The City of London Corporation have been working assiduously to remove all traffic from London’s streets in the last couple of years regardless of the impact on residents, businesses and visitors. Bank Junction has already been subjected to severe restrictions on all vehicles except buses and cycles, thus effectively closing this key junction in the centre of the City. Even taxis have been excluded much to the annoyance of taxi drivers. The Corporation are now proposing to go a step further and close more of the roads, even to buses.
The latest changes include the following:
- The closure of Threadneedle Street to motor vehicles that runs along the south of the Bank of England.
- The closure of Queen Victoria Street between Bucklersbury and Bank Junction for motor vehicles, except those vehicles exiting Walbrook in a westbound direction.
- Closing Princes Street except for buses and cycles northbound; and except as a route for servicing to Cornhill in a southbound direction.
It includes proposals for widening pavements around the junction which the road closures will enable (artist’s impression above). Bus routes will also have to be changed.
For more details and to respond to a public consultation go here: https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/streets/all-change-at-bank-project
Comment: It was certainly the case that Bank Junction was a problem on two grounds: 1) the volume of pedestrians using the junction with the station being enlarged when pavements are very narrow (at least until the recent epidemic); and 2) as regards road safety with frequent casualties including fatalities. The complex nature of the junction with many buses passing through it and high pedestrian traffic were partly to blame.
It therefore was not unreasonable to look at simplifying the junction to enable more pedestrian space and improve the environment. However, the removal of all traffic was very damaging to the road network in the City of London, and has caused traffic to simply move to other roads with additional congestion.
The latest changes do not improve matters but will make things worse. For example if Threadneedle Street is to be closed it should also be closed to cyclists to avoid conflicts with pedestrians.
Please respond to the public consultation if you have an interest in these roads.
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