Blackfriars Bridge flash ride will reflect cyclists' anger

Cycling groups join forces to protest dangerous junction and 30mph plans

by Mark Appleton   July 28, 2011  

Blackfriars Bridge.jpg

It is being dubbed the Battle for Blackfriars and the call to arms – or at least bikes – has gone out across London.

The capital’s cyclists are being summoned to a flash ride tomorrow evening at 6pm on Blackfriars Bridge to protest the failure by Transport for London to alter its designs for what has been condemned by cycling advocates as a dangerous junction on the bridge's north side.

Protesters will also call for the current 20mph speed limit on the bridge to be retained.

Work on the road layout is being carried out as part of a £550 million, three year upgrade to Blackfriars station which is due to reopen later this year and the flash ride has been called as heavy equipment is moved into place to begin work at the junction over the weekend.

A number of groups including Critical Mass, the London Cycling Campaign, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain plus politicians and sundry bloggers, tweeters and interested parties are urging cyclists to attend the ride to demonstrate a united front against a failure by Transport for London to adequately address their concerns.

Mike Cavenett of the London Cycling Campaign told “People are really angry and dissatisfied with what’s happening. There appeared to be a consensus whereby the London Assembly members and even the Mayor himself agreed that there was a problem at Blackfriars but now it’s been announced that the works are going ahead.

“To show our anger we’re going to get as many cyclists as possible to ride across the bridge. It’s a symbolic gesture we’re not planning to disrupt the work but we do want to show politicians that there is a lot of anger out there.”

Riders are being asked to congregate at the Doggett's pub on the south side of the bridge shortly before 6pm tomorrow, July 29. The plan is for protesters to link up with a scheduled Critical Mass ride which is due to begin at Waterloo also at 6pm.

7 user comments

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I will be going and taking my new Nikon camera.

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
28th July 2011 - 15:38


londonplayer wrote:
I will be going and taking my new Nikon camera.

I wonder if the coppers will be taking their cameras.

posted by Coleman [330 posts]
28th July 2011 - 16:46


how will the new junction look like, any drawings?

DanGot's picture

posted by DanGot [28 posts]
28th July 2011 - 17:00


I will be going and I will be flashing.

493rd in GC Fantasy TdF 2014

Sanderville's picture

posted by Sanderville [254 posts]
28th July 2011 - 20:27


You'll be flashing? Didn't know it was another naked bike ride

Chris's picture

posted by Chris [115 posts]
29th July 2011 - 17:04


Well I rode across the bridge and back. Before we set off we were asked not to jump any red lights, and then as soon as we came to the first set of lights we were being shouted at to ride straight through.

One knob on a Hayabusa-like tried to force his way through the protest, hit a cyclist then did a noisy U-turn back the way he came.

I just missed being live on telly as I rode out of shot right as a reporter started talking to camera.

One motorbike cop turned up, sirens blaring, forcing his way through the bikes but then stopped in the middle of the bridge and was just smiling and saying hello to everyone.

I turned left and went home after coming back over the bridge instead of riding on to meet Critical Mass as it was getting a bit tedious - I was stuck behind an old woman who couldn't balance and who kept stopping to put a foot down.

Then I had to fight my way through snarled-up traffic that the protest had caused. Never mind, it's all in a good cause.

493rd in GC Fantasy TdF 2014

Sanderville's picture

posted by Sanderville [254 posts]
29th July 2011 - 20:00


Just got back home after the bridge ride. I didn't cycle into work today so tried out a Boris Bike. Rather ironic considering the chants for Johnson to take notice.

The ride was well attended but I'm terrible at estimating numbers in crowds. A pleasant evening weather wise and I only heard one taxi driver shouting abuse. There was a great deal of support from people in town.

I saw the bloke trying to force his way through the ride on his motorbike. Revving his engine got many jeers from the drinkers at the Black Friar. Very amusing.

A good demo for a serious topic. If only TFL would pay attention.

posted by Coleman [330 posts]
29th July 2011 - 20:27