Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lambeth Bridge

Lambeth Bridge has just been resurfaced, and they've re-marked the bridge so it's actually rather better for cyclists. So, credit where credit's due, TfL have done two things right: 1. they've taken the opportunity of the bridge resurfacing to consider whether the layout could be improved (rather than re-marking it as it was and then later having to change it); 2. they've seemingly taken some notice of what cyclists are saying.

The main change is the northbound carriageway is wider, and the cycle lane is also wider. This has two effects: the northbound motor traffic tends to stay further away from the cycle lane, and there is more room in the lane. You can just about overtake other cyclists within the lane now.

Southbound they've removed the cycle lane, but I never found that much use anyway - there's still a bus lane and there's usually not much southbound traffic anyway so taxis can give you a wide berth.

Below you can see how it used to be:
...barely enough room for the double-red lines, and vehicles very close indeed.
Above you see the new lane, which is wide enough to accommodate the Darwin's Deli trailer, and the motors are rather further away.
Above, another view of the new lane.

Above: it's not all good news. The start of the bridge is still as dangerous as it was, and the cycle lane doesn't start for a few metres (I think they've actually moved the start point forward, which is a retrograde step). At this point, there's still a risk of a cyclist getting squashed under a left-turning HGV. However, to be fair, all they've done is resurfaced the bridge, and fixing the approach to the bridge will require some re-engineering of islands and pavements. And of course both the southern and northern roundabouts are problematic. So we're left with a reasonable-quality link between two very dangerous and intimidating junctions. The fact that I'm highlighting this as an welcome and unexpected improvement is indicative of how low the standard of progress is elsewhere, for example on Blackfriars Bridge, where the environment is actually being made worse for cycling.


  1. I must say there is hardly any quality in what they've done taking into account the volume of vehicles using this bridge. If you are making a obligatory lane make it raised so that drivers see it as excluded from the road.

  2. Men who are paid to drive commercial vehicles through London should be made to drive their own regular routes on a bicycle at least twice a year. Definitely the men.