Thursday 28 July 2011

Call for an ongoing Blackfriars protest from Friday


All cyclists who wish to protest about Transport for London's outrageous, high-handed and undemocratic action in proposing to commence their re-engineering of Blackfriars Bridge this weekend in a way that will be massively damaging to cycling, and put cyclists' lives at risk, involving raising the speed limit from 20 to 30 mph and adding extra vehicle lanes, should join London Cycling Campaign's Flashride protest on Friday 29 July 2011 at 6pm, starting on the south side of Blackfriars Bridge, outside The Doggett's pub. The ride will be a go-slow across Blackfriars Bridge and will probably then proceed to Waterloo Bridge before returning to Blackfriars. This ride will incorporate and replace the Critical Mass ride normally held on the last Friday of the month.

There are likely to be further Flashrides at times and dates to be announced. It now appears that TfL's works on the bridge will take several months, and we need to keep doing this to need to make sure Transport for London understands that this is not going to go away. So be ready to take part again next week, or whenever.

As well as the London Cycling Campaign, all the well-known cycling bloggers are advertising these protests, as is the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain and hundreds of Twitter feeds. Do not worry that you may be part of a small, fringe, ragtag bunch. These protests will be huge, and consist of all types of cyclists from all walks of life. They will show how mainstream cycling has become in London, and that the authorities cannot ignore our legitimate fight for decent treatment any more. They could turn out to be a turning-point for cycling in the UK, if we all play our cards right.

It is not exactly clear what TfL do plan to start building this weekend. Jenny Jones of the Green Party suggests that they might be going to implement their original plan with no cycle lanes at all. That would mean that all the lobbying and writing to TfL over the past six months by hundreds of cyclists, plus the campaigns of LCC and the bloggers, have been totally ignored – a waste of time. And of course the interventions of the London Assembly and even the minister for cycling have also been ignored.

Please come on Friday and subsequent dates and give the Mayor and Transport for London something they cannot ignore.

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