Lorries, cars and taxis are set to be banned during the day from one of London’s most notorious junctions to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
The City of London Corporation today recommended plans to press ahead with an 18-month trial at Bank from next April following the death of Oxbridge graduate Ying Tao, 26, (below), who was hit by a turning HGV as she cycled to work.
The coroner inquiring into Ms Tao’s death in June 2015 declined to impose a prevention of future deaths order on transport chiefs at the conclusion of her inquest in July because he was aware of the City Corporation’s plans.
Lawyers for Ms Tao’s widower, Jin Chuan Zhou, asked City of London police to reconsider its decision not to prosecute driver Lee Williams. The inquest was told that an audible warning system and one of two side sensors on the 32-tonne truck were broken.
Proposals being put before Corporation members this month would allow only buses and cyclists to use the six-arm junction between 7am-7pm on weekdays. Drivers who ignore the ban would have their numberplate read by roadside camera and be sent a £130 penalty ticket.
City experts predict that the move could cut casualties by 50-60 per cent. A total of 34 cyclists and 31 pedestrians were injured at the junction between 7am-7pm between 2011 to 2015.
Traffic speeds in the area bounded by London Wall, Bishopsgate, Cannon Street and New Change/St Martin le Grande is predicted to be “neutral” or “slightly positive”.
This is because Bank junction is regarded as “extremely inefficient”, with each arm of traffic getting only 96 seconds of “green light” time, leading to lengthy tailbacks.
The City Corporation first proposed the ban a year ago and has been consulting Transport for London and taxi drivers, who wanted to be able to continue to use the junction.
Modelling showed that if taxis were exempted, improvements to 23 the 25 bus routes in the area would be lost and there would be “unaceptable” additional delays to all traffic on Bishopsgate.
The London Cab Ranks Committee wants the City Corporation to conduct a poll of taxi passengers before implementing the trial.
A final decision is expected from the City’s policy and resources committee on December 15.
A City Corporation spokesman said: “Our number one priority is to improve safety and reduce casualties at Bank junction which is why we are proposing this experimental safety scheme.
“Proposing to restrict motor traffic, including taxis, during weekdays at Bank is one we have therefore taken after careful consideration.
“If approved, the experiment could start in April next year. This will be monitored closely with formal public consultation taking place next year. A final decision on whether the scheme is to remain is likely to be taken between 12 and 18 months after the experiment starts.”
The spokesman added: “We will however look to increase the number of taxi ranks in the vicinity of Bank junction so that passengers can still easily hire a taxi.”