Updated: May 8, 2022
The Mayor of London has been urged to consider the lack of access for residents living on New Street as Bishopsgate Bus Gate again comes under the spotlight.
During the pandemic, Transport for London (TfL) introduced a controversial experimental scheme that banned all cars, taxis and delivery vehicles from New Street in the City of London on weekdays between 7am and 7pm, without written notice to the residents of New Street.
According to a London Assembly Member, many residents remain deeply unhappy about the scheme's positioning and are further concerned by TfL’s desire to make the scheme permanent.
Residents are in favour of the northbound bus gate being moved 75m north so that New Street is excluded.
Tony Devenish, a Conservative London Assembly Member, asked the Mayor of London whether he would agree to move the Bishopsgate bus gate or consult with residents living in New Street who are unable to to access their homes between 7am and 7pm.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, responded: “In January 2022, TfL introduced an experimental scheme, based on the same principles of the temporary scheme, to understand the benefits of traffic restrictions in delivering long-term sustainable transport objectives and to understand any disadvantages arising from these changes.
"Due to safety and access considerations, there are limited places where bus gates can be located; TfL designers have considered the best locations which enable vehicles to leave the route safely, thus avoiding passing through the bus gates or undertaking dangerous manoeuvres.
"This scheme has been introduced under an experimental traffic order and no decision has been taken on whether to retain the scheme permanently at the current time. A public consultation has been launched to gather the views of the wider public and stakeholders on the experimental scheme. The consultation survey is available on TfL’s Have Your Say website and allows respondents to comment on the scheme or respond in writing. TfL encourages residents of New Street to make their views known through the consultation.
“Once the consultation has finished TfL will review the issues raised to decide how best to move forward.“
In August 2020, TfL introduced a series of temporary changes along the road as a response to the pandemic, which were designed to make it safer and easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport. The changes implemented included new restrictions on vehicles at peak travel times on weekdays between 7am and 7pm.
Wider footways were also constructed along the corridor to ensure social distancing and a number of banned turns were introduced along the road.
The changes were heavily opposed by the licensed taxi industry as access through Bishopsgate at peak times diminished. It was argued that wheelchair users and other disabled passengers were now forced to take longer and more expensive routes around the Bishopsgate bus gates. The action resulted in a Judicial Review of the plans.
Despite initially winning the case, the Court of Appeal overturned the decision ruling in TfL’s favour in summer 2021.