Transport for London dropped cycle-friendly plan for Blackfriars

Documents requested by LCC show that Transport for London was working on a more cycle-friendly double T-junction plan for Blackfriars as long ago as 2007.

The designs were originally supported by the City of London and echoed similar proposals from LCC and other campaigners.

TfL says the plan was dropped because of ‘capacity’ and space issues.

In its response to the recent consultation on Blackfriars junction, LCC has called for the cycle-friendly design to be reinstated as a basis for improvements.

TfL has acknowledged that the current TfL/Network Rail junction design is based on 2007 statistics for the number of cyclists riding over the bridge.

Since 2007, cycle flows across Blackfriars have increased sharply (they doubled from 2006 to 2010) while car use has dropped.

The 2007 proposal for the Blackfriars junction would have eliminated the ‘skewed gyratory’ as well as the teardrop island in its centre.

A straight-through route along New Bridge Street would have had one T-junction at the Embankment and another at Queen Victoria Street.

The gyratory would have been removed and the need for cyclists to cross lanes of traffic when approaching the bridge would have been eliminated.

Unlike the present design, which eliminates a crucial section of cycle lane, the original proposal retained all cycle lanes and also created public space outside Unilever House.

LCC submitted detailed proposals to improve safety for cyclists to the TfL consultation, which closed on 15 April 2011.