The City of London Corporation, has been trying to improve Bank for 25 years and in May, the City of London introduced the long-anticipated, 18-month long Bank On Safety experimental traffic changes. The Bank junction is now closed to all vehicle traffic except buses and cyclists between 7am-7pm Monday to Friday. The primary aims of the scheme are to improve the pedestrian and cycling environment, and reduce the number and severity of accidents.
Despite initial complaints by the London Taxi Drivers Association, the scheme has received considerable support from those passing through the junction on foot or cycling, and organisations such as London Cycling Campaign, Living Streets and London TravelWatch. Simon Munk (LCC) told Local Transport Today (LTT723 26 May) “The trial changes at Bank are hugely welcome and should reduce the unacceptable numbers of pedestrians and cyclists being injured or killed here.”
Iain Simmons, the City of London Corporation’s Assistant Director of City Transportation, referred to the extensive traffic modelling carried out by Norman Rourke Pryme to demonstrate the scheme’s feasibility, and said that “a different Bank Junction, without traffic signals and maybe without traffic at all, suddenly provides a completely different environment, and that is what we are working towards”.
Norman Rourke Pryme was commissioned by the City of London to undertake traffic modelling in support of the scheme to improve road safety at Bank junction. Norman Rourke Pryme worked closely with both the City of London and Transport for London to demonstrate how a transformational change could be achieved at Bank junction that would provide benefits to pedestrians, cyclists and buses.
The main objectives of the scheme are to significantly improve road safety whilst maintaining the ability for businesses to still undertake servicing, deliveries etc. The air quality in the area must not deteriorate and in the location of the junction the air quality should improve. Journey times should not increase whilst these restrictions are in place.
The City Corporation will need to determine whether the safety scheme should remain in place based on the evidence and comments.
Further information can be found at the City of London website https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/transport-and-streets/traffic-management/Pages/Bank-On-Safety.aspx, Local Transport Today articles (LTT712, LTT723), and national press coverage (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2017/may/24/londons-bank-junction-closed-to-most-traffic-as-part-of-new-safety-scheme) .