It was aimed to coincide with a debate in the Commons about recommendations made in the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group report “Get Britain Cycling”.
As thousands of cyclists gathered on the South Bank near Jubilee Gardens and Royal Festival Hall, the first thing that struck me was that police had forced the cyclists onto the pavement at the expense of pedestrians in order to keep the road clear. Although Belvedere Road is a bus route, it runs parallel to York Road, and I could see no good reason why a diversion couldn’t have been in place – it was to my mind a clear example of the type of perception problem that LCC are trying to address.
After a photo-call for the main banner, the ride set off slowly at around 6.30, and police closed off roads as it snaked round onto Westminster Bridge with Jenny Jones (Green Party) among the front runners.
Passing Parliament Square and heading along Millbank, the ride then headed back south across Lambeth Bridge. From there, the enormity of the protest was clear, as riders could be seen still flooding across Westminster Bridge in the distance, while the first riders were already on Lambeth Palace Road heading back towards the start.
I waited and watched the whole ride pass by, with constantly packed and continually moving cyclists taking a full 15 minutes from start to finish. LCC estimate that 5000 took part.
The ride caused major disruption and received mainstream media coverage. LCC plan further actions to lobby for a serious appraisal of road design and real improvements to cycle safety.
More pics at http://indyrikki.wordpress.com