To consider Gateway 4b proposals relating to the "All Change at Bank" project.
PLANNING AND TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
(Deputy Alastair Michael Moss)
15 October 2020
Gateway 4b: Bank Junction Improvements Project: All Change at Bank
Approval was sought at Gateway 4b to progress the ‘All Change at Bank’ Bank Junction Improvements project. The project aimed to improve the safety, air quality and pedestrian experience of the area around the Bank junction and reflect the historic and iconic surroundings with the appropriate sense of place. The project enacted the City of London Corporation’s longer-term ambitions for the junction and was a product of the Bank Area Enhancement Strategy agreed by the Court of Common Council in May 2013.
The Chair spoke to introduce the report, reminding Members of the genesis of the project, summarising the proposals before the Court, and setting out the timescales for future activity, including the public consultation process in 2021. He also addressed the interaction with temporary road layout amendments associated with the Covid-19 response.
During discussion, a Member spoke to express their concern as to the closure of Threadneedle Street and the and knock-on impact on Broad Street and the surrounding area, challenging the general move to restrict traffic movements particularly in the current context. The Chair noted that the City’s Transport Strategy prioritised pedestrian movements and that there were also health and safety and air quality considerations informing decisions; however, all steps were being managed in such a way as to take other road users into consideration, recognising the need to ensure that traffic could still move through efficiently where required.
Responding to several Members’ queries in relation to consultation and engagement with local businesses, the Chair agreed with the importance of this and advised that a full consultation process with all businesses and stakeholders would be progressed during the coming year. With reference to a particular concern regarding disabled access, the Chair provided assurances that the views of disabled user groups, including the City Access Group, would be a key part of the process.
In response to several queries in relation to the possibility of providing a taxi-rank outside the NED, the Chair advised that there would remain a step-free access and drop-off point on Princes Street and that discussions with the NED were ongoing as to the possibility of a rank on Poultry.
Resolved – That the progression of project be approved past Gateway 4b, noting:-
1. The intention to submit a Gateway 5 in September/October 2021.
2. That Design Option 1 would be taken forward to detailed design stage (the closure of Threadneedle Street and further restriction of Queen Victoria Street and Princes Street).
3. That further investigation into permitting general traffic on the ‘open arms’ during the current restricted hours would not carried forward for further investigation.
4. The cost of £541,935 to reach the next gateway, giving a cumulative approved budget of £1,923,410 after allowing for the underspend to date of £201,983.
5. That funding for this budget would be partially met from unspent S106 deposits arising from the underspend to date, with the balance of £339,953 to be drawn down from the central funding agreed in principle via the 2020/21 annual capital bid process.
6. The total estimated cost of the project at £5.0m - £5.7 million.
7. The approved Costed Risk Provision of £95,000 (to be drawn down via delegation to Chief Officer).
8. That the Gateway 4c Detailed Design report and all further decisions on reports would be delegated for approval via the Streets and Walkways and Projects Sub Committees.