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TfL promises better cycle safety on London's bridges

A new road layout for cyclists is to be introduced on Blackfriars Bridge in response to the death of Vicki McCreery in May 2004.

The project to investigate cycle safety infrastructure was prompted by the fatal injury of cyclist Vicki McCreery – a senior physiotherapist at St Thomas' Hospital – on Blackfriars Bridge on 10 May 2004. This incident prompted Transport for London to consider its procedures and processes across the capital.

The report says that TfL Surface Transport, with its borough colleagues, will devise a strategy for assisting cyclists on Thames bridges. This will commence with the implementation of a new cycle scheme for Blackfriars Bridge

Accord to TfL a key element of developing this strategy will be a detailed investigation into the benefits and consequences of introducing 20mph limits for the bridges, with a view to taking action during 2005 if it can be demonstrated that the potential for significant benefits outweigh any negative impacts, and that it is practical and enforceable. The report goes on to say that careful consideration will also be given to the signalisation of all traffic movements onto and off the bridges, and a review of the practice of permitting parking on some Thames bridges and bridge approaches.

The report identifies Waterloo, Blackfriars, Lambeth and London Bridges as having notably higher cyclist fatality rates than other bridges.

Five sites in London were examined where central cycle lanes have been implemented (with a similar layout to Blackfriars Bridge) which position cyclists to the right of traffic.

These include the junction of Kennington Road and Lambeth Road and the junction of Waterloo Road and Westminster Bridge Road. All of these schemes were implemented approximately fifteen to twenty years ago. The report concludes that such facilities are not inherently hazardous to cyclists, but may become so in heavy traffic or other particular circumstances.

Blackfriars, Waterloo, London and Lambeth bridges have above average proportions of pedal cycle casualties relative to the total number of casualties recorded: Most notable is Blackfriars Bridge where close to half of all casualties involved a cyclist; however, Blackfriars Bridge had a relatively small number of casualties overall.

The full report can be downloaded from the TfL website.

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