Blackfriars Bridge

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Blackfriars Bridge
Very Londoncentric I know but I came across this blog post and was very disappointed with the proposed change to the bridge traffic layout. Please write in and object if you use the area. This could be an opportunity to make a start in encouraging cycling, especially given this: Cheers Simon

Also posted about here:

Theres no reason that ‘just’ londoners reply. There are thousands of people who visit London on business and leisure & things like this affect them aswell………also no reason why some idiot from Manchester can’t send an email to and tell her what he thinks of her new layout……more emails the merrier.



And as a follow up, more

And as a follow up, more here:

I was with Danny and others who met with the TfL rep who really didn’t want to talk about this appalling scheme last night. Shocking!

FOI on Blackfriars
Prompted by the At War With The Motorist blog ( someone made an FOI request ( about the redesign of Blackfriars Bridge, but it was turned down on cost grounds (estimated £1450, against maximum of £450). There's been nothing more on WhatDoTheyKnow from the person requesting, but the request had 4 parts, so maybe 4 of us could each independently request each of the 4 parts and get them. FOI requests should be answered within 20 working days, so we probably wouldn't get the information before the engagement (not a consultation...) finishes, but it would be interesting to have anyway and would also be one more thing to remind TfL that "we are watching you". Jon
More here, from me, including

More here, from me, including a little video where you can play ‘count the cyclists’ and then wonder about the audacity of TfL’s plans:

Incidentally, I think this is a classic field for the CEoGB to get involved; the gist of the story is that TfL want to make cycling facilities worse, where they are currently fair, on a bridge where modal share is dominated by those of us on two wheels.

@Jon re the FOI I’m hoping to have an update on that for you soon – bear with me.

Nice video

You know, given the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists on that bridge, and TfL’s obsession with traffic flow, there’s a simple piece of legal direct action that might show how important bikes are to traffic flow: hold a ‘bring your car to work day’. If you could leaflet every cyclist and pedestrian going over Blackfriar’s bridge in the morning and get even a tenth of them to agree to drive their car in instead for just one day you’d probably see gridlock back into Kent. Even now, in places like Richmond, there’s an appreciable increase in traffic on rainy days because of people switching from bikes to cars. If you could show how much difference those bikes make to increasing the flow of the cars you might get them to take their provision a bit seriously

Of course, the traffic people might just point to it as the reason why they need more road space for cars …

AKA TownMouse

But Sally, I don’t have a

But Sally, I don’t have a car! ;o))

Just a bump on this subject as you only have two days left to reply if you haven’t done so already!

I’m sure everyone read about

I’m sure everyone read about the new proposal that TfL came up with, and how awful it was. Since then there’s been a ‘flashride’ demonstration on the bridge by London cyclists (thanking you for supporting it CEoGB!) and now it seems the London Assembly Members are swinging in to action too;

Sadly, getting cyclists to agree that current proposals are crap is the easy bit. The hard part is agreeing what ought to be there; some want 20mph, some want shared space and others want segregation. Of course, in order to be politically effective we have to a united front, which is harder than it looks!

To look at it another way,

To look at it another way, the revised proposal is an improvement on the original one – the cycle lanes have been widened and made mandatory, and a stretch which had not been slated for a cycle lane will now get one. There is general disappointment about the things which were not included, especially the 20mph limit which the London Assembly Members are tabling an assembly motion on in early June.

What it does however show is that when bicycle users speak out (even if not entirely with one voice), and especially when the support of local politicians is engaged, you get results.

113 responses to the City of London LIP and some limited engagement with City council members got us some changes to the plan including a study on more cycle routes and 20mph across the City – but only a study, not a firm committment. 560 responses and active engagement with politicians of all major parties in the London Assembly, and the local press, got real – if limited – action on Blackfriars Bridge.

I think it proves that you can make a difference if you get enough support and especially if you get the politicians on your side – each of them has as much influence as a hundred or more members of the public.


Don't know how relevant it is to the current design

But I came across this – written in 2005

Amazingly, when a Danish traffic engineer evaluates a UK cycling facility design the resulting report doesn’t consist simply of 20 pages of crazed laughter…

AKA TownMouse

Interesting find, Sally!

Interesting find, Sally! This relates to the prior design which lead to the death of 2 cyclists on the bridge in a year. I understand that TfL are planning on using the same design on Vauxhall Bridge when they build the next CS across it. Shocking.

His points about proper widths of cycle paths are very interesting reading!

also about 20mph speed limits

- while they’re great for pedestrians, they don’t really do much for the safety of cyclists mixed into traffic. Especially when widely flouted …

AKA TownMouse

While 20 limits are probably

While 20 limits are probably only beneficial to faster cyclists (as the speed differential is then almost zero) they do have symbolic significance. They should be an easy win because in congested city traffic, limiting to 20 instead of 30 merely means a shorter wait at each red light. (And simply doubting they will be enforced is a not a reason for not introducing them – in fact, the one London bridge which currently has a 20mph limit, Tower Bridge, shows up in the TfL surveys as being very largely observed, while the 30mph limits all around are widely breached, and enforcement levels are similar.)

They do however signal a move away from the unquestioning obeisance to the motor car. Once you get used to that, the next steps shouldn’t be so hard – as they say, every journey starts with a single step.


Indeed. As it would seem we

Indeed. As it would seem we are stuck with the hideous proposals TfL insist on implementing, 20mph on the Bridge is about the best we can hope for. London Assembly members are putting forward a motion asking the Mayor to retain the 20mph zone – you can sign LCC’s petition to support the motion here:

Even though 20mph is the best of a bad bunch it would be nice if CEoGB members could help support it.

I'm all for 20mph in general

and I think it’s vital for Blackfriars bridge especially as it’s been at 20 already – just it’s interesting to see that there’s evidence for it not being the be-all and end-all of road safety. Need to follow that one up

AKA TownMouse

I’d love to give you all an

I’d love to give you all an update on Blackfriars, but frankly I wouldn’t know where to start – only to say that it has taken up much of my week and I’m not sure we are much further than we were on Monday.

The debate never happened at the Assembly because the Tories walked out, thus making the meeting inquarate. They did this, supposedly, for their own political reasons, and not to do with the Bridge or road safety, but to our benefit that’s not how the media portrayed it. And what a lot of media….

vening Standard:


ITV News:

The Guardian:

Road.CC (website for roadies)

Bike Biz (industry paper)


Ross Lydall (Chief reporter at the Standard) blog:

The way forward, in terms of next steps, is not yet clear and there are lots of emails pinging backwards and forwards, but I hope to have an update soon. In the meantime, thank you to all of you who took the time to write and sign petitions etc – your efforts have not been in vain and it would appear have helped kicked off a much wider debate about TfL and it’s priorities which is only just starting!

The latest action on

The latest action on Blackfriars Bridge is being led by the LCC. They want to try and show the public face of people who are sick and tired of these proposals for 1960s style urban motorways. They are gatjering photos of people to create a ‘photo petition’ and it’s hoped that if they get enough they will do a very public media-friendly stunt with all the petition pics to help keep the Blackfriars issue in the public eye.

So… fellow cycling ambassadors.. please do take 2 seconds to send a picture of you, your bike, your kids on a bike, maybe you with a sign for Boris, or even you and a drawing of what you’d like it to look like and send it to the LCC via a blank email to blackfriars-photo AT(@)

Full details (and all the lovely photos submitted so far) can be seen here:

A bit of rabble rousing by me as to why you should all get involved;
It would be lovely if we helped to keep this issue hot for our fellow bike campaigners.

New YouTube Clip

From Carlton Reid’s Channel, showing us and LCC in agreement regarding Blackfriars.

Looking very suave and

Looking very suave and sophistice in the video Mr Ambassador!

Just a reminder to CEoGBers, you can help support the Blackfirars campaign by sending LCC your photo – check out some of the lovely pictures uploaded so far:

Well worth our support methinks as where TfL leads on Blackfriars other junctions will surely follow!


TFL are going ahead with the plans THIS WEEKEND in the face of opposition from the public and our elected representatives.

I can’t make Friday night but I’ll be there Monday morning.

For totally mental head

For totally mental head f*ckery, do hop on over to Cyclists in the City blog to see TfL’s presentation to the GLA in which they tried to justify the whole sorry Blackfriars saga:

I almost spat my dummy when I read it, but have calmed down a bit how. Extra points if you can spot a bicycle or pedestrian in any of the lovely mocked up images they’ve created(!)

Well I can tell that this was

Well I can tell that this was designed by traffic engineers from the swarms of cars in the model (but not too many cars, that would look congested and obscure our view of those miraculous ASLs) . If it was an artist’s impression of an architect designed development next to the road, there would be lots of happy pedestrians meandering around spending money, and a cyclist locking a bike to the token parking provision.

As for being “not atypical of Central London” – what a joke, it seeks justification because other locations are just as bad. It would be like saying that it was OK to sell fake handbags at a market because that’s what all the other traders are doing. Just because a junction with obvious hazards for cyclists which should have been designed out is pretty normal for London (the junctions to the north and south aren’t exactly shining examples of engineering) doesn’t mean it’s good.

This is a particularly epic fail in terms of turning right. No true “cycling city” would be building junctions where cyclists were expected to move across two lanes of traffic to get in lane to turn right – there would at least be some kind of hook turn / jughandle. But we all know that traffic will be doing 12 mph at 11pm on a Sunday, making that turn easier, don’t we… ?

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