In 2011, Transport for London,  driven by Boris Johnson's political agenda to speed motor traffic through the city, drew up plans to remove cycle lanes from the junction north of Blackfriars Bridge, and raise the speed limit to 20mph. It was just one of several dinosaur road schemes of its kind, prioritising convenience and minor gains for motorists over the safety of the huge numbers walking and cycling here. But in such a busy central location, and at such an unavoidable bottleneck for cycle routes, this was the one that became the flashpoint for the backlash.

"Flashride" protests were organised by campaigning bloggers Mark ("ibikelondon") and Danny ("Cyclists In The City") supported by London Cycling Campaign, but they were initially unsuccessful in blocking the changes at Blackfriars.

But the rides raised support and awareness for a bigger movement for more civilised streets and better infrastructure for cycling. Candidates for mayor in 2012 queued up to endorse Space For Cycling, and by the end of his second term, in 2016, Johnson was finally officially opening a pair of East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways at the point where they intersect: the northern junction of Blackfriars Bridge.

Blackfriars: before

First flashride: 29 July 2011

Second flashride: 12 October 2011

Opening the Cycle Superhighway: 6 May 2016

Blackfriars: after


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