Budget blowout for Bank Junction closure

Bank Junction
Cyclists take advantage of clearer roads on Bank Junction

The cost of closing Bank Junction to cars has blown out by more than £200,000, according to a City Corporation report tabled this week.

Figures presented to the streets and sub-walkways committee on Tuesday revealed the project, which banned all vehicles except buses from using the junction in May, had almost reached its £1,179,100 budget, and would need an additional £208,306 to see out the 18-month trial period.

The committee voted to approve the revised finances – blamed on interest from external stakeholders “significantly higher than originally expected” – with extra staffing resources made available to manage additional briefings, meetings and correspondence.

It proposes the Corporation draw from its on-street parking account to cover additional costs of monitoring the responses from a public consultation and provide informal updates to relevant committees.

“It has also become clearer that the level of scrutiny that this experiment is under, that more traffic surveys for monitoring and comparison will be required than originally envisaged,” read the report.

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Cab drivers protest ban from Bank Junction. Photo: Jon Cox

The City’s on-street parking account is likely to have seen a windfall in recent months from cameras trained on the junction currently generating more than £16,000 per hour in penalty notices, according to the Daily Star.

There was an initial two-week grace period for drivers, but since then figures show that 41,948 penalty notices were issued to drivers between 7 June and 14 July, each carrying a
fine of £130. Additional funds from the account must now be approved by the resource allocation committee, which meets on 19 October.

The ban was brought into effect on 22 May to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists after 34 cyclists and 31 pedestrians were injured at the junction between 2011 and 2015.

However, it drew the ire of a group of black cab drivers who staged a week of blockades around the City to protest what the Independent Taxi Alliance called “the beginning of the end for the cab trade”.