Report of the Director of the Built Environment.
The Sub-Committee received a report of the Director of the Built Environment regarding the ‘All Change at Bank’ improvement project.
The purpose of the project was to improve safety, improve air quality and enhance its sense of place, whilst also addressing the functioning and efficiency of the junction and the surrounding road network.
Members were informed that a range of options had been considered to gauge impacts on the road network details of which were provided within the report. The options presented capture an increasing recognition that a significant change at Bank Junction was essential to cope with continuing growth.
Officers had developed a concept of an interim scheme that could be implemented in late 2016 which was to allow pedal cycles and buses only through the junction during the working day. Members were informed that the interim scheme would deliver a significant safety benefit and help improve pedestrian crossing and crowding issues in and approaching the junction.
The Assistant Director (Local Transportation) emphasised that experience of developing schemes such as Cheapside and Aldgate suggested that if the option chosen to progress the implementation was the full closure and associated changes, the total project cost was likely to be in the region of £18m.
Members were informed that the Policy and Resources Committee would consider giving approval to progress the interim scheme to Gateway 5 provided that further work did not demonstrate that any of the objectives for the interim scheme would not be achieved. The final design would be approved by the Spending Committee.
Members noted that the interim proposal would make a significant contribution to reducing casualties and a positive step forward in reducing nitrogen dioxide levels in the junction and therefore improving air quality.
With regard to pedestrian movement, Members were advised that observed ‘informal’ crossing movements identified that 5,000 movements took place outside of formal crossing zones within the junction in the morning peak and 6,000 in the afternoon peak.
The overall view of the Sub-Committee was that the proposals should be supported, however the changes should not be at the expense of diminishing traffic flow through the city. Furthermore, the credibility of modelling needed to be considered as well as the security of the delivery. Members agreed that an effective PR campaign was required.
RESOLVED - That
1. approval be given to
a) progress Options 1 (full closure), 2 (no north south), 4 (one east west route removed) and 5 (50% capacity reduction on each arm) to be carried forward into detailed options appraisal, Gateway 4;
b) include the remaining £20,000 S106 from the Cheapside stage 4 underspend into the Bank Junction Project.
c) include £150,909 into the Capital programme for continuation of the overall project to Gateway 4;
d) include £120,000 into the Capital Programme for the Interim Safety scheme.
e) develop the interim safety scheme as part of the programme for the Bank Junction Improvements Project. This element will be reported back to both committees for approval at the authority to start works stage as a separate Gateway 5 report, subject to confirmation of funding.
2. authority be delegated to the Director of the Built Environment and Head of Finance to adjust the budget between the fees, staff costs and surveys/works (as indicated above for both the long term and short term projects) once more robust estimates have been established, providing it remains within the approved budgets; and
3. the increase of the potential top end expenditure for the total project to £18m be noted; and
4. the consideration by the Policy and Resources Committee to approve progression of the interim scheme to Gateway 5 (provided that further work did not demonstrate that any of the objectives for the interim scheme would not be achieved) be noted. The final design would be approved by the Spending Committee.