Residents, workers and visitors to the City of London are being asked to give their views on street changes aimed at improving conditions for pedestrians.
The City of London Corporation is considering making permanent changes which were originally introduced in 2020 to enable social distancing during lockdown.
The Pedestrian Priority Streets scheme includes wider pavements, new seating and greenery, two-way cycle lanes and traffic restrictions on streets in the Cheapside and Bank area.
Since the road changes were introduced, there has been heavy opposition from the taxi industry. In a survey conducted by the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) it emerged that 87% of cabbies thought the restrictions had affected how they work in the area.
Of those cabbies 30% of drivers said that they ‘avoid the Bank area completely’ if they can and a further 35% said that they ‘avoid the City of London altogether and never ply for hire there’. That’s 65% avoiding some or all of the City of London completely. That has meant fewer cabs available, longer waits for passengers and a poorly served and increasingly inaccessible Square Mile.
People have until Monday 12 December to have their say on the impact of the changes and whether they should be made permanent.
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Streets and Walkways Sub Committee, Graham Packham, said: “The changes which have been in place for the last two years are aimed at making the City more accessible so that everyone can feel safe and comfortable as they walk around the Square Mile.
“They are also intended to reduce air pollution and make the City more attractive as it looks to establish itself as not just a global hub of business but a 24/7 visitor destination.
“I’d encourage anyone who regularly uses these streets to take part in the consultation, to ensure their voice is heard before we make a decision on whether to make these changes permanent.”
The proposals include retaining one-way motor traffic and two-way cycle lanes and widening the footway in King Street, Threadneedle Street and Broad Street.
Old Jewry would remain closed to motor vehicles at its junction with Cheapside.
Cheapside between Bread Street and King Street would remain a traffic-free street except for buses, cycles and vehicles accessing businesses for loading.
Current traffic restrictions in King William Street would be eased to allow access for taxis, while new and improved seating and green areas would be installed in Cheapside and Old Jewry.
People can take part in the consultation until Monday 12 December at www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/pedestrianpriority