Massive thanks to the 2500 Londoners who took to the streets for a people-friendly city

First, a huge thanks to every one of the 2500 people who joined our protest ride yesterday, especially our members and the hundreds who helped out before and on the day, no matter how small your contributions.

We know from previous 'Flashrides' on Blackfriars Bridge that so many of you are deeply concerned about the flawed plans being put in place there right now by Transport for London.

We also know from the hundreds of positive comments (from cyclists and pedestrians alike) that our own designs for the area have rung a positive note in your imaginations.

People-friendly streets

Yet we were still amazed by the turnout for yesterday’s ride: it's not every day that over two thousand Londoners turn up to support a vision for people-friendly streets. 

Thinking about it, we shouldn't be surprised at all, because it's not us telling you that that TfL’s plans for Blackfriars Bridge won’t solve the big safety issues – it’s you who are telling us.

You’ve told us loud and clear that you, your friends and your family desperately want the choice to cycle in and out of the city without taking your life in your hands.

You’ve told us that you want Blackfriars to be a flagship development, fit for a world-class 21st century city, not an ugly relic of the past where only motor traffic matters.

We share these beliefs, so where next?

The first thing that must happen is for the Mayor to recognise the strength of public opinion, as well as the cross-party consensus, all of which is telling him and Transport for London to think again.

We've given TfL the ideal launch pad by positively reinterpreting its own double T-junction design, so there's no excuse...

If a new design can’t be put in place next week (we recognise the station needs to open on time), then there MUST be a commitment to take action very soon.

Every candidate standing for next year’s mayoral candidate must commit to giving Londoners a safe and attractive Blackfriars as a top priority during the next mayoralty.

Blackfriars is the beginning

Throughout the summer, we've been keen to emphasise that the campaign over Blackfriars is part of a bigger, more widespread push for a people-friendly London.

And in the New Year, the London Cycling Campaign will be officially launching our Go Dutch campaign, voted for by our members, which will be pressing all the mayoral candidates to take London along the pathway towards safe and convenient cycling, and a truly people-friendly urban environment.

This means addressing every bad junction and every busy road, so they're safe and convenient for Londoners of all ages and experiences who want to cycle.

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be fleshing out the principles for what this means for London’s main roads, and in the New Year we’ll be publishing more exciting graphics and designs, showing what fantastic public spaces so many major locations in London could be.

Will you join us?

The best thing you can do to support our work is join us.

We're a membership charity, and it was our members who financed our impressive vision for Blackfriars.

Our members also gave us the resources to make these Blackfriars 'flashride' protests happen.

We ask you to support us now to give us the strength London's cyclists need in 2012 and beyond...  

Ashok Sinha
Chief executive, London Cycling Campaign

ps Let’s thank the London Assembly Members from all political parties who've publicly backed this cause. They've stood up for ordinary Londoners, so ‘well done’ for that.

pps Thanks to Ben B for the photos, plus two more from Ian Jones


How can it possibly make sense to complete this dangerous junction and then build another? The rebuild will still need roadworks, which will still be taking place around the working station. 

TFL should halt the works immediately, and re-think. The most efficient route is still surely to at least build some of a better design while the station is closed. 

TFL's argument that the roadworks need to be finished before the station opens are just another excuse to push through their dangerous design. A temporary solution for pedestrians can easily be designed, as it would if theywere renovating the junction while the station was open. Don't fall for their lies.

LCC needs to stop accepting this kind of bluster from TFL.

They need to say, loudly, that it is unacceptable to trade off cyclists injuries and deaths against motor traffic getting to its destination a few seconds faster. They need to say it is unacceptable to trade off cyclist injuries and deaths so the new station can look pretty on the date it's supposed to open. 

You really think TFL (or anyone else) will look again once the thing is built, in this time of austerity? We need to stop the works now.

It may not be possible to build LCC's scheme at this point, but the junction at least needs to be made safe - which means removing traffic lanes, increasing cycle lanes to a safe width, and ensuring that cyclists do not have to filter across more than one lane of traffic. This should not be negotiable.

This post was edited by baron samedi at 7:00am 13 October 2011.

Baron Samedi: I think we agree that the junction needs to be redesigned, but that will take time. What we want NOW is an agreement to review the junction completely. We don't want Transport for London rushing something through in a few weeks, and making a mess of it again.

The next design should be one good enough for the next 20-30 years, when cycling could reach continental levels... if we have future Mayor's with the right ambition and vision.

  • By gwawr at 9:46am 13 October 2011

We could ride across blackfriars bridge once a month in large numbers if we saw fit.

We're not blocking traffic, we are traffic. Critical Mass London.

Gather from 6pm outside the NFT cafe on the last friday of every month.


I think there are two issues here. I agree that the entire junction should be re-conceived. In the meantime, though, it is clearly possible to increase the safety of the junction they are building by reducing the number of traffic lanes at the right turns, and increasing the width of the cycle lanes. They should do be instructed to do this directly, as a matter of urgency.

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