City of London is considering car-free roads around Bank

Kasmira Jefford
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RADICAL plans to pedestrianise some roads around the Bank of England are being considered by the City of London Corporation, as it looks to cut traffic in the Square Mile and meet the demands of the area’s growing workforce.

The plans, known as the Bank Area Strategy, include increasing the areas for pedestrians, making roads more cycle-friendly, adding more green spaces and replacing the current chaotic crossroads around Bank tube station with a better junction.

“We are considering all options to improve Bank junction given the growing demands on this part of the Square Mile,” a City of London Corporation spokesperson told City A.M. last night.

“The increasing number of workers in the Eastern Cluster, Walbrook and Bloomberg Place means that pedestrian routes, cycle safety and improving traffic flows will be a major focus of any changes adopted,” he added.

Land Securities and Canary Wharf’s Walkie Talkie skyscraper and the Leadenhall Building, which is being developed by British Land and Oxford Properties, are both due to open next year, putting further pressure on the City’s infrastructure.

The Corporation launched a public consultation last year and questioned over 800 members of the public.

Over 20 per cent of respondents surveyed cited road works and Bank’s main junction as main problems for the area, with 21 per cent saying there was not enough provision for pedestrians.

The Corporation is now understood to be close to finalising its radical plans, which will then go to the planning and transportation committee to be voted on by its members.

Lucy Musgrave, the founder of design company Publica, which was commissioned by the City Corporation to redesign the area, told City A.M.: “One of the findings [of the Bank Area Strategy] is that there needs to be a smarter way of dealing with some of the back spaces, especially in terms of key moments such as rush hour.”

During the morning and evening rush hours, the station exit at Lombard Street is the busiest at Bank Station, with an average of 2,000 pedestrians per hour. Many currently find it highly congested and difficult to navigate.

Publica’s initial plans also include improving the quality of some of the City’s busiest lanes leading north from Cannon Street such as Walbrook Street and Swithin’s Lane.a