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TfL to rethink Blackfriars Bridge cycle lane proposal

Critics claimed plans would endanger riders

Transport for London has reopened consultation over the removal of a cycle lane leading on to Blackfriars bridge in the face of anger from the capital’s cycling community, reports the Evening Standard.

The road layout on the northern approach to the bridge was due to be changed as part of an upgrade of the railway station by Network Rail which affects some of the associated infrastructure.

However, cyclists claimed that the removal of a cycle lane outside the station would place them in danger from southbound traffic racing away from a set of traffic lights and attempting to “claim” one of two general traffic lanes before the start of a bus lane on the bridge.

A Transport for London (TfL) spokesperson said:

“As part of Network Rail’s ongoing Blackfriars Station improvement works, a revised road layout is currently being designed by Network Rail, TfL and the City of London to help accommodate the expected increase in passengers that use the station when it reopens later this year.

“Separate to this, TfL recently consulted with key stakeholders and cycling groups about creating a new cycle lane across the Blackfriars Bridge junction, which would allow cyclists to turn right from Embankment onto Blackfriars Bridge more easily. During this consultation, a number of concerns about the more widespread layout changes have been raised.

“TfL is now carrying out further engagement with key stakeholders into the proposed changes to junction design and will feedback any significant issues that are raised to Network Rail’s consultants.”

Blackfriars bridge has previously had a poor safety record with two cyclist deaths in the space of 15 months earlier in the last decade, including that of Vicki McCreery in 2004.

The present upgrade project is a joint venture between Network Rail, Transport for London and the City of London. As for the question of where the buck ultimately stops for the road layout element, has asked and we are awaiting clarification.

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A V Lowe | 13 years ago

There is a mild irony that many rail industry officials will actually need to walk or cycle from Blackfriars Station or further afield to reach the major rail offices at Friarsgate House.

The cycle traffic was greatly boosted by closure of the Waterloo & City Line in 2006-07 when hundreds of rail commuters started cycling from Waterloo to the City of London informal interviews and observed behaviour (TfL count indicates 15% of Northbound cycle traffic on Blackfriars Bridge is coming from Waterloo) Is nobody putting this data into a traffic modelling simulation? Or even doing something as simple as interviewing/surveying cyclists for O&D postcodes and e-mail/phone for follow up?

Paul M | 13 years ago

Technically it is not a consultation, but an "engagement" which I think is TfL saying that they don't think they have to take any notice of the results. They do however now have a formidable line-up of local politicians - John Biggs, Val Shawcross, Jenny Jones and possibly Caroline Pidgeon, all London Assembly members - challenging their plans. We'd like some local tories on-side too, but not sure which ones.

If you have a view on the subject please make sure you get it across to them. the address for comments can be found on the TfL website at

Separately, the pols are attacking TfL about the lamentable provision for cyclists and pedestrians at the southern end of the bridge. Cyclists coming south en route to Waterloo have to negotiate a dreadful crossing arrangeemnt to get into Upper Ground, but the real scandal, of long standing, is the lack of provision for pedestrians to cross Stamford Street at the crossroads with Blackfriars Road thousands of commuters make this journey every day between Waterloo and the Fleet St area, and have to play chicken with the traffic to cross here.

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