Sunday, 7 August 2011

Blackfriars Road - good news for Boris bikers?

This evening I took a ride to the newest docking station at Southwark tube station. Actually it's two docking stations; the one behind the station has opened already, the one directly on Blackfriars Road is nearly ready but hasn't been activated yet. I docked in the active one, up a few steps which is slightly disconcerting but entirely manageable. On a Sunday evening nothing much was going on, though I imagine there'll be plenty commuter traffic on weekdays, especially when station 2 opens. Considering south London is dreadfully served by cycle hire, it's rather odd that TfL have focused so heavily on supplying docking stations so close to Waterloo. No other mainline station has had such treatment yet. It would be interesting to know why.

Just a couple of hundred metres further north on the same road is, of course, Blackfriars Bridge. The latest skirmish in the 'Battle of Blackfriars' was last Friday evening when an LCC-organised flashride brought the bridge to a standstill. Not a few Boris bikes took part. The paradox is that these beautiful new bikes have the potential to change London into one of Europe's great cycling cities, but transport planners remain intent on prioritising motorised transport over cyclists or pedestrians. Are novice cyclists really going to pedal over the new Blackfriars bridge, with its extra lanes of traffic and increased speed limits? The battle isn't over yet, but with the new station due to open on 3 December, time is running short.

The other dock I've got my eye on is Cheapside. It's there, it's big, but it still isn't active. Watch this space.

And if you're wondering, on a Boris bikes blog, where are the pictures, my camera is currently broken. Images coming soon we hope!

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