9 October 2018
Cars could be banned from half of all roads in London’s financial district the Square Mile to make them pedestrian friendly while cutting traffic chaos
Radical plans from the City of London Corporation could mean that vehicles are banned from half of the Square Mile’s roads.
‘The ambitious piece of work’ is set to improve the safety around the Square Mile and could see speed limits slashed to 15mph in some areas.
The proposals intend to usher in a ‘world-class’ street scene in the financial district, of which 480,000 workers commute into every day.
The planned proposals will help improve the areas around Mansion House, Bank, Liverpool Street and Moorgate (above)
New ‘pedestrian priority’ zones would ban cars, vans, taxis and buses from using some routes, apart from for access, the Evening Standard reported.
At least half of the roads in the Square Mile are set for pedestrian priority status, including parts of Threadneedle Street near the Bank of England, as well as roads around Mansion House, Moorgate and Liverpool Street station.
Bicycles would be expected to give way to pedestrians in these zones.
The new proposals could affect the areas surrounding the Bank of England (pictured) such as nearby Threadneedle Street
The plans, laid out in the Corporation’s first long-term transport strategy, cover 25 years but some elements could come in next year.
Chris Hayward, chairman of the planning and transportation committee, said the ‘radical’ proposals are aimed at ‘future-proofing the Square Mile’.
He added: ‘This is an ambitious piece of work, but the City of London is a unique district. With over 480,000 workers commuting into the Square Mile on a day-to-day basis, these are some of the busiest streets in London and we need to be open for business.’
The Corporation, which is the local authority for the area has also called on Transport for London to rethink the Congestion Charge, introduced in 2003, which it says is outdated.
The report said a ‘road user charge’ could be varied according to demand and vehicle type — opening the door to higher charges for more polluting vehicles.
Despite the new plans stating that cyclists would have to give pedestrians priority in many of the new roads, the draft proposals, which were being presented to elected members today, also call for a ‘core cycling network’ including two-metre wide protected cycle lanes on busy routes.
Simon Munk, of the London Cycling Campaign, said: ‘We’re very excited by the plans, which stand in stark contrast to some of their city neighbours.
‘It is a complex issue but it’s about designing the right spaces for the right mix of people, so we don’t end up with lots of pedestrian priority where there needs to be space for cyclists. The streets must be designed to encourage people to move and interact calmly.’
The new plans are aimed at future proofing the Square Mile, according to the chairman of the planning and transport committee, Chris Hayward
One of the new proposals includes the introduction of a ‘Lunchtime Streets programme’ the reported highlighted that it wanted to improve the experience of the City of London.
‘We will also seek to improve the experience of walking and spending time on the City’s streets by launching a Lunchtime Streets programme in 2019 to provide additional space for people using streets at lunchtime during the summer months.
‘At least five Lunchtime Streets will be in operation by 2025.’
Last year, the Corporation banned all traffic except buses and bicycles from Bank junction between 7am and 7pm on weekdays, after the death of City worker Ying Tao, who was hit by a lorry as she cycled to work in June 2015.
A Sub-committee is looking at proposals today but the [Grand] Planning and Transportation Committee will be making the October 30 decision.
Separate plans to pedestrianise streets in the eastern City were published in the summer.