London Garden Bridge between Temple and South Bank

There is an application for planning permission for a new garden bridge between Temple and the South Bank.  It seems like a nice idea - and an excellent opportunity for a new, safe bridge for cycling and walking over the river.

 

The only problem is, the proposal prohibits cycling.

 

Is the London Cycling Campaign going to make a submission to the planning officers? Surely a cycle path would be in accordance with the need to improve cycling facilities, which is a priority for all London boroughs?

 

http://planning-docs.lambeth.gov.uk/AnitePublicDocs/00486141.pdf

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The planning document makes it very clear that this is not a bridge for people to cycle over. It very graciously makes provision for bicycles to be wheeled over but for a structure that touts itself as green and sustainable, it is very much not Space for Cycling. 

More disturbing is point 8.2.19 "Lack of connecting routes to the bridge e.g. cycling is discouraged by the South Bank Employers Group (SBEG) along The Queen’s Walk".

The SBEG includes Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Trust. Given the health burden to Lambeth residents from their curent lack of exercise e.g. 25% childhood obesity rates, it does seem extraordinary that GST would be discouraging exercise of any form on the Queen's Walk. In addition there are two universities, King's and the South Bank, whose students would find cycling a cost-effective way of travelling within London.

The SBEG is within Lambeth whose Council have stated that they wish to make Lambeth a place where cycling is normal for everyone: young, old, women, men, rich and poor. 

The document seems to be a rallying call against 'Space for Cycling' and bolsters the SBEG desire to rid the South Bank of cyclists in collusion with Lambeth Council. The recent planning document for the expansion of activities by Merlin Group at the old City Hall confirms this with Lambeth Council acknowledging that the proposed changes would further restrict access for cyclists on the Queen's Walk - so much for ecouraging cycling for all of its residents.

LCC should write to the relevant bodies and challenge their failure to promote Space for Cycling on this new bridge as well as along the Queen's Walk.

Yep, another case of "look at the shiny thing and don't ask awkward questions" box ticker. :(

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