St. Thomas Street, London Bridge reopening one-way access only

Closed 10 Apr 2018

Opened 28 Feb 2018

Results updated 27 Sep 2018

We engaged about plans to make St Thomas Street a better place for walking and cycling when it reopens to all users.

The majority of respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed with our proposals to reopen the street one-way, westbound – for access only. We have carefully considered the comments received and made changes to our plans as a result. St Thomas Street will remain two way from its junction with Borough High Street as far as the Shard, but with a restriction on larger vehicles. The street will also be open along its entire length westbound – for access only which includes; deliveries to the premises along the street, residents and taxis picking-up and dropping-off at The Shard.

The detailed comments on the scheme (see Section 4.5 of the engagement report) indicated key concerns were the lack of two-way cycling provision along the length of the street, the additional journey time involved for vehicles trying to access the street from the west and displacing traffic/increasing congestion elsewhere with increasing pollution as a result of the scheme. The engagement report can be found below:

Engagement report (PDF 1.21MB)


What we plan to do (see related documents below)

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.

The street has not worked well where the two-way section ends and we have noticed there can be a lot of friction with u-turning vehicles, plus it is expected that pedestrian flows will increase as the station becomes busier.

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.

Please give us your comments about our proposals and suggestions by 10 April 2018.


Why we are consulting

St Thomas St is currently closed to all westbound traffic from the junction with Bermondsey Street as far as the entrance to The Shard’s loading bay. It is two-way traffic for vehicles from Borough High Street to as far as The Shard’s loading bay. The whole street is a no though route for people cycling in both directions.

There are many people walking in the area, walking across and along St Thomas St and the number of people walking is expected to increase as The Shard reaches full occupation, London Bridge Station fully reopens and other sites on the southside of the street are developed.

After 6 years of construction, the opening of the new London Bridge station will transform the area with up to 90 million passengers using the station every year. St Thomas Street has been re-built in front of the station, with new wide pavements, pedestrian crossings and street furniture. To maximise safety an 18-month experimental traffic order is proposed to make St Thomas Street one-way westbound from Bermondsey Street to Borough High Street, with access controlled for only vehicles accessing or servicing buildings along the street. Making the road one-way will reduce the potential for collisions in front of The Shard where the existing two-way road meets the one-way. Controlling access will reduce rat running through the area, reducing vehicle traffic and maximising pedestrian safety. In June 2018 the new Science Gallery London and Guys Courtyard public space will open on St Thomas Street which is expected to have 300,000 visitors each year. St Thomas Street is set to become a key destination in Central London and these changes will ensure the best possible safety for all users of the street.

Following implementation we would monitor traffic flows before making the changes permanent.


  • Southwark


  • Public
  • Stakeholders
  • Local residents
  • Local businesses
  • Coach Operators
  • Taxi trade


  • Cycling
  • Walking