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Hi all. I am new to this forum and after a quick search have not found any threads on the dangerous situation created by u-turning taxis/minicabs/Ubers on Fann Street. (I saw one on the dangers of crossing Goswell Road, which is an important but slightly different issue.) Does someone know the history of efforts to install a zebra crossing from the north to south side of Fann Street, between the Shakespeare and Blake Tower? I paste below my recent correspondence with the City on this. I was really surprised to be told that there was no residents' support for such a crossing when last it was discussed. 


On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 9:41 AM, Lee Bailey wrote:
Dear Albert,

Thank you for your reply. Can you please tell me where the signage prohibiting U-turns is? I can only see signs indicating that Fann Street is a dead-end. I am frankly surprised to hear that U-turning is prohibited and that this prohibition is enforced, because in the average 90 seconds a day I spend around this junction, I observe 3-4 vehicles executing turns. That leads me to believe that this dangerous pattern repeats itself hundreds of times a day.

When you say that no resident supported the proposal, can you explain how that process works? I would certainly support such a proposal. Where was it publicized?

Also, what is a pedestrian refuge facility and how would such a thing on the west side of Goswell Road protect pedestrians crossing through U-turning vehicles at Fann Street, which is on the east side of the road?

Thank you for your patience and explanations. 

Lee Bailey

On Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 10:30 AM, Transportation, City <> wrote:
Dear Mr Bailey,

Thank you for contacting the City of London regarding crossing conditions on Goswell Road.

I would like to confirm that vehicles are prohibited from U-turning on Goswell Road by the junction of Fann Street and there is appropriate signage to communicate this restriction to drivers. Our mobile CCTV enforcement team do regularly enforce this location.

In 2015, improving pedestrian crossing facilities on Goswell Road was investigated and a crossing facility was proposed immediately north of Fann Street. However, this was not supported by a local resident and therefore the scheme was not progressed. Following this we introduced a pedestrian refuge facility outside No.25 Goswell Road by the newsagent.

I hope the above information is useful.

Many thanks

City Transportation

From: Lee Bailey
Sent: 10 October 2017 17:40
To: Streets Queue
Subject: Re: Dangerous crossing: Fann Street and Goswell Road


I never received a reply to this inquiry. I was just nearly smashed by a black cab executing a high speed U-turn, and so was reminded of my attempt to reach you. Please advise.

Many thanks,

Lee Bailey

On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 12:28 PM, Lee Bailey wrote:
As a resident of the Golden Lane Estate, I would like to make a complaint about the use of the junction at Fann Street and Goswell Road by cabbies, mini-cab drivers and Uber drivers as a U-turn facility. This makes crossing Fann Street very dangerous-- half the time you expect a car to move on through, it cuts toward you in an about-face. Has there ever been a proposal to put a zebra crossing there?

Many thanks,

Lee Bailey

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Definitely still alive-- I just did a similar experiment yesterday (sadly without pints). Part of the email chain I have going with council and City is above in this message thread, but will send you the full thread to the email you mentioned. The more attention the better. It would be helpful to know precisely what is and isn't legal so we can at least start telling drivers off. 

Billy Mann said:

I don't know if this discussion is still alive, but I have been collecting data on the U-turns (illegal) at Fann Street, and what I call 'Half U-turns' (technically legal), which are vehicles travelling north on Aldersgate/Goswell Road, turning right into Fann Street and using the Barbican car-park ramp to do a three-point turn, then re-emerging at the junction of Fann Street. It is a nerdy excuse for a crafty pint in the Shakespeare. I have only just started this project (strict half-hour shifts), but when I have more data, I will present it to our Alderman and Common Councillors for comment. If you have any input on health and safety, please email me at I would also like to know if anyone has information as to income generated by fines for contraventions, and how it is spent. 

U-turns are an offence and each one SHOULD be penalised with a fine. Turning into Fann Street and doing a three-point turn is not a traffic violation, but might be considered a dangerous misuse of the public highway/private ramp. If the cameras are actually working and fines are being collected, where is the money going? To the estate? To City Corporation accounts to be spent as they see fit? These are the kinds of questions I'd like answered. I'm not sure residents should be picking fights with taxi drivers. I was shocked to see a City Corporation vehicle doing a U-turn. I would prefer to see a meeting between concerned residents and Common Council members.

These drivers are not only using Barbican car park for 3 point turns they also use the ramp going into the basement at Cuthbert harrowing house, the hand railing there is constantly being hit by reversing cars, an eyesore, it has been repaired before but its only a matter of weeks till someone reverses into it again.

Hi. You might also be interested to know that another resident contacted the air quality department back in January as this also adds to the argument on their being a problem on this corner and as a result they placed a nitrogen dioxide monitor ie a tiny little glass bottle with a red cap, on the corner of the wildlife garden. This was done by the Department of Markets and Consumer Protection and are yet to hear anything from them again since then. I think the bottle is still there.  How long it needs to be is another matter!

I live in the Barbican (Bunyan Court) and asked for this monitor to be installed as, apart from the obvious dangers of U-turning vehicles, I was also concerned about the extra fumes being emitted. At the time back in January the City's air quality officer told me:

The small tube you can see in the picture, and hopefully have seen in situ, is changed each month and sent to the laboratory. This generates a single monthly reading which we combine with subsequent monthly readings to generate an annual value. We can then compare this to the annual limit value of 40µgm-3. The benefit of this type of monitoring is that it can be quickly deployed at multiple locations. We currently have these tubes at over 70 locations across the City and so site comparisons can be easily made.

It is not possible to draw any definitive conclusions from a single monthly reading, but a picture will emerge over the coming months, especially if viewed in relation to other sites in the City. We can then provide feedback.

I've contacted 'cityair' again to ask if they have any results yet. I'll let you know if I hear anything back from them.

Thanks, Tony

The easiest answer would be to take down the ‘u turn’ sign on Goswell Road and to allow the turning to take place there. Cars will always be wanting to do u-turns there, it is something they wont be able to stop but it will not be into fann street where is causes a lot more disruption. What is making the problem currently worse is that cars are not able to access Beech St and the Museum of London from Long Lane as the left turn from Smithfield is currently blocked for crossrail works. Therefore they are coming along Charterhouse, turning left at the Tesco Metro and then swinging round by the Shakespeare so as to get back down Aldersgate Street. I did hear there were talk of them removing the sign. 

That should liven it up for pedestrians and spectators outside the Shakespeare, especially the old and infirm crossing the road scanning 360 degrees and trying not to go up in the air like a skittle.


From: Lee, Sam <>
Date: Fri, Aug 24, 2018 at 12:05 PM
Subject: RE: Dangerous crossing: Fann Street and Goswell Road COL:05090892
To: Tomlinson CC, John <>, Lee Bailey <>
Cc: Hayward CC, Christopher <>, Pearson, Susan <>, Durcan, Mary <>, Dwyer, Carolyn <>, Presland, Steve <>, Hughes, Ian <>

Dear Mr Tomlinson and Mr Bailey,


As you are aware, officers have been looking at options to address the concerns regarding traffic entering Fann Street to carry out U-turns. The options that we have investigated so far range from some very simple solutions such as banning the right turn from Aldersgate Street to more complex proposals such as the reconfiguration of the Aldersgate Street/Carthusian Street junction. However, all these options have various advantages but, in some cases, also some very significant implications. It is therefore taking us much longer to complete. However, we have now concluded this work, and will be looking to take forward a proposal to remove the existing U-turn ban at the Aldersgate Street/Fann Street junction. The thinking behind this is that if motorists were able to carry a U-turn at the main junction, it should reduce the number of vehicles entering Fann Street. This proposal has been independently assessed to ensure that it is safe to do so but as the outcome is inconclusive, we’re looking to introduce this initially as a trial. Further information on this will be sent to all Ward Members in the next week or two and depending on what feedback we get, we would then look to deliver the change from Sept/Oct 2018 and monitor it over the following 12 to 18 months.

Some of you may have noticed that the sign prohibiting U-turns on Goswell Road (at Fann Street) has recetnyl been removed. Drivers are still making the dangerous turns in the mouth of Fann Street, I think from conditioning, but hopefully over time this will lessen. (I have pointed out to a few taxi drivers that they're now allowed to turn in the main road.)

I think this is a great outcome for residents. Well done for following it up.

Yes lets hope in time it will ease off now the sign is down. I think it is just one of those ‘hot spots’ which will always create issues. I mentioned it to one of the citys highway dept reps at the Bernard Morgan House project monthly session. He also pointed out that the road being blocked on Long Lane has added to the problem so hopefully when that is finished and back to norm it will ease the flow as well. 

There was a guy monitoring yesterday sat on a little chair with a clicker. I asked if it was to do with the u-turning and it wasn’t, he was counting cyclists. He said he could clearly see there was a problem and would take it back to the office. 

Watch this space...


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