Situated in the heart of the City of London, Bank is amongst London’s most prestigious locations. Named after the Bank of England, which has stood on Threadneedle Street since 1734, the area is home to an array of international financial institutions and other high-profile companies, so there are naturally plenty of workers in the area. Throw in Bank’s abundance of top-class restaurants, excellent bars, and proximity to some of London’s most popular sights—from Tower Bridge to The Shard—and you’re sure to be driving customers through the area on a regular basis.
As a London-based PCO driver, you’ll know that navigating the capital can be tricky with the number of parking restrictions and no-entry zones in place. Bank is no different, with plenty of reasons you could find yourself with a fine or a PCN (Penalty Charge Notice). These are issued to motorists who contravene parking and waiting restrictions as well as other traffic offences. Parking fines are usually between £80 and £130, while certain instances could result in a clamped vehicle or extra points on your license.
Please be aware that the City of London PCNs begin with ‘CL’ if you’re ever struck with one.
To help you navigate the area without issue, we’ve summarised everything you need to know about driving and parking in Bank.
Where can’t I drive and park in Bank?
The number one place to avoid is Bank Junction which is closed to all vehicles except buses and bicycles during peak hours—between 07:00 and 19:00 on weekdays. This aims to reduce accidents and improve air quality in the area. Simply straying into the zone can result in a PCN charge and the City Corporation raked in over £12.5 million in fines between May 2017 and March 2019.
Never drive into the junction during peak times and be cautious in the adjoining roads. The City of London’s map of Bank Junction shows the restrictions and access points from these streets. The only times you can enter the junction during peak hours are on public holidays that fall between Monday and Friday.
One-way streets in Bank
Failure to adhere to one-way systems can result in PCN charges and three penalty points, so please take care when driving on these roads:
- Abchurch Lane (northbound)
- Basinghall Street (southbound)
- Birchin Lane (southbound)
- Bow Lane (northbound)
- Clements Lane (southbound)
- Coleman Street (northbound)
- Finch Lane (northbound)
- Great Swan Alley (eastbound)
- Great Winchester Street (eastbound)
- Lombard Street (eastbound)
- Nicholas Lane (northbound)
- Old Jewry (northbound)
- St. Swithin’s Lane (southbound)
- Throgmorton Street (westbound)
Where are the best places to park in Bank?
London PCO drivers can stop in most places to pick up or drop customers off, including on single and double yellow lines and in bus lanes. However, this should only be for as long as necessary to get people in or out of your vehicle, or you risk receiving a PCN. It is also illegal for PCO drivers to stop in a taxi rank. There are many parking restrictions in Bank and only a couple of places you can park nearby for a prolonged period of time:
- London Vintry Thames Car Exchange,
Thames Exchange, Bell Wharf Lane,
EC4R 3TBOpen Mon-Sun all-day1 hour: £10.00
2 hours: £22.00
3 hours: £34.00
24 hours: £45.00
- 100 Wood St,
Open Mon-Fri between 06:00 and 19:30
£2.40 an hour
Can I avoid the Congestion Charge in Bank
One of the main costs you could face when driving through London is the Congestion Charge. As Bank is within the charging zone, you’ll need to pay a daily fee of £11.50 if you pass through during 07:00 and 18:00 on weekdays. This charge doesn’t apply between 25th December and January 1st. Bank is also within the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), meaning you may have to pay an additional £12.50 daily charge to cover this if your vehicle doesn’t meet emissions standards. You can check whether this is the case or not here. The ULEZ is in operation 24/7 on every day of the year except Christmas Day.
Failure to pay either the Congestion Charge or ULEZ can lead to a PCN and fines of up to £160. You may want to consider the AutoPay option which reduces the amount you owe and gives you protection from receiving any PCNs related to the two charges.