Plans for an overhaul of Bank junction – which could include complete pedestrianisation – have “not been shelved”, the City of London Corporation insisted today.
Proposals will be put forward in a couple of months that will outline three possible designs for the junction: one will be fully pedestrianised, one partial and one a more simple redesign of the current road network.
However a spokeswoman told City A.M. that while full pedestrianisation had a lot of support, nothing could be done until the works at Bank Tube station were complete, meaning construction could begin as late as 2019.
“Plans have not been shelved... [but] this is not a short time line – it's a very complicated junction,” she said.
“We want to do as much as we can to turn it into a focal point - a place for people to gather, rather than just being an ugly junction – but we have to marry that with practical things like the routes of buses and people getting to work.”
Calls for a redesign of the busy junction have grown louder this week after a young PwC employee Ying Tao was killed while cycling. She was knocked off her bike by a tipper truck, and died at the scene on Monday morning.
Today a flash protest gathered at the site to pay their respects with campaigners laying flowers and offering a moment's silence for the 26-year-old Chinese national. Mayoral candidates Ivan Massow, Christian Wolmar and Caroline Russell – Conservative, Labour and Green respectively – were among those attending.
Ashtok Sinha, chief executive of the London Cycle Campaign, said it had been a “sombre” gathering, but that people were also “very angry that this continues to happen”.
“Everyone went away with one thing in their minds,” he told City A.M. “This is preventable and it needs to be prevented by those who are in senior positions right now.”
He added: “It's a bad junction – bad for pedestrians and bad for cyclists. It's an embarrassment as a centrepiece of London.”
The City of London spokeswoman added: “We are very concerned about this death, and about Bank junction more generally, but it is the first fatality in six years. Other gyratories have had a higher casualty rate and they are the ones we have addressed first.”
City of London is part-way through a huge redesign of Aldgate East, and Moorgate station is also part-closed as a result of Crossrail works.
Meanwhile, David Cameron was quizzed about whether there should be a ban on lorries during peak times at Prime Minister's Questions today.
Labour MP Ben Bradshaw asked Cameron to meet with a small delegation from the all parliamentary cycling group to discuss the matter.
Cameron said: "It does seem to me that although a lot has been done in London to try to make cycling safer...the number of fatalities is still very high and extremely depressing, young lives being snuffed out in this way."