Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Segregated cycle lane for London Bridge in wake of cyclist’s death

Chris Tandy veered into the central reservation before being hit by an oncoming car

Transport for London (TfL) is looking to add a segregated cycle lane to London Bridge. Evening Standard journalist Ross Lydall, writing on his personal blog, says the plan has been spurred by the death of Chris Tandy earlier this year.

Tandy, a manager with the British Council, was killed on the evening of Saturday, August 2. He was thrown from his bike after veering into the central reservation and hit by and oncoming car. Although he had been drinking earlier in the day, this was found to be a “contributory, but not a direct, cause” of the incident.

In the wake of Tandy’s death, Islington Cycle Action Group’s Chris Casalotti said that he had always dreaded going onto London Bridge on the grounds that it featured a narrow road offering no protection to cyclists. “With roads like ours it only takes a small mistake by someone on a cycle before there is a serious accident.”

The Ministry of Justice last week published a prevention of future deaths notice sent to TfL by City of London coroner Dr Roy Palmer and spurred by the Tandy case. In it, Palmer writes that “there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken.”

The inquest into Tandy’s death revealed that the car that hit him was overtaking a bus at the time. It was driven by a foreigner “unfamiliar with the roads in London” who accelerated to pass and was estimated to have reached 38mph, even though the speed limit on the bridge is 20mph.

Palmer wrote: “A driver unfamiliar with City roads, having been stuck in slow-moving traffic through the city, and on seeing the road over London Bridge open out from first one lane, to two lanes, then to three lanes, is tempted to accelerate to a speed above the new statutory limit.”

He suggested improved signage and ideally a separate lane for cyclists to separate them from vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Leon Daniels, TfL managing director of surface transport, said:

“Following the tragic death of Christopher Tandy we have installed more 20mph signage at the north side of London Bridge to ensure all motorists are well aware of the speed limit. We are currently undertaking an assessment to determine whether any additional changes could be made to make the road layout safer for all.

“In the longer term, we are planning to make significant improvements and looking at the feasibility of a segregated lane for cyclists on London Bridge as part of our cycle Superhighways programme.”

There are already segregated cycle lanes on Southwark and Vauxhall bridges and a non-segregated lane on Chelsea bridge. TfL is also due to complete cycle improvement work on Blackfriars bridge early next year and on Westminster bridge by next summer.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

Add new comment


Bob's Bikes | 8 years ago

Such a shame that it's needed somebody to die before the powers that be even think about measures to prevent stupid people doing stupid things, being foreign and unsure about traffic laws is not an excuse (try getting away with speeding [in a car] in say the Netherlands or Germany)

sm | 8 years ago

The bridge itself is fine. Getting onto to it when coming from Bank and heading south is horrible. Heading north you have the bus lane which is great and then the new bike lane which makes a huge difference. Not sure why they don't do this heading south.

Segregated might be OK depending on implementation. It would need the segregated track to be on both sides of the bridge rather than the usual tactic of putting both north and south on the one side making it a pain to get on and off the segregated lane depending on the direction you are heading.

Critchio | 8 years ago

Slowing vehicles down is the answer. All they need is average speed cameras fixed at each end and set to what, 23mph to allow speedo discrepancy? The cameras would pay for themselves initially, but that an aside, safety is paramount. I'm sure that 20mph limit is for the large part completely ignored by the majority of vehicle drivers (and to be fair fast bike commuters too, but hey we're vulnerable road users)

ron611087 | 8 years ago

The singular use of lane in this article worries me.

I'm an advocate for segregated facilities, but it depends on how they are implemented. Segregated cycle lanes over London bridges have shown to be problematic, as  Vauxhall bridge demonstrates. If they make a single 2 way lane which requires cyclists to cross traffic lights to reach the lane for their direction of travel, many simply won't use it for that direction.

Will TfL have learned their lesson? We'll see.

Sepulchre | 8 years ago

I use London Bridge every day and it is a horrible horrible scary road to use from both ends  (but particularly from the north which traffic crosssing you) and I'm surprised more death and injury hasn't occured.

one side is  now a cycle lane but it's not segregated and buses/motorbikes do the usual stupid stuff.

No news on the driver of the car, who was speeding? It's as if it's irrelevant!?

sanderville | 8 years ago

"it only takes a small mistake by someone on a cycle before there is a serious accident.”

Yep, those people on cycles cause accidents all the time by being hit by cars.  Think of the paintwork on the poor drivers' motors who are only doing twice the speed limit.  Two-wheeled  tossers.

I cycled across London Bridge once in 2007 and said "never again."  It obviously hasn't improved much since then.

Housecathst | 8 years ago

38 mph in a 20 and they killed somebody by hitting them with their ton of metal box. I assume they pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and their currently serving 25 years in the local prison. 

Latest Comments