Bank Junction closure: City of London set to ban cars and trucks following major accidents involving cyclists

The junction outside the Bank of England could become a bus and bike-only zone as early as next spring in an effort to reduce regular traffic accidents.

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The City of London is pressing ahead with controversial plans to close Bank Junction to cars and trucks after a series of major accidents involving cyclists. The residents of the City of London, and its daily commuter army, need to brace themselves for escalating levels of frustration and traffic turmoil.

The junction opposite the Bank of England is the focal point for nine roads. Its closure will force traffic into narrow surrounding streets, causing traffic pinch points in nearby roads and problems for residents with taxis and deliveries. The City plans to introduce the ban — between 7am and 9am on weekdays — as early as next spring.

Hundreds of thousands of commuters pass through the junction, one of the busiest in the capital, every day. City authorities are concerned that when Crossrail opens at Bank station in 2018 the area will become even more crowded and dangerous.

“It is likely that buses and pedal cycles only will be allowed across the junction,” the City’s strategic transportation officer, Gillian Howard, writes in a report to be presented to the council’s projects committee next Tuesday.

She adds: “Technical work is still being undertaken regarding whether taxis will be included in the restriction. This tackles the time period when 75 per cent of collisions occur.”

The City, with funding from Transport for London, has already spent almost £400,000 modelling the impact of the closure, including its effect on local businesses, how it would be enforced and knock-on effects of diverted traffic in the surrounding area.

Bank Junction is regularly the scene of traffic accidents, and London Cycling Campaign infrastructure campaigner Simon Munk says the plans are “hugely welcome”.

This summer city workers formed an impromptu human barricade to protect an injured cyclist left lying helpless on the road after a collision with a car. The man suffered head injuries.

Last summer Oxford graduate Ying Tao, 26, was killed after a collision with a lorry in almost the same spot, sparking a mass cycling protest at the site.

The City, which resisted new residential for so long, has become a prime central London property success and building has escalated. It is thought this construction work, with heavy use of trucks ferrying building materials, has increased traffic levels.

In 2011 7,400 people lived in the Square Mile. By 2026 the number is forecast to rise to around 10,000.

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