Blackfriars Bridge: What next?

London Cycle campaigners are campaigning to keep the 20mph speed limit in place for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians

The Conservative Assembly members walkout is an outcome few could have predicted from the Blackfriars Bridge cycle safety discussion.

The discussion largely surrounds a 20mph limit that has been in place during construction work on the bridge. TfL, with the support of Mayor Boris Johnson, plan on removing the 20mph limit in favour of a 30mph limit. The reasoning being, traffic congestion would follow, if the limit is not raised.

There is a growing list of supporters for the 20mph limit. Not least of which is the City of London, which has recommended a 20mph limit on all of London’s central bridges. Support has also come from Labour, the Liberal-Democrats and the Greens. It seemed the only people standing in the way of a certain victory for cyclists and pedestrians are the Conservative Assembly Members.

The supporters of the 20mph have presented a compelling argument. On a bridge where the number of cyclists and pedestrians already outweighs the number of motorists, it seems completely illogical to raise the speed limit. From the perspective of a cyclist, it is not only less pleasant to cycle next to high moving traffic but also more difficult for anyone wishing to change lanes.

Whilst experienced cyclists may scoff at this notion, it is not the experienced cyclists that need to be encouraged to use their bicycle as a way of getting around. As the author of the Crap Walthamstow blog put it:

If you make driving by car fast and convenient, and make cycling slow, unsafe and inconvenient, people who can afford to choose between the two will generally prefer to use a car.

So what’s next?

Emails from Local London Assembly members, John Briggs and Valerie Shawcross, indicate that this will again be raised at the next Transport for London Committee meeting. With increasing attention on the issue it is highly unlikely it will just slide.

The walkout is reported to not be in relation relation to this motion, but instead over a debate of the number of Conservative chairs of committees as well as some off-hand comments by Ken Livingstone regarding a Conservative member.

The indicators are that the 20mph limit motion will eventually pass.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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2 Responses to Blackfriars Bridge: What next?

  1. Tom 09/06/2011 at 9:24 am #

    “The Conservative Assembly members walkout is an outcome few could have predicted”

    I predicted it yesterday morning (to be accurate, I said it would either pass or the Tories would render the LA inquorate again) – they do it quite frequently to scupper debate on motions they don’t like, but usually no one’s watching.

    What’s interesting here is that yesterday’s messing about is possibly the first time a lot of people have watched the LA in action, and conclusions will be being drawn. It’s also worth noting that Andrew Boff, one of the walkout, is on record as being in favour of the 20mph being retained, but not in voting for it which is a trifle odd for an elected representative.

  2. robbie craig 09/06/2011 at 5:24 pm #

    Are these people still entitled to claim their expenses for this meeting ?

    I was surprised that they walked out though, I understand from the press that one or two prefer to use taxis paid for by citizens.

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