A pilot scheme to ban lorries and cars from Bank junction in London during the hours of 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, was approved by the City of London Corporation on Thursday.
The aim of the initiative is to improve the notorious junction’s safety for pedestrians and cyclists, with only pedal cycles and buses allowed to use the junction’s roads during the hours of the ban.
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The City of London Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee voted 22 to 1 to grant approval to the scheme, which will run as a trial for 18 months starting in spring 2017.
In June 2015, 26-year-old Ying Tao was killed after being hit by a tipper lorry on Bank junction at 9am as she was cycling to work.
Eight cyclists have died on London’s roads in 2016.
“Our number one priority for this work at Bank junction is to improve safety and reduce casualties,” said Chris Hayward, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s planning and transportation committee.
“At the moment, Bank is too clogged full of traffic, confusing for road users and not really a place that people can enjoy, when it really should be, as one of London’s most iconic places.
“Proposing to restrict motor traffic during the weekdays at Bank is a decision we have therefore taken after careful consideration and in close discussion with the local community, businesses and residents.
“We will run a formal public consultation next year and a final decision on whether the scheme is to be made permanent will be made when we assess the success of this scheme.”
According to the City of London, vehicles entering Bank junction will be monitored via automatic number plate recognition cameras, with fixed penalty charges issued to those drivers that violate the ban.
Opposition to the scheme has already come from some London taxi drivers, with the United Cabbies Group organising a protest against the ban. The City of London says that taxi drivers’ business should not be affected, as they will create a new taxi rank and will ensure “black taxis are well supported in continuing to trade effectively in the City”.