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Road casualties halved at London's Bank Junction since traffic other than buses and bicycles banned

City of London Corporation will decide in coming weeks whether to make scheme permanent

The number of people killed or injured in road traffic collisions at London’s Bank junction has fallen by more than half since it was closed to all traffic other than bicycles and buses for 12 hours a day on weekdays. A decision on whether to make the ban permanent will be made in the coming months.

Streets around the key junction in the heart of the City of London have seen casualties fall by a third since the trial of an experimental safety scheme began on 22 May last year, according to a report published this week by the City of London Corporation, which governs the Square Mile.

Under the 18-month trial, all vehicles other than buses and bicycles are banned from Bank Junction between the hours of 7am and 7pm on Mondays to Fridays. There is also restricted access to neighbouring streets.

Bank junction traffic restrictions

Besides the improvement in casualty figures, there has also been a reduction in levels of air pollution at the junction and in the surrounding area, as well as bus journey times being cut by up to five minutes.

Over the coming weeks, several City of London Corporation committees will be assessing the performance of the scheme to decide whether to make the changes permanent.

As part of that process they will analyse the result of a consultation that received more than 4,200 responses, with 45 per cent of those who replied fully supporting the proposals and a further 29 per cent expressing general support but with some changes.

Chris Hayward, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “I have always said that our number one priority for the experimental scheme at Bank junction is to improve safety.

“That is why I am delighted to see the scheme succeed in reducing collisions and improving air quality. A busy junction used by 18,000 pedestrians every hour at rush hour; it has been a pleasure to see members of the public truly begin to enjoy this iconic area.”

The ban on motor vehicles other than buses was implemented following the death of cyclist Ying Tao at Bank Junction in 2015 when she was crushed to death by a lorry as she rode her bike to work, leading to calls from the London Cycling Campaign and Stop Killing Cyclists to improve safety at the junction.

By June last year, nine in 10 motorists were said to be complying with the ban, with the City of London Corporation aiming for 100 per cent compliance. According to Mr Hayward, that has almost been achieved.

> More than 9 in 10 drivers complying with Bank Junction ban

He said:  “Efforts to inform the public of the restrictions have been ongoing and extensive. The number of vehicles travelling through the junction between 7am and 7pm has reduced from 16,000 to just over 500 contravening vehicles a day. This equates to 97 per cent compliance to the scheme.

“We have been in listening mode throughout and with a noteworthy number of consultation responses, the wide-ranging needs of local road users and stakeholders will be considered along with the operational needs of the City,” he added.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Cyclecynic | 6 years ago

The only shame is that since the roadworks in Canon St and Gracechurch St the junction has been the normal traffic hell for the last couple of months. Looking forward to the traffic ban returning.

zero_trooper | 6 years ago

50% casualty reduction, cleaner air, shorter bus journey times; surely a no-brainer?

HLaB replied to zero_trooper | 6 years ago

zero_trooper wrote:

50% casualty reduction, cleaner air, shorter bus journey times; surely a no-brainer?

Definitely and with plenty of public transport alternatives to the private car in London I see no reason not to expand it!

Legs_Eleven_Wor... | 6 years ago
1 like

I wonder how many of those five hundred vehicles have drivers who are on their second or more time getting the penalty?  As I mentioned before, the ones I see going through there are huge black Porsche, Audi, BMW and Mercedes SUVs (and similar), or flatbed pick-ups with ladders on the back and propped against the cab.    The former don't give a shit about a pissy fine, and the latter pass on the fine to their customers.

Maybe the message would get through to them if after getting fined once, their vehicles were confiscated and destroyed if they got caught again.  

CygnusX1 | 6 years ago
1 like

As a frequent (pedestrain) visitor to this area, I must say this is a good thing - makei it permanent. 

And widen the pavements - I would estimate 90% of people movements are on foot.

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