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Barriers in London central bridges; cyclists protest width of lanes

Wednesday, June 7th 2017 - 09:24 UTC
Full article 56 comments
London Cycling Campaign said it was fully supportive of Met, TfL and boroughs involved taking urgent steps to provide extra protection for Londoners and visitors (Pic Reuters) London Cycling Campaign said it was fully supportive of Met, TfL and boroughs involved taking urgent steps to provide extra protection for Londoners and visitors (Pic Reuters)
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of the Metropolitan Police said there would be “increased physical measures on London’s bridges to keep the public safe”. Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of the Metropolitan Police said there would be “increased physical measures on London’s bridges to keep the public safe”.

Barriers have been installed on three central London bridges following the latest terror attack to hit the British capital. The structures have been introduced to stop traffic from mounting the pavement on Westminster, Lambeth and Waterloo bridges.

 But some cyclists claim they have made journeys more dangerous by reducing the width of cycle lanes. Commuters posted photographs of the barriers on social media as they made their way to work on Monday.

Twitter user Andy Silvester wrote: “Not a great sight for Londoners to wake up to. Concrete bollards being installed on Lambeth Bridge.” Another commuter, Jose Diaz, posted: “Waterloo Bridge this morning. They have installed a barrier … Not sure if this makes me feel more or less secure.”

Debbie Lye wrote: “Sad to see new barrier on Waterloo Bridge – it’s for our protection.” London’s bridges have been targeted in two terror attacks in recent weeks.

On Saturday pedestrians were mowed down by a van on London Bridge before attackers stabbed people in Borough Market, killing seven. Five people were killed on March 22 when Islamist extremist Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and then stabbed a police officer outside the Palace of Westminster.

Westminster City Council leader Nickie Aiken called for the barriers to be left in place in the long-term to boost security. She said: “People in Westminster need this kind of protective measure – it is sensible and proportionate.

“The kind of security barrier now in place on Westminster Bridge needs to be part of a permanent solution.”

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of the Metropolitan Police said on Sunday there would be “increased physical measures on London’s bridges to keep the public safe”. But Sam Jones, campaigns coordinator at Cycling UK, said there is “clear concern” among cyclists over the impact of the barriers on road safety, with some claiming the structures will reduce the distance between motor vehicles and bicycles.

He argued that while it is “understandable and right” that security is being enhanced, the charity wants to work with the relevant authorities to ensure “high standards of cycle provision can be maintained”.

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) said in a statement: “LCC is fully supportive of the Met, TfL (Transport for London) and the boroughs involved taking urgent steps to provide extra protection for Londoners and visitors to our city.

“It is also important that we do not allow this attack to impede people going about their business, including being able to cycle safely around the city.” A TfL spokesman said: “We are aware of the hostile vehicle mitigation measures being installed by the Met on some of London’s bridges and are supporting them with this work.”

 

Categories: Politics, International.

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  • gordo1

    DemonTree

    I live in a university city and the students think they own the place - it is rare to see a student cyclist actually using the highway. Just the pavements and with no protective gear or even warning bells. They are worse than the users of mobility scooters - who are usually deaf and blind to all pedestrians.

    Jun 07th, 2017 - 05:24 pm +4
  • Clyde15

    I can't see what the cyclists are complaining about when I look at the above picture. The cycle lane seems to be about the width of a small car. If they can't handle that, they should walk or use public transport.

    Of course it will not protect a cyclist from a van being driven at him. It's designed to protect the mass of pedestrians walking across the pavement on the bridge.

    Jun 07th, 2017 - 04:45 pm +2
  • Clyde15

    The problem is that our roads are too small to accommodate motor traffic and cyclists safely.
    My local council decided to put in a large cycle lane on one of the busiest trunk roads without any consultation. They made the lane about two meters wide with solid concrete blocks separating the lane from the main road, redesigned the bus stops with ramps resurfaced the lane with a blue non-slip surface. The result was mammoth traffic jams and gridlock as the resultant road width was too narrow for container lorries to pass each other safely. This road passes the main town cemetery where mourners parked their cars to attend burials. Parked cars brought the road to closure.

    Householders could not get their vehicles out of their driveways because the concrete blocks forced them to turn onto the far side of the road facing on-coming traffic.

    During the month the lane was in existence, it was hardly used by any cyclists. They would cycle on the quiet residential roads parallel to the main road.

    The road was finally put back to it's original condition wasting a couple of £100k.

    However, we have plenty of cycle tracks covering the country area which are ideal as no motor vehicles can use them.

    Anyway, cycling around where I live is a dodgy prospect because of the hilly nature of the land and the weather. Yesterday it was blowing a gale with horizontal rain. Anyone using a bike to commute would have to have a spare set of clothes and somewhere to dry out never mind the prospect of getting blown over by the wind. In winter time, exposure would probably kill you !

    Jun 08th, 2017 - 10:28 am +2
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