I attended a planning and transport briefing for the eastern part of the City last week, where we discussed road safety and potential plans for the future.
Each day at lunchtime, 10 out of the top 20 busiest pedestrian streets in the whole of London are within a stone’s throw of Bishopsgate, which itself sees nearly 3,500 people per hour on its pavements. With Crossrail coming later this year, it’s expected the number will increase by about 1,000 people per hour on Bishopsgate.
The Planning & Transport committee is looking at ways to innovate and have held public consultations, which showed strong support for reclaiming highway space for pedestrian use and pedestrianising of certain streets. Accommodating future growth is vital in the plans that are being formulated.
It is with sadness that we saw yet another accident on the corner of Primrose Street and Bishopsgate just yesterday. Ensuring the road junctions are safe for all users has to remain a priority. Whether that is about traffic light phasing or stricter enforcement of the rules, there is still much work to do in conjunction with Transport for London.
The Bank on Safety project has seen a reduction in accidents by 52% at the Bank junction and a reduction in casualties of 33% in the surrounding streets. Along with a reduction in NOX emissions in the whole area (not just the junction), this is proving to be a true success story in The City. Analysing data from over 360,000 bus journey times through the junction, it shows that times have come down by an average of 3-5 minutes for commuters using this mode of transport.
Whilst this is an experimental scheme, it is recognised that pressure has been building up in surrounding areas, not least Bishopsgate. I plan on raising this matter at our next meeting and pushing for a focus on Bishopsgate and the surrounding area, to prioritise cooperation with all stakeholders, including TfL, so that we can ensure the safety of all road users.
I would appreciate your views on these matters, which you can email to me.