Bank Junction, which is bordered by Mansion House, the Royal Exchange, and the Bank of England, is the heartbeat of the City of London. It is also home to one of the most prominent money-spinners in the financial district.
Only buses and bicycles can use the thoroughfare.
According to Freedom of Information requests to the City of London Corporation (the district’s governing body), a traffic camera system was installed to capture vehicles that violate its strict restrictions. It led to £15.2 million in penalties ($18.9million) in fines.
Its £3.2million hauls in 2021 represented 40% of all Square Mile fines and makes it one of the most lucrative traffic spots within the UK capital. Even though takings down nearly half of 2020 due to drivers catching onto the restrictions, they still represent almost half of all Square Mile fines.
Since 2017, only buses and pedal bikes have been permitted to cross the intersection on weekdays from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. You’ll receive a £130 notice for violating these restrictions. However, this penalty can be reduced to £65 if you pay within 14 days.
The junction, which consists of multiple streets that intersect at a statue of the Duke of Wellington riding a horse, was once a popular thoroughfare in London. The streets now display warning signs and offer advice about alternative routes. The signs, which are blue bus and bike-only signs, are placed where the restrictions begin. However, those who have been penalized complain darkly that it is difficult to see the warnings.
John Walters, 36, was a taxi driver who claimed he had been fined five more times at the junction. He appealed three times. He said that he’s been anxious for a while and it’s been difficult to pick up passengers with all the cameras. It makes driving here very difficult.
Representatives from the City of London stated that parking enforcement and traffic enforcement are self-financing, and that “where there’s a surplus it is ringfenced” by law to highways or transport-related activities like resurfacing.
According to Bloomberg News FOI requests, the prohibition at the junction is part of a larger trend that has seen similar crossroads in London become major revenue generators.
Newham earned £11.8 million last year from similar junctions to the Bank. Hackney, East London, made £8.79million and Enfield took home £7.58million.
Newham spokesperson said that traffic restrictions had reduced nitrogen dioxide emissions by 40% in the immediate vicinity. Enfield representatives stated that much of the money was used to fund free travel passes for the elderly and young. Hackney Council stated that restrictions keep people safe and make streets greener. They also added that the money goes into road maintenance and school transport.
The favourable market conditions that fueled Bank Junction’s seven-figure income could soon disappear. The City of London is reviewing any restrictions that could be eased.
Some users don’t hold their breath.
Scott Forth, a cab driver, said that he believes it will happen in London with the City of London.
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