As you will be aware, following the recent trial of traffic restrictions at Bank Junction, the restrictions became permanent in September 2018. The scheme restricts the users of Bank Junction on weekdays, 7am-7pm, to pedestrians, bicycles and buses. In terms of what it has achieved:
• The number of vehicles using the Junction in this 12 hour period has reduced by over 2400% since the trial started
• Casualty numbers across a wide area around Bank have reduced by over 25%
• Air quality and environmental improvements have also been recorded
But what now? Well, options for further improving Bank Junction are progressing to make it even safer, feel less crowded, less polluted and enforce it as a place for people at the heart of the City. The Planning and Transportation Committee has now looked at three of these options, broadly as follows:
• Option 1: to keep current vehicle movements
• Option 2: to reduce the current vehicle movements to 2 or 3 routes across the Junction
• Option 3: to virtually remove vehicle movements and create a full pedestrian scheme
The Committee has agreed to move to Option 2 but with the long-term vision of potentially moving to the full pedestrianised scheme. Option 3 involves getting agreement with other bodies, such as TfL buses, and has to be linked with the Bank Station improvements due for completion in 2022. It may, therefore, take some time to achieve.
In developing Option 2, there will be a period of Public Consultation (probably in mid-2020) on the pros and cons of which routes across Bank Junction should be kept open. The involvement of those working, living and travelling through Walbrook Ward will be encouraged. This process, in itself, is likely to take some time.
So, consideration is being given to early improvements such as widening footpaths and improving safety around Bank. Bartholomew Lane is one such area where diverted traffic conflicts with pedestrians at its junction with Threadneedle Street. Concern about this was raised by a voter in the Ward with Peter Bennett. Liaison has taken place with the relevant Highways people and an experimental solution is to be trialled shortly.
Your Ward representatives, John Garbutt, James Thomson and Peter Bennett, remain committed to closely monitoring the development of the Bank Junction Scheme, to ensure the range of interests in the Ward are fully considered. We would encourage you to contact us with your thoughts so that these can be fed into the consultation process.