London Cycling Campaign shows Blackfriars can be made safe and attractive for cycling and walking

Today the London Cycling Campaign published a new design for the controversial Blackfriars junction that makes it significantly better for cycling and walking than Transport for London’s current plans.

See how traffic moves through the junctions, PLUS street-level images 

LCC’s radically different road layout features protected cycle lanes and safe turns with cyclist-specific traffic lights, as well as convenient crossings for pedestrians.

750m2 of easily accessible public space would also be opened up outside the Unilever building for recreation or other purposes.

The layout is based on a double-T junction design that was rejected by TfL (apparently on non-technical grounds) early in the planning stage of the £550 million Blackfriars project.

It’s estimated that LCC’s new cycling-safe design would add only 1% to the cost of the three-year Blackfriars development, but could save lives and prevent serious injuries.

Two cyclists have been killed on the bridge in recent years, and several serious crashes have been reported already this year.

Urban planner Richard Lewis, who led LCC’s design team, said, “Our layout is based on continental principles, which eliminate junction conflicts that put cyclists at risk.”

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said, “Our visionary design provides larger and better spaces for people on bikes and on foot, but also retains bus and vehicle lanes.

“We hope these graphics stimulate debate among cyclists, pedestrians and city planners, so together we can come up with a solution that’s fit for all Londoners.

“Our city deserves to be a global leader in sustainable transport and liveable public spaces, not an also-ran.”

LCC has organised a ‘flashride’ at Blackfriars on Wednesday 12 October, when over 1000 cyclists and pedestrians are expected to call on Mayor Boris Johnson to intervene to make Blackfriars safe.

Tell us what you think...

We've had hundreds of tweets (@london_cycling) about our designs, and we're looking forward to hearing your feedback.

Replies

  • By paul at 12:14pm 10 October 2011

Very impressive and well presented proposals.

  • By Austen at 12:46pm 10 October 2011

Looks really good - all we need now is for TfL to get their finger out and put these ideas into effect. 

Fundamentally this looks good and I hope to support the flashride on Wednesday. However it looks as though you are not allowing northbound motor traffic to turn left on to Victoria Embankment. I can see that this makes life safer for cyclists, but it strikes me it will make this design a non-starter unless you have a very good alternative route for motor traffic which would otherwise do this.

  • By carolyn at 1:27pm 10 October 2011

Brilliant, so why does TFL find it so difficult to create ped/cyclist friendly layout?

Vastly better than TfL plans.  Any comments from Boris yet?

Adam

 

Fantastic work, all!

@itrought

There's no banned left turn into Embankment, though it's not shown on the animation (an error on our part)

Conflict-free left turns are possible into Embankment at the same time as cars and bikes turn right OUT of Embankment and head south - ie, during the first few seconds of animation 2

Thanks for pointing this out

@LCC

Fair enough, but in that case, motor traffic will have to be prevented from turning left when cyclists are going straight ahead, which may mean that the left hand northbound motor lane should be made left turn only.

  • By bigpete at 6:11pm 10 October 2011

Simply beautiful. I can hear the sounds of stress-free city bustle just by looking at it.

This post was edited by bigpete at 6:20pm 10 October 2011.

This is a sensible plan and beautifully presented. However I don't see the need for advanced stop lines at the T-junctions, because motor traffic and cycles seem to be completely separated at these junctions. Is this an error?

  • By Bruce at 8:49pm 10 October 2011

Excellent positive response contribution. 

Issue of left turns from bridge onto enbankment when going north is not a big one.  In my experience using the bridge, not much traffic goes left there. 

On the TfL presentation they ruled out the double T layout as follows:"This was ruled out by all parties early in the process due to:
• space constraints within the junction
• weaknesses in the structure of the bridge at certain locations
• the potential for disruption to the local network
• uncertainties with timescales and cost"

The last 2 points are really vague. the first one appears to be wrong judging by the LCC design.  But is there a structural issue with the bridge?

Fantastic campaign. The graphics and animation bring it totally to life. Great mix of cycling shown there in the 'pictures'! Even a bendy bus there too...... Even if this one isn't won (which I really hope it is) it's a fantastic vision of future campaigns all over London. Please do this kind of thing - fundraising for it if need be - for a whole range of inner London Go Dutch locations/routes. (And outer London / Biking Boroughs if possible too. But inner London is more iconic.) This is exactly what cycling in London has been waiting for. Well done LCC and everyone involved. See you @Blackfriars on Wednesday.

  • By emrobs at 9:39pm 10 October 2011

beautiful and inspiring - I want all our streets to look like this.   You've finally persuaded me to sign up for membership!

 

  • By OWilliam at 10:20pm 10 October 2011

This content was deleted by OWilliam at 10:22pm 10 October 2011.

I like the simplicity of the two separate junctions in LCC's layout. I note that LCC's layout allows general traffic to turn right from Victoria Embankment onto Blackfriars Bridge, which I believe is a significant difference from TfL's proposals.

LCC's layout appears very pro-segregation of cyclists, for example the separate traffic signals for southbound cyclists going ahead onto Blackfriars Bridge and southbound cyclists turning right onto Victoria Embankment. I strongly support the cycle lanes and advanced stop lines, but I wonder whether all these separate signals are over-complicating an otherwise admirably simple layout.

The graphics might need a minor tweak - just behind the rear of the bendy bus there appears to be a white-coloured stop line for southbound cyclists inside the junction. Not sure if this is intentional.

Excellent work and very well presented.

I'm all for a radical design, but I think I'd start by blocking the ramp up from the Victoria Embankment (and diverting that flow via Puddle Dock). Blocking that ramp would get rid of the horrible multi-lane merge-then-split arrangement on the northbound side. You're showing a right turn off that ramp onto the bridge, which doesn't exist at the moment, and is unnecessary.

The existing design has three junctions in quick succession: if you get rid of the middle one, then there won't need to be nearly as many lanes for the queues, and the whole area will become a lot calmer. It doesn't make the queues go away, just makes them longer & narrower. But that makes them a lot safer.

I'd probably also start by putting in bus/cycle lanes (no taxis and no m'bikes) and ASLs, with a view to converting that space to cycle tracks later if necessary. Given what else cyclists have to put up with in central London (including at the other end of the bridge!), some short sections of track and complicated filter arrangements will probably have limited additional benefit.

Squaring up the junctions is great in terms of slowing things down, and making queues longer/thinner/slower. If there's enough capacity for a direct right turn out of Queen Victoria Street, then go for it, but I'd keep a teardrop design in reserve if not.

  • By methers at 3:59pm 11 October 2011

I'm another one who has signed up to the LCC having seen your plans for Blackfriars. Bravo! Alas I can't be there for the flashride, but I hope it's a big success.

  • By willmow at 5:52pm 11 October 2011

Northbound traffic still cuts across cyclist flow when turning left onto ramp leading down to Victoria Embankment, no?

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