Lunchtime Streets trial
Lunchtime Streets trial
15 May 2019
This March, while Thames Water installed new pipes on Leadenhall and the streets were closed. The City Corporation and the Active City Network, with the support of surrounding businesses and partners took the opportunity to trial the first “Lunchtime Streets”.
“Lunchtime Streets” is a proposal to remove traffic from a street over a lunchtime period, so people can enjoy their lunch in a safer and more pleasant environment.
Making the streets safer for people is key to both the City of London Corporation Road Danger Reduction and Active Travel Plan and the draft Transport Strategy and the Mayor of London’s Healthy Streets ambitions.
St Mary Axe is at the heart of the City Cluster, one of the top business districts in the world, home to the Gherkin, Aviva building and the Cheese grater. Several new towers are nearing completion and Crossrail set to deliver up to 60,000 additional workers to the area.
In order to achieve the ambition of Safer Streets and reduce the number of people injured on our streets will require a reduction in the motor vehicle traffic in the City, particularly during peak times.
Understanding people’s perceptions will be key to the campaign’s success
Understanding the effects and perceptions of the local community when reducing traffic at morning, lunch and evening peaks, when most people are travelling on foot or bicycle will be key to its success. So that is what we set out to do…
What the trial showed?
During the four day event 273 people gave us their opinions on a LunchTime Street survey, which showed overwhelming support for traffic free streets at St Mary Axe.
- The results showed an incredible 95% support for the trial and making St Mary Axe traffic free at lunchtime.
- 85% rated their experience as their enjoyable or extremely enjoyable.
- 88% said they support or strongly support the diversion of daytime traffic from St Mary Axe to make space for street activities on a permanent basis
- In addition 82% of people said they would support or strongly support other timed street closures across the City.
- 100% of the stall holders who took part said they would like to be invited to future events like this.
Sticky dot activity calendar
Over two days we recorded hundreds of people's comments on what activities they would like to see at future lunchtimes streets using sticky dots.
Henry Colthurst, Chair of the Lunchtime Streets Steering Committee and Ward Member for Lime Street, noted that:
“This area is one of the world leading centres for the insurance industry, as it expands, we want to ensure people can enjoy their lunchtimes in a safe attractive environment, and this event showed most workers share our vision for the future”.
Alderman Alison Gowman, Chair of the Active City Network, added:
“It was a very enjoyable event, but more importantly we were pleased to see overwhelming support from City workers for reducing traffic during peak times to enhance their safety and comfort. I look forward to Lunchtime Streets being staged again this summer”
"We were pleased to see overwhelming support from City workers for reducing traffic"
We could not have done this without the support of our partners and business. We wanted to extend a huge “Thank you” to all the people who gave their time and support to make this trial a success, we could not have done it without your support.
We are now working on a follow up events this summer and will continue to monitor the value of these events.
Lunchtime Streets Summer Programme 2019
- St Mary Axe, 13–15 August, 12–2pm
- Chancery Lane, 9–13 September, 12–3pm
If you would like to get involved r would like us to consider your street for an event, please email RDR@cityoflondon.gov.uk