London Assembly takes action on Blackfriars

Regular readers and cyclists in the know will have been following the ongoing saga regarding the re-design of Blackfriars Bridge with interest, and thank you everyone for your support so far.  First we managed to convince Transport for London to 're-engage' on their proposals, then somehow they were able to magic space up out of nowhere to re-instate the cycle lanes they had planned to tear up.  Then, a week ago 100s of cyclists took to the streets telling TfL that their plans still fell short of creating conditions which were inviting cycling for all, and that they must do better.  Now, next Friday the 8th June, supportive London Assembly members will be tabling a motion calling on the Mayor to retain the 20mph zone currently in place on the bridge.

The motion is as follows...

"This Assembly regrets the Mayor's failure to retain the temporary 20mph speed limit on Blackfriars Bridge in the permanent new scheme for the bridge.

We note the recommendation for a 20 mph speed limit on four London bridges in a 2008 Transport for London report, and the recent decision of the Corporation of London to ask officers to bring forward plans for the whole of the City of London to become a 20mph zone, including TfL roads.

We ask the Mayor to reconsider his rejection of a 20mph limit on Blackfriars Bridge, in the interests of the safety of all its users."

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Flashride cyclists call for better conditions on Blackfriars Bridge

Support of Assembly Members like Val Shawcross, Jenny Jones and John Biggs has been invaluable throughout the whole Blackfriars saga, and it is so reassuring to know that there is support across many political parties for creating spaces in our city which are balanced, people-friendly and planning for the future growth of cycling in London.  And there can be no doubt that TfL's plans would have introduced the total opposite of this; their backwards-facing 1960s-style motorway-like plans will make one of London's major thoroughfares an anti-people, anti-walking and anti-cycling space.  Leading with Blackfriars, similar plans for Vauxhall Bridge, Parliament Square and other major bridges and junctions in London will follow.  This is why what's been dubbed 'the battle for Blackfriars' is so important.

There is no genuine reason as to why the current 20mph zone on Blackfriars can't be retained - the current speed limit works well on what is one of the only spaces in central London where traffic can really accelerate - this is not the sort of place we ought to be encouraging people to drive faster.

A 20mph zone is not the most ideal provision for inviting cycling but if the Mayor and TfL are insisting on going ahead with their motorway-like scheme with its tiny little bike lanes, it seems it might be the best we can hope for.

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Flashride cyclists call for better conditions on Blackfriars Bridge

The London Cycling Campaign are asking us all - cyclists of London, people who walk in London, people who would like to cycle in London - to support the Assembly Members tabling the 20mph motion.  The vote next Friday is likely to be a close-run thing as the Conservative majority are expected to fall in line behind their Mayor and vote against it.  So please ensure you click on this link to the LCC's petition to submit your support.

And why not use Write to Them to get in touch with your local Assembly Member (perhaps target the Coservatives who are expected to vote against?) to tell them why you think 20mph on Blackfriars and the Assembly's support for cycling is essential.

Please, sign up your support on the LCC's page and spread the word!  We've got a week.



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1 comment:

workbike said...

Well done you. I keep wondering if we could get a flashmob together here but the only campaigners for cycling are of the older generation and probably wouldn't understand such an idea. They just organise rides with local politicians which is a fine idea but totally ineffective: usually it becomes an hour of said politicians dictating what will be done and Why You Cyclists Ride Badly.