Hundreds of London cyclists turn out for Flashride to protest against Blackfriars 'urban motorways'

Estimates vary from 500 to 2000 but whatever the true number, a massive number of London cyclists occupied the whole of Blackfriars Bridgeon Friday night as a protest against Transport for London's plans to proceed with the flawed design for the northern junction.

TfL is also refusing to implement a 20mph speed limit on the bridge, which would be  a massive benefit to safety.

LCC's Mike Cavenett said, "Many thanks to everyone who came along to show their support for a better Blackfriars.

"The huge turnout for this protest ride shows the passion for cycling in London, and the desire among ordinary Londoners to enjoy safer and more people-friendly streets.

"Blackfriars must not be redesigned as an urban motorway: it's time London moved on."

photos: Ian Jones & Tom Bogdanowicz

More photos: Ed Scoble


  • By Andrew at 10:46am 30 July 2011

I signed the petition, I support the campaign.  But...

It’s ironic that a demo about safety for cyclists resulted in unsafe cycling by some of the demonstrators.

It’s really unfortunate that the demo left a powerful impression of reckless and discourteous cycling by some of the demonstrators. Ignoring traffic regulations – cycling through red traffic lights, on the wrong side of the road and on the pavements – does nothing but harm; it re-enforces the negative stereotype of cyclist as antisocial hooligan.

And a message to those pavement cyclists: it is wrong of you to aggressively harass pedestrians who you say ‘get in your way’. The pavement is for pedestrians. If you’re too scared to use the road, don’t cycle, take the bus.



A fantastic evening. I didn't cycle to work that day so hired a Boris Bike (ironic?). A good natured ride on a lovely evening. Considering the failure of TFL to address serious concerns about the changes to the bridge's road layout I think this was justified direct action. Well done to those who initiated the ride and thanks to everyone else who turned up.

Andrew - the only dangerous actions I witnessed was carried out by a motorcyclist trying to force his way through the ride.

Well done with the demonstration! Keep the pressure on TfL until they bring their collective heads and arses out of the sand.

LCC, please put the call out for another protest on Monday morning. I really enjoyed the last Blackfriars flashride, and was annoyed that I couldn't make it last night.


During that demonstration was problably the safest time that any of those cylists have been on the roads.

The motor traffic was slow and they could ride at a comfortable pace with lots of time to perform their manouvers.

Whilst I agree it is unfortunate that people did not obey the rules of the road with regards to the traffic lights it is near impossible to mandate to that number of people. The point of the protest was not that cyclists should be seen as model citizens of the road, but that they are citizens of the road and require adequate provisions.

Rather than condeming people who cycle on pavements I see it as a symptom of a problem. If you feel unsafe on the roads and you choose not to use another mode of transport either for moral or fiscal reasons then I can see why the pavement looks so inviting.

This does not give you the right to intimidate pedestrians, and neither does it make it less illegal, but what alternatives are there? You have no provision on the road, it is a dangerous place where a careless driver can kill you with ease. On a pavement you will be unlikely to harm anyone on a bike, and vice versa a pedestrian is unlikley to harm you. Well at least out of choice.

I'd rather come up with a solution that means people do not have to be brought into conflict with pedestrians than scorning them for making quite a rational decision.



  • By gegi at 3:31pm 30 July 2011

What fantastic support last night! TfL's same old rant about "balancing the needs of all road users" (if only) and their sorry attempts to put cyclists against pedestrians no longer wash.

Let's not forget the design once proposed by TfL and endorsed by LCC (the double-T junction) will benefit pedestrians most of all.

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  • By Jon at 1:53pm 2 August 2011

Great protest, but what is the next stage? How should cyclists pursue a positive result? This is an issue on which LCC should show leadership, but this story has no reference to what the next stage of the campaign, if any, will be.

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  • By movie2k at 8:27pm 2 September 2015

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