London’s Blackfriars Bridge has become an “absolute shambles” with thousands of cyclists being forced to “squeeze” through one lane due to security barriers put in place following recent terror attacks, groups have complained.
Photos from the bridge early on Tuesday morning showed long queues as cyclists passed through the barriers, which authorities have been criticised for putting too close together.
City Cyclists wrote on Twitter that the barriers on the bridge, which is on the route of Cycle Superhighway 6, are a “good idea” but “they’ve made the bus lane unusable + bike highway and footway way over capacity”.
It added that cyclists had “no issue with the barriers but they need to be done properly”.
The barriers were also installed at Lambeth, Waterloo and Westminster bridges following the London Bridge terror attack that killed seven, on June 3, and the Westminster Bridge attack, on March 22, that resulted in five deaths.
Transport for London (Tfl) has been accused of making it “safer” to cycle on the road again on Blackfriars Bridge and the BBC’s Tom Edwards tweeted that they had caused an “absolute shambles”.
He added: “Barriers are put in by the Met with little consultation. City Hall says it is working to improve them short-term & for long term solution.”
Video from the bridge on Tuesday showed cyclists having to slow down before entering the barriers in single file as TFL officials watched on.
Cyclists expressed their frustrations on social media.
One wrote: “Four traffic officials needed to man new security barriers on the cycle highway over Blackfriars. [People] are going to get hurt when it’s busier.”
While another implored London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Tfl to move the barriers further apart.
A spokesman for London Cycling Campaign told the Evening Standard the barriers had created a “real safety risk” as they forced riders into “quite fast traffic”.
“These barriers had to go up very fast indeed. We hope that something can be done to modify or change them to provide security and not make things worse for cyclists,” the spokesperson added.
A TfL spokesperson directed HuffPost UK to the Metropolitan Police for comment, but added: “The Met has installed barriers to increase security on London’s busiest bridges.
“We are working with them to ensure that these barriers affect cyclists and pedestrians as little as possible, while ensuring the security of all road users.”
The spokesperson said he was not aware of any complaints concerning other bridges where security barriers were put in place.
The Metropolitan Police have been contacted for comment but are yet to respond.
Police, TfL, and council officials have faced serious questions over why barriers were not installed immediately after the terror attack in Westminster that saw Khalid Masood plough into four pedestrians before stabbing a police officer to death.
The method of attack was replicated on June 3 on London Bridge, before the three attackers then stabbed people in nearby Borough Market.