Barriers on London Bridges

London Bridge Barriers.jpgAs a safety measure, subsequent to the recent terrorist attacks, steel and concrete barriers have been erected on several London Bridges to separate the roadway from the pavements. These are on Westminster Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Lambeth Bridge, London Bridge and on part of Tower Bridge. Photo above is of London Bridge.

Perhaps most interesting is that there were actually metal railings protecting pedestrians on some of these bridges before 2010 when Boris Johnson, Mayor at the time, removed them. He considered them ugly. This was part of a general policy to remove pedestrian guard rails by Transport for London.

Cyclists are complaining that the new “bollards” on Blackfriars Bridge at the ends of the bridge are causing congestion and delays to cyclists. A similar problem is on London Bridge where cyclists previously often mounted the pavement when vehicles became congested at the northern end.

This has clearly been a rushed response to the threat posed by copycat terrorist attacks, particularly when one bears in mind that there are many other streets in London where dense crowds of pedestrians would be vulnerable to such attacks. The long-term answer may be to simply put back all those traditional pedestrian guard rails which may have had little benefit in road safety terms and were frustrating for pedestrians, but might assist with this problem.

Roger Lawson