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.”