There will be a debate and vote on Blackfriars Bridge in the London Assembly on Wednesday 8 June, when Assembly members will vote on a formal motion to retain the 20mph speed limit over the bridge – just what many London cyclists have been lobbying for.
Mayor Boris Johnson, however, has recommended a reinstatement of a 30mph limit (the current 20mph limit was introduced during roadworks). Part of the motion before the London Assembly states: !We ask the Mayor to reconsider his rejection of a 20mph limit on Blackfriars Bridge, in the interests of the safety of all its users.”
The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) point out that a 2008 report from TfL itself recommended 20mph limits for four London Bridges and also quote the Corporation of London’s request to bring forward plans for the whole of the City of London to become a 20mph zone (including TfL roads).
Even if the motion is passed the Mayor is under no obligation to follow it, but its adoption would clearly create pressure on him to do so.
LCC say the motion has the support of Labour, Lib-Dems and Greens but that the Conservatives haven’t made their position clear on the matter. Pressure has also been exerted on TfL by e-mails from the public and numerous blogs protesting the reversion to 30mph.
Cyclists are also objecting to what they say are flawed design elements in the new scheme at the northern end of the bridge – cycle lanes were withdrawn by TfL in the recent redesign but then reintroduced amidst a welter of cyclist protest.
A ‘flashride’ organised through social media sites ibikelondon and cyclists in the city along with LCC saw hundreds of cyclists stage a slow-motion protest ride against the ‘redesigned redesign’ during morning rush hour on 20th May.
ibikelondon blog notes “This is a bridge where cyclists outnumber cars at the busiest times of the day … the new plans … will just about help to manage the existing cyclist traffic flow, who will be expected to battle for space at junctions with buses, taxis and HGVs … but where in these plans is provision for the future?”
According to Cyclists in the City blog, cyclists make up 35.6% of traffic over the bridge and cars and taxis 31.9%.
Both bloggers were interviewed the time of the flashride:
Blackfriars bridge cycle protest
The old cycle lane design on the bridge received notoriety back in 2004 when cyclist Vicki McCreery was killed on it.