Last week, the London Assembly voted unanimously to call on the Mayor to instruct TfL to implement a full review of a 20mph limit on Blackfriars Bridge, for TfL to review their decision to revert to a 30mph limit and to urge the Mayor to revisit the plans for the bridge as a whole.
The London assembly has been ignored. The Mayor has not acted. TfL start work tomorrow.
The London Assembly excelled themselves on this occasion. We've damned them before when they can’t get their act together, but felt proud to see them finding the way that all could agree on – that’s local politics at it’s best. Andrew Boff, who has been criticised on these pages for not following through on his opinions, was reportedly instrumental in carrying the conservative block – so credit to him.
This scheme has been unanimously voted against in the London Assembly, petitioned by cyclists, condemned by the LCC, described as inadequate by The Automobile Association (the AA!), ruled dangerous by the TfL safety audit and criticised by the Mayor.
The Mayor said "what I do think is that more work needs to be done on cycling over Blackfriars Bridge and the accessibility of cycling over Blackfriars Bridge”. He’s the Mayor, he’s supposed to be in charge. Why are they not listening?
Campaigners are calling this the ‘Battle for Blackfriars’, but this is a battle over our streets on behalf of everyone who uses them who doesn’t think that traffic speed should be the holy grail of town planning. It’s as much about the removal of the pedestrian crossing on New Bridge Street. It’s as much about the Vauxhall Gyratory, Parliament Square, the Archway roundabout and the Elephant and Castle. This is about creating streets where we live, rather than building roads where some drive.
Mark from IBikeLondon said "People are really afraid of what Blackfriars Bridge will become if TfL steam ahead with their plans to turn this junction in to an urban motorway. Increased speed limits, more lanes for cars and narrow, unsafe, sub-standard cycle lanes do not a safe and inviting cycling environment make. Despite the protestations of thousands of everyday and ordinary cyclists and pedestrians, despite the Mayor stating he is concerned about the designs, and despite all parties at the GLA backing a motion calling for the designs to be reviewed, TfL seem hell-bent on going ahead anyway. What else can we do but take to the street to protest for our own safety and the many thousands of other cyclists who use this bridge every day?"
Tomorrow night’s protest ride meets at 6pm at Doggets pub on the south of Blackfriars Bridge and will then join the Friday Critical Mass. Keep up to date with evolving details on IbikeLondon, and please share this with your friends and colleagues.