear is the LTDA are increasingly stuck trying to drag their members towards the light. Over half of all cabbies aren't LTDA members and there are loads of other organisations and "mobs" based around areas, specific ranks etc. These groups often make the LTDA look progressive liberal types. And are not shy to say so. There are loads of splintering factions among cabbies - and the LTDA is trying to hold some kind of *centre ground*. All the while, their real enemies- Uber, autonomous vehicles, congestion - are areas we could find common ground with them on, but the little tinkers don't want to play.

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FluffyKittenofT... replied to PsiMonk | 7 years ago
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PsiMonk wrote:
gmac101 wrote:

It may be a fault of the reporting but the LTDA don't seem to come up with any concrete reasons why it'll all be so bad.  Is the traffic modelling flawed, are TFL assumptions incorrect or do the LTDA have a much better idea.   No - Its just all wrong.  I would suggest the LTDA members aren't getting much for their money if thats all they can come up with

1. The City of London councillors/aldermen asked McNamara that question exactly - "why exactly do you need access to Bank junction?" His answer was basically "because we do".

2. Taxi drivers on twitter seem essentially to be saying all modelling is rubbish, and TfL and the City of London are all cyclists in some evil conspiracy to reduce London to rubble. #facepalm

3. What is clear is the LTDA are increasingly stuck trying to drag their members towards the light. Over half of all cabbies aren't LTDA members and there are loads of other organisations and "mobs" based around areas, specific ranks etc. These groups often make the LTDA look progressive liberal types. And are not shy to say so. There are loads of splintering factions among cabbies - and the LTDA is trying to hold some kind of *centre ground*. All the while, their real enemies- Uber, autonomous vehicles, congestion - are areas we could find common ground with them on, but the little tinkers don't want to play.

I'm confused now.

I was of the opinion that I shouldn't judge all black cab-drivers on the basis of the ruthless selfishness of the LTDA (who don't appear to give a fig about anyone but themselves even as they try and beg/demand everyone rush to side with them against Uber). It's a bit like the need to constantly remember that the NFU doesn't speak for all farmers.

But you are saying that the LTDA are actually 'moderate' by the standards of many black cabbies? If that's the case I'm more inclined to just write the whole lot of them off.

Avatar
Peowpeowpeowlasers | 7 years ago
1 like

> "totally accepts something needs to be done at Bank and many other junctions," said McNamara, adding ”it's the wrong scheme at the wrong time in the wrong place.”

"Something needs to be done at Bank Junction, but not at Bank Junction."

Eh?

Avatar
davel | 7 years ago
8 likes

"totally accepts something needs to be done at Bank and many other junctions," said McNamara, adding ”it's the wrong scheme at the wrong time in the wrong place"

This gobshite's a real-life troll. Seems to accept that something needs to be done all over London but is unwilling/incapable/both of offering alternative suggestions, just doesn't want his band impacted in any way.

They could get rid of him and replace him with one of those drawstring dolls, with troll hair, and give him those two sentences, and Londoners and media outlets wouldn't notice the difference. They should have released it in time for Christmas.

McNamara's bullshit bingo is a guaranteed Christmas winner - dead easy and fun for all the family.

Who's the wrong rabble-rouser at the wrong time in the wrong place? McNamara!

What needs to be done? Something!

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