Saturday, 23 July 2011
Blackfriars Bridge and cycling safety - a test case
London's bridges are traffic bottlenecks and can be dangerous with impatient rush-hour traffic and high speeds at non-peak times. London Cycling Campaign has been pushing for the temporary 20 MPH speed limit to be kept in place on Blackfriars Bridge, but Transport for London want to change back to 30 MPH to keep the traffic moving. Last time the matter was raised at the London Assembly there was a walkout by all the Conservative members, for completely unrelated reasons. That did give LCC a chance to collect 2000 photographs and email addresses to make a graphic form of petition - a composite image of a 20MPH sign, a message somewhat compromised by repeating some of the photos for graphic design reasons, but still a strong indication of support from cyclists.
This week the Assembly did debate the motion, and all parties came out in favour of the lower speed limit and a review of proposals. TfL have previously proposed a lower speed limit on all London bridges, and there are proposals from the Mayor to make the whole City of London a 20MPH zone, but there are conflicting interests: despite the strength of feeling that London should be moving towards a safe and pleasant environment for people and cyclists, the traffic lobby has considerable clout. And of course a significant part of the public thinks cyclists are a menace. A temporary win then, not a permanent one.
More details and links are on the London Cycling Campaign website.