City of London to ban cars from half of streets and impose 15 mph speed limits?

The City of London has announced plans to radically change streets across the Square Mile.

Pedestrian Priority Zones would see a ban on cars, vans, taxis and buses apart from limited times available for access. Speed limits could also be cut to 15 mph on roads.

Congestion entering the City

The scheme will include Threadneedle Street near the Bank of England plus roads around Mansion House, Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations.

I took a few photos of the area as it currently is. This is the junction at Bank with much space given over to tarmac:

This area had a trial scheme last year to exclude many vehicles between 7am and 7pm. Now it could well be extended. Paving can be very narrow in the area and struggles with the number of people.

The City is going through one of the largest transformations in history with a large number of skyscrapers rising. That will bring many more thousands of people to the area. In July I took a look at various towers now being built.

Pedestrian space is extremely cramped now with 480,000 workers in the area.

That will only increase with numerous towers and lower rise developments on the way. Congestion on roads is often remarked upon, but paving congestion all too often overlooked. Trying to squeeze so many people onto often narrow paving is getting ever more difficult.

And it’s something London has worse than many cities due to its medieval road layout. There’s generally not the grand avenues of New York, Paris, Barcelona or Berlin, to name just four.

The report will go before City Councillors on October 30th.



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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    2 thoughts on “City of London to ban cars from half of streets and impose 15 mph speed limits?

    • It is interesting in multple ways. They kickstarted it with the congestion charge and making the area wider plus way more expensive. The traffic has impressively been lowered and it’s ‘such a joy’ to walk around more comfortably (for example) including Southwark to Elephant & Castle.

      Bank is of course extremely old, and breaths (definitely after dark) spirits of centuries ago. They’ve already introduced bus speedlimits of 20mph and that also has been fruitful. Reducing traffic is very needed, there, and when the Crossrail opens, you should have some buses, taxis and police/emergency services only routes and pedetrianise (sorry, wrong spelling?) many of the remaning – definitely the narrow streets!

      Fun fact too, they want to pedestrian Oxford Street, with of course objections by some, but it will take place. Same like Crossrail to terminate at Abbey Wood, instead of Ebbsfleet Int, so it is a terminal and not a passing by station. That area, incl Thamesmead, is a need to upgrade – and with Woolwich being fully revamped, it’s only logic to drain the swamp Thamesmead is. Which is why they’ll extend the Overground from Barking to terminate at Abbey Wood in the future, and I think it is nearer than later – after the first sets of AW revamping they need extra public transport so fast track it. Yes, it isn’t on the public eye/calendar, but I know someone working at Crossrail that told me the OG is scheduled of coming south

    • This is a fantastic idea. No one should be driving into this part of the city except: emergency services, buses, limited taxi/Uber – ideally all electric vehicles to reduce pollution.

      The Bloomberg building has shown what the potential is for pedestrian only areas with restaurants on street level and space to wander around. European cities have loads of squares and open spaces like this but London is pokey and crowded because of the roads.

      Let’s get safe cycle paths, limited access to public/emergency transport (including some kind of taxi availability) and otherwise scrap all the tarmac and widen those pavements.


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