Wednesday 24 May 2017 12.17 BST
Bank junction, one of London’s most dangerous intersections, was closed this week to all but buses, and people on bikes and foot, from 7am to 7pm on weekdays, in an 18-month experimental scheme that could be as ground breaking as New York’s Times Square or Paris’s Left Bank.
In 2015 Ying Tao was hit from behind by a lorry and killed as she cycled across the six-armed crossroads. Cyclists make up to 50% of Bank traffic during peak times, and from 2010-14, 46 cyclists were injured at the junction, six seriously. There were also eight serious pedestrian casualties in that time.
Early on Monday morning a small group of the City of London’s senior officials, some of whom have been the subject of personal abuse, gathered to see the fruition of 25 years’ work, along with a handful of campaigners.
Iain Simmons, head of road safety, transport and traffic management at the City of London Corporation, has been trying to improve Bank for 25 years. A project in the early 90s was shelved after IRA bombings forced the reallocation of resources to what was known as the Ring of Steel, a new version of which was proposed in December.
Bank’s closure was first conceived in 2010. After years spent trying to get more traffic through the junction, traffic modelling revealed that by rerouting motor vehicles around it, journey times through the area would actually improve.