In the same way that Freakonomics style studies have proved swimming pools more dangerous than guns, the proximity and familiarity of the junction at Bank undermines its status as one of London’s most dangerous intersections.
Chris Hayward, Chairman of the City Corporation’s Planning and Transport Committee said “The area is currently seen as unsafe, confusing, and takes too long for pedestrians to cross. We are focusing on reducing road casualties by simplifying the junction and reducing conflict, and improving pedestrian crowding levels.”
Research reveals these changes can’t come soon enough. In 2015 a cyclist was killed crossing the six armed crossroads, and from 2010-2014 there were 46 cyclists injured, six seriously, and eight pedestrian casualties. At rush hour peak at the junction sees 18,000 pedestrians, 8,200 cars, taxis, buses, lorries, coaches, motorcycles, and cyclists, let alone the 96,000 people who use Bank tube station every day.
Bank on Safety is the experimental scheme currently in place that aims to reduce road casualties by 50 – 60% with a trial of only buses and pedal cycles being able to cross the junction between Monday and Friday, 7am – 7pm – an idea first conceived in 2010. Lasting up to 18 months, this trial is also part of longer term plans to make the area more safe and attractive.
One of the City’s most vital transport hubs, Bank is also home to some of the City’s most iconic buildings, and a six minute walk from our Aldrich offices. Caroline Russell (a Green London Assembly member) say it better than I can: “It is not inevitable that so many lorries, buses and cars fill the streets. If we are innovative and creative we can actually make a city that works for people, and works as a place to do business.