Thursday, 13 October 2011

Network Rail supports current anti-walking, cycling junction at Blackfriars. Expect more of the same at Paddington, Moorgate, Tottenham Ct Road

One of the main exits from Blackfriars. Note how people walk outside
the barriers rather than use subway. Then leg it across slip road.
Not very pedestrian-friendly.  And staying that way.
Yesterday, 2,500 people cycled and walked across Blackfriars Bridge to protest about the scheme designed by the Mayor's Transport for London. They were supported by politicians from Labour, the Conservatives, the LibDems and the Green Party. Full-party support, in other words. All of them on bicycles.

For excellent images of the evening, look at the London Cycling Campaign pages here.

Today, the LibDem's transport spokesman re-iterated the views of the LibDem party: "I feel that the proposal is not fairly balanced. It favours smoothing the traffic flow for motorists and worsening conditions for pedestrians and cyclists".

Latest news just in from Network Rail. And, more specifically, from Simon Kirby, Director, Investment Projects. Network Rail is funding much of the junction that is designed by Transport for London.

Read the following email exchange. Then think what sort of cycling and walking infrastructure you won't be seeing at other Network Rail investment sites elsewhere in London. And there are dozens of them at the moment. In other words, expect more anti-cycling thinking of this kind of thing at Crossrail and Thameslink stations near you - Paddington, Moorgate, Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road:

Politicians line up last night to condemn Blackfriars scheme:
source LCC and Ben B
Letter to Network Rail

Dear Mr Kirby,

This is just to make you aware of the alternative design for the junction North of Blackfriars bridge that has just been produced by LCC

As you see, it is significantly better for station customers, offering easier and faster ways of crossing the road, better (and much safer) cycle access, and a better road environment, than the design that TFL intends to build.

I wonder, given that Network Rail is funding most of the works on this junction, whether you might be prepared to contact the Mayor to express your support for this improved design?

Thanks very much

Response from Simon Kirby, Director, Investment Projects, Network Rail
From: Kirby Simon
Date: Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Subject: Re: blackfriars
Thanks for your email. As you’re aware we’re currently rebuilding Blackfriars railway station to provide for growing passenger numbers, longer trains and more frequent services.
The coming years will see substantial growth in the number of people using Blackfriars station, and changes need to be made to the road network around the station so that it can cope with an increased volume of pedestrian traffic.
The road junction north of Blackfriars bridge is owned and maintained by TfL. As such they have taken the lead in designing and delivering a new road layout to accommodate all road users over the coming decades.
We’ve worked closely with TfL to ensure their road layout is compatible with our station designs and we fully support their plans.
Simon Kirby 
Network Rail vs the people of London and their representatives? Make what you will of this exchange. It certainly set me thinking.