Following a trial restriction on road traffic through Bank junction, the City of London has approved the intent to pedestrianise the junction over the next few years.
A safety experiment which saw road restrictions applied so only buses and cycles were allowed though was a success and was made permanent in September 2018, however that was always intended to be just a temporary measure ahead of a revamping of the junction.
Elected members have now voted to proceed with the next stage of the long-term transformation.
The vote follows a decision to put the matter on hold last February until a more detailed report could be produced into the impact of the traffic changes.
The vision looks to retain the ability for some vehicle access, while achieving further restriction of two or three arms of the junction to create an area that prioritises pedestrians and cyclists.
A number of concept images show the predestrianisation levels ranging from significantly widening the pavements through to a full pedestrianisation of the junction.
It seems likely though that option 2, a hybrid of the two extremes, with some roads closed and others narrowed will be the one carried forward. Anyone who squeezes around Mansion House will appreciate how crowded the pavement is and any of the options would be a huge improvement, for pedestrians at least.
The need for pedestrianisation is driven not just by the desire to improve the area, but also as data shows that the number of pedestrians using the junction has risen in recent years. With the completion of works to upgrade London Underground’s Bank Station due in 2022, these numbers are expected to only increase.
Proposals for the next phase of work, expected later in 2019, will investigate the future potential for highways alignment, public realm designs and achievable vehicle mix.
The City is now working on a plan due to be published around the middle of the year outlining how it will proceed with the works.