Works to install protected cycle lanes on Westminster Bridge that were due to have begun on Wednesday have been delayed in the wake of last week’s terrorist attack outside the Houses of Parliament that left four people dead.
Earlier this month, Transport for London (TfL) announced that it would be installing protect cycle lanes on both sides of the bridge, as well as putting a new pedestrian crossing on Westminster Bridge Road.
Other safety improvements included a bus-stop by-pass being installed outside St Thomas’s Hospital, and the speed limit on the bridge being cut to 20 miles an hour once the works, anticipated to last a year, are finished.
But last week’s attack in which 52-year-old Khalid Masood killed three people and injured dozens more by driving his car along the footpath on the southside of the bridge before exiting the vehicle and stabbing PC Keith Palmer to death has seen the works postponed, with no date as to when they will start.
TfL’s managing director of surface transport, Leon Daniels, said: “Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of those affected by the terrorist incident in Westminster.
“Works on and around Westminster Bridge were due to start next week to improve the area for cyclists and pedestrians, but we have temporarily postponed this work while we engage with a range of key stakeholders, including parliamentary estates.”
As the Google Street View image below shows, Westminster Bridge currently has a short length of protected cycleway on the western end of its southern carriageway.
The kerbed protection continues on Bridge Street, which links the East-West Cycle Superhighway between the Victoria Embankment and Parliament Square.
Last week Lord Carlile, a crossbench peer who until 2011 was the government’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, suggested that the protected cycle lane could have made it easier for Masood to drive onto the pavement.
Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, he said: "There may have to be changes in the way we protect parliament and other major buildings."
He added: "We may have to look at the new traffic arrangements around Westminster, which have changed in the last few months and opened up a wide new cycle lane along which this vehicle travelled uninterrupted."
Westminster Bridge would have been the fourth in Central London to have protected cycle lanes, joining Blackfriars, Southwark and Vauxhall bridges.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.