Opinion Former Article

Bank junction set for traffic ban

Cars, taxis and lorries are likely to be banned from Bank junction in central London at peak times from next spring when an experimental safety scheme is set to begin at the busy interchange. 

The initiative of the City of London Corporation will see general traffic restricted from the junction during work hours – 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday – benefitting cyclists, bus users and pedestrians.

“Our number one priority is to improve safety and reduce casualties at Bank junction,” said a spokesman for the Corporation.

The 18 month trial scheme is not expected to solve all safety problems at Bank, where cyclist Ying Tao was killed last year, but it is claimed it could make a significant difference without the need for extensive infrastructure changes.

By restricting the number of turning movements and vehicle journeys through the junction the probability of collision and serious injury is reduced, the Corporation says. It adds that the initiative could achieve casualty savings at the junction of between 50 and 60% and will not impact greatly on traffic journey times.

Proposals for the junction are subject to committee approval at the Corporation, which is due later this month. “If approved, the experiment could start in April next year,” said the spokesman. “This will be monitored closely with formal public consultation taking place next year.

“A final decision on whether the scheme is to remain is likely to be taken between 12 and 18 months after the experiment starts.”

Plans for annual investment of £154M for cycling improvements in London over the next five years – amounting to £17 per head per year – have been revealed by Sadiq Khan this week. 

This commitment by the Mayor puts the capital city well ahead of the Transport Select Committee’s recommendation that a budget of £10 per head by 2020 is essential to make the UK’s roads safer for those on two wheels. 

Among Sadiq Khan’s proposals are new cycle superhighways from Tower Bridge to Greenwich and from Olympia towards Hounslow, which will be consulted on next year. The Mayor will also shortly appoint a new walking and cycling commissioner for London.

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