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According to TfL’s 2013 cycle census, almost a third of morning peak-hour traffic on the bridge is bikes

Major safety improvements are planned for London’s Westminster Bridge and surrounding roads.  Plans being consulted on by Transport for London (TfL) feature a new cycle and pedestrian-friendly junction at the bridge’s southern end and include an option for segregated cycle lanes across it.

According to TfL’s 2013 cycle census, almost a third of morning peak-hour traffic on the bridge is bikes. Proposals involve giving cyclists dedicated space and separate cycle signals at junctions, while improvements for pedestrians would include upgraded crossings, clearer footways and a new pedestrian crossing on Westminster Bridge Road.

A new trial 20mph speed limit has also been proposed for the bridge itself, part of Westminster Bridge Road, Addington Street and York Road.

TfL say the improvements would open up safer cycle links from Waterloo station and south London to the new East-West Cycle Superhighway, which is currently under construction, and would also give cyclists a high quality route from Waterloo to Parliament Square, the Embankment, Marble Arch, Paddington, Blackfriars and the City.

The project is part of TfL’s £4bn Road Modernisation Plan and subject to the results of the public consultation, work could begin in summer 2016.

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said:

“London is rapidly changing and that is why we are modernising our roads to keep pace with it. We can turn a potentially hazardous junction into a safer place for cyclists and pedestrians by redesigning this area. Our proposed safety improvements would benefit Londoners and commuters of London’s busiest railway station, Waterloo, who would have better walking and cycling links to and from the station.”

Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor’s cycling commissioner, said the work would ‘vastly improve another of London’s trickiest big junctions.’

“After completion of this scheme, our intention is segregated lanes on Westminster Bridge Road to fill the short quarter-mile gap between it and the North-South Superhighway on St George’s Road. You would then be able to cycle on fully-segregated or traffic-free routes from Paddington, Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner to Elephant and Castle.”

Bridges in the capital have often come in for criticism from campaigners for being particularly dangerous for cyclists. Following the death of Chris Tandy on London Bridge last year, Islington Cycle Action Group’s Chris Casalotti said that he had always dreaded going onto the bridge on the grounds that it featured a narrow road offering no protection to cyclists. “With roads like ours it only takes a small mistake by someone on a cycle before there is a serious accident,” he said.

In 2012, a TfL audit into the safety of the Blackfriars Bridge redesign showed that in spite of a sustained protest by cycle campaigners in the city, the new road layout was dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. Over £2m had been spent on making the junction at the north end of the bridge flow differently.

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8 comments

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NOC40 [37 posts] 2 years ago
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which is the "southern end" of this east-west bridge?

More seriously, i really wish tfl would stop adding segregated cycleways to london roads. they take up way too much space and just reinforce the "them vs us" mentality. good for boris bikes and kids, but that represents way less than 5% of the traffic over the bridge at rush hour i would guess

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NOC40 [37 posts] 2 years ago
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i should have looked at the plans first: there are 2 options for the bridge itself: a 2.3m "mandatory" cycle lane (no cars allowed) separate from a bus lane, or a 1.8m physically separated bike lane, which will be too narrow to overtake safely in my view.

your vote counts though

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/westminster-bridge-south/consulta...

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mrmo [2096 posts] 2 years ago
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Read the article, 30% of peak traffic is bikes, on that basis space should be reassigned away from cars, which currently account for the vast majority of space and reassign it over to bikes and pedestrians. Roads in urban areas need to be reconsidered, assuming car is king is what is destroying so much. 

 

NOC40 wrote:

which is the "southern end" of this east-west bridge?

Does anyone really need that answering! 

 

Quote:

More seriously, i really wish tfl would stop adding segregated cycleways to london roads. they take up way too much space and just reinforce the "them vs us" mentality. good for boris bikes and kids, but that represents way less than 5% of the traffic over the bridge at rush hour i would guess

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Jem PT [153 posts] 2 years ago
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I use this bridge every day, and there are already bike lanes for most of the way (but not segregated). The biggest danger is tourist pedestrians stepping off the pavement into the cycle lane without looking - I wonder what they will do to stop this?

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Bikebikebike [377 posts] 2 years ago
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Jem PT wrote:

I use this bridge every day, and there are already bike lanes for most of the way (but not segregated). The biggest danger is tourist pedestrians stepping off the pavement into the cycle lane without looking - I wonder what they will do to stop this?

No, the biggest danger is not pedestrians. 

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bikebot [2118 posts] 2 years ago
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NOC40 wrote:

i should have looked at the plans first: there are 2 options for the bridge itself: a 2.3m "mandatory" cycle lane (no cars allowed) separate from a bus lane, or a 1.8m physically separated bike lane, which will be too narrow to overtake safely in my view.

your vote counts though

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/westminster-bridge-south/consulta...

I need to take a good look at those designs, but my instinct would be for the physically separated lane rather than the mandatory lane at that location.  I can put up with a narrow lane for short sections (such as a bridge), and at a location like that you'd have far too many problems with taxi drivers taking the piss and setting down in the lane, or letting the passenger door open into its path.

If the kerbs are done right, the usable width of 1.8m is enough to carefully overtake.  It would also be useful to put gaps in the physical separation, so that you can pull out to overtake if necessary.

 

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Al__S [1284 posts] 2 years ago
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With more intelligent thought (and a lot more work at the east end, on the south bank- complicated when a west-east river is breifly flowing south-north) the space being allocated to cycling would more usefully be used as a 4m+ wide bi directional cycleway. At the "north" end of the bridge it'll be meeting the East-West Superhighway, which comes along the river and enters Parliament Square on the Palace of Westminster side of the road. You could then continue this down  Westminster Bridge Road to meet the North-South Superhighway at St George's Circus.

I'm in agreement that 1.8m segregated lanes are far too narrow. There's about 18m of roadway to play with on the bridge (and more off it). Two 3m general traffic lanes, two 3.5m Bus lanes, a 4.5m cycleway and a 0.5m median. Simple.

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Edgeley [523 posts] 2 years ago
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The biggest dangers on Westminster Bridge are the hideous junctions at either end.  Including the blocked signed cycle route by County Hall.  The bridge itself normally seems fine.