What we plan to do
Since the street was closed there has been more emphasis on the environment and reducing pollution, creating healthier places. So we are proposing to reopen the street one-way – westbound – for access only. Access only includes private vehicles, deliveries to the premises along the street, taxis picking-up and dropping-off at The Shard (note that the station taxi drop-off and pick-up is on London Bridge St by the News building) and residents. This will keep traffic to a minimum and make the place better for people walking and people cycling.
For people walking
Relocate the crossing and create a coloured, raised imprint area of road surface between Weston Street and The Shard indicating to drivers and people cycling that people walking are likely to be crossing making it easier and safer for people approaching the relocated crossing
Introduce a 10mph speed limit. By making the street 10mph we will make it safer for people walking and people cycling and improve the local environment as traffic slows, reducing noise and air pollution
For people cycling
Cycling would be permitted along the full length of the street with the direction of traffic
For people using buses or coaches
The one way nature of the street allows for the reintroducton of coaches and buses, without congestion
For people using taxis
• We will provide for taxis to pick-up and drop-off visitors to The Shard
The main changes people will notice apart from the reopening and resurfacing by Network Rail will be new signs (No motor vehicles except for access) and lines marked on the street (indicating taxi ranks etc). We are keeping the works to a minimum as plans develop to meet the local aspirations for the street which will avoid any disruptive and unnecessary works.
As a result of these proposals general traffic will no longer be able to drive onto St Thomas St eastbound from Borough High Street. Since the closure this has mainly been taxis, private hire and deliveries but there is often congestion and risks from turning vehicles. By making it one-way we can remove the delays and hold-ups caused by turning vehicles, the extra pollution they cause, and reduce the risk of vehicles colliding with people walking and cycling.
Private vehicles, taxis, private hire, delivery and servicing vehicles, people cycling and disabled blue badge holders will be able to access St Thomas St westbound from its junction with Crucifix Lane and Bermondsey St. to access The Shard and other businesses along St Thomas St.
Our plans form part of the Mayor of London’s plan for Healthy Streets - a long-term vision to encourage more people to walk, cycle and use public transport by making London’s streets healthier, safer and more welcoming. By providing more high quality spaces we can encourage more people to use these healthy and sustainable forms of transport, whilst keeping other traffic moving. These improvements will contribute to Healthy Streets by:
Encouraging more people to walk and, with the next phase that this is facilitating, to cycle
Improving the public realm and contributing to the wider regeneration of the area
We will monitor the impacts of the one-way access-only arrangements and will continue to work with Southwark Council and the local community to meet the aspirations for St. Thomas St.
We will aim to complete the new traffic management scheme by May 2018.