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TfL says it is working to ensure anti-terrorism barriers on London bridges affect cyclists as little as possible

Cycle campaigners contact TfL and Met about how measures can provide security while also allowing people to continue cycling safely

Transport for London (TfL) says it will work to balance security and road safety after the Met Police installed barriers on a number of London bridges following the terrorist attacks in Westminster and London Bridge.

The Met Police says it has reviewed the security of the 33 bridges in London and this led to protective barriers being installed on Westminster Bridge, Waterloo Bridge and Lambeth Bridge. They have now also been put in place on London Bridge, the location of Saturday’s attack.

Cycle campaigners are concerned that the barriers have reduced the width of cycle lanes in places, leaving little or no safe space for cyclists

A TfL spokesperson said: “The Met has installed barriers to increase security on London’s busiest bridges. We are working with them to ensure that these barriers affect cyclists as little as possible, while ensuring the security of all road users.”

As for what this might mean in practical terms, it isn’t entirely clear. Both Cycling UK and the London Cycling Campaign have been in contact with TfL and the Met to try and work out how measures can provide the extra security needed while also allowing people to continue cycling safely.

Cycling UK said that given the number, scale and type of attacks in the last nine weeks, it is “understandable and right that the police and Transport for London are putting in measures to protect key points of infrastructure and the public from likely threats.”

However, campaigns coordinator Sam Jones added: "Having been contacted by Cycling UK members about what this means for the current cycling infrastructure, there is clear concern what this might mean for protecting our most vulnerable road users on their daily and regular journeys as well.

“We are speaking with the London Cycling Campaign, and together we will look to contact TfL and the Met to work with them to ensure that high standards of cycle provision can be maintained while also preserving the necessary security measures." 

A spokesperson for the Met explained: “We recognise the public is anxious about security following the terrorist attacks in London, and we want to reassure them that we are taking precautions to make the capital a safe place for people to live, work and visit.

“The barriers are intended to increase security on what are some of London’s busiest bridges. They are designed specifically for hostile vehicle mitigation and are a national asset used around the UK.

“We are considering the use of barriers and other security measures at locations across London. We will not be discussing this further at this time.”

Asked for the rationale when deciding which bridges would have barriers installed, the spokesperson said only: “A number of factors have been taken into consideration and the most appropriate security measures taken.”

Nickie Aiken, leader of Westminster Council, has told the London Evening Standard that she believes the barriers on Westminster Bridge should stay in place permanently.

“People in Westminster need this kind of protective measure – it is sensible and proportionate," she said.

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.

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kingleo | 6 years ago

Ride on the pavement.

skull-collector... | 6 years ago

clearly, they don't give a shit about people on bikes

the terrorists have won on this front

severs1966 | 6 years ago

TfL said: “The Met has installed barriers to increase security on London’s busiest bridges. We are working with them to ensure that these barriers affect cyclists as little as possible...”


Translation: We don't care about cyclists and we don't care if and how this affects them. It was just a box-ticking exercise anyway, so stop asking questions.

congokid | 6 years ago

Assuming a better fix than this hopefully temporary solution can be found, one that really protects all vulnerable road users, it would be quite amazing if it could be implemented not only here but also on all other useful and busy cycling routes that might potentially present terrorist targets.

When you think about it where is the sense of protecting one group of road users from one particular kind of threat if the constant danger to all continues to be ignored.

cyclisto | 6 years ago

The problem these barriers deal with can be easily solved: A big company launches a new product LifeCamo which is a spray that you spray all over yourself. Matte black for nightime, light blue for sunshine and gray for cloudy weather. You make an advertisement with a darkish guy with packs at his belt and a balaclava in the middle of an empty Trafalgar Square wondering where all his potential victims are, when a better zoom reveals that they are passing by, practically invisible thanks to LifeCamo. The world can sleep safe now...

ktache | 6 years ago

For me, if the motorised vehicles are the problem, it should be the space devoted for them that is taken away.

jh27 replied to ktache | 6 years ago
ktache wrote:

For me, if the motorised vehicles are the problem, it should be the space devoted for them that is taken away.

Motorways already have barriers down the middle.

spen | 6 years ago

Trust kerbs are all well and good but need to installed in the carriageway.  They may be a viable option in the long term but not if a barrier is needed immediatley

BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago

Security Theatre at its finest, all the whilst ignoring every single bit of how not to react to a threat.

The idiots  that thought this was a good idea should be strung up, but then again they are probably the same types who design most of the so called cycling infra in this country.

The hate speech thrown at people commenting about how they have being endangered by these things is disgusting and just shows you the level of hate for people on bikes by joe public and that it is just behind that of those that did the deed.

Even sadder is that people on bikes are attacked by terrorists every single day, every third day a cyclist dies, the vast majority from criminal activity and many are seriously injured every day due to terrorism and hate.

Beecho | 6 years ago

One way bridges for traffic, chunky cycle lanes either side, nicely protected along with those on foot.

Oh, and build another bridge east of Tower and that proposed bicycle/pedestrian one at Battersea. 

Jackson | 6 years ago

White van men and truckers running cyclists over every few weeks: glacial improvement in cycling infrastructure measured in years

Muslim nutters start running over pedestrians: concrete barriers up the next day

I don't want to sound flippant considering the nature of the tragedy but it shows that you can make a decent start without spending years and years and hundreds of millions of pounds. 

thereverent | 6 years ago

Now is the ideal time for TfL work with the Met Police to get barriers outside the cycle lane (with bollard to stop cars getting inside them) on all London bridges and then make them permanent.

STiG911 | 6 years ago

In as much as I appreciate the need (sad as it is) for this kind of security now, the way it's been thrown together from any old shit just beggers belief. London Bridge never had a Cycle Lane (despite being three lanes wide - what's that about?) so cycles shared the Bus Lane. Fine.

Now however, the barrier is so wide that the Bus Lane is essentially 'a really big cycle lane' but buses now straddle between that and the centre lane. Genius.

It's worse if you're a pedestrian - They've put them massive metal / concrete bollard things on both ends of the bridge, but rather than use only enough to stop a vehicle they've used so many that instead of about 4m width pavement, there's now only three half-metre wide sections - so huge bottlenecks there. Fab.

And it's actually still possible to get onto the ends of the bridge in a vehicle anyway if you're that determined (which these scumbags are) so overall a monumental waste of time and effort all round.

DaveE128 | 6 years ago


"We are working with them to ensure that these barriers affect cyclists as little as possible, while ensuring the security of all road users."

So, that sounds like it involves taking a quick glance at the barriers and saying "yeah, that's the best we can do" even though it clearly isn't.  2

As others have pointed out, the design of Southark Bridge's cycle lanes would work with minimal modification: all you need is a couple of Westminster bollards at each end on each side - one on the end of the cycle lane segregation kerb, another about 15 cm from the edge of the pavement. You might have to extend the segregation kerbs far enough to be off the bridge to get sufficient foundation depth, but that's a good thing.

These containment kerbs work:

Job done - pedestrians and cyclists protected from rampaging vehicle drivers and provide proper segregation for cyclists from just your regular idiots too.

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