Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A Tale of Two Bridges

Blackfriar's Bridge crossing north to south shown in Google Street View

Blackfriars Bridge is notorious.  In the  morning the bridge is busy with cars, buses, lorries, motorcycles and bicycles, mostly moving fast and sharing the same space.  Motorcycles are sometimes to be found in the cycle lane, particularly northbound, and are allowed in the bus lanes so beware of them.  I question the room afforded to pedestrians on both sides of this road, especially as the exit from Blackfriars station now enables rail travellers to emerge at the southern or northern end of the bridge.   There is also adequate provision for pedestrians to cross, by underpass or pedestrian crossing, at either end of the bridge. Cyclists need to yield graciously to peds crossing on the green man on the southern approach to the bridge.

If you cycle across this bridge you need to be aware of what is behind you before moving out to overtake anything.  All vehicles, including bicycles, are moving fast; motorcycles frequently dangerously so, or invading cycle lane.

 Southwark Bridge crossing south to north shown in Google Street View

This is more like it.  Cycles are securely shielded from traffic by raised kerb stones sufficient to prevent anything smaller than a tank from crossing into the cycle space.  Care is still needed as aged cyclists like me are likely to be travelling much slower than the lycra mob.  Be patient and ensure that there are no fast moving cyclists behind before moving out to overtake slower moving pedallers; there is only room on the blue tarmac for two cyclists abreast if lane discipline is observed.

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