TfL promises review of Blackfriars Bridge in response to criticisms

Transport for London has promised a review of "the widespread road layout" in response to campaigners' criticisms of the plans for Blackfriars Bridge, which fail to adequately address cyclist safety.

An LCC activist has received a reply to his letter complaining about the new design.

The letter outlines the reason for the current plans and promises a review (read the letter here).

The reasons given expose the failure to address cyclist safety adequately and show how motor traffic has been prioritised absolutely, even though the number of cyclists using the bridge has tripled since 2003, and cyclists now form one third of the traffic at peak times .

The new plans, designed by Network Rail consultants, give more space for pedestrians, allowing better access to Blackfriars Station.

Yet despite the threefold increase in cycle traffic, planners are determined to maintain capacity for motor traffic, based on irrational fears about increased congestion.

Last week we criticised the flaws in the current plans, which include taking out a cycle lane to find the space for the pedestrians.

The concerns about 'widespread congestion' are based on outdated computer modelling, not reality.

Clare Neely, of LCC's engineering committee, said, "In reality, people are more intelligent than the models suggest; they find other ways of making short trips that are no longer sensibly done by car.

"Evidence from other bridges shows that TfL's predicted gridlock doesn't happen: the construction work at Blackfriars Station, and at other sites up and down that railway line simply haven't created massive congestion.

"The errors made at Blackfriars Bridge expose the inadequate nature of the modelling assumptions that have led to an inappropriate roads being designed all over London.

"Wrongly, models insist we need multi-lane highways and huge gyratories, which aren't fit for purpose in a city densely populated with cyclists and walkers."