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Motorists Banned From London Bridge During Daylight Hours

Transport for London (TfL) has revealed that London Bridge will be closed to cars, vans and trucks during daylight hours. However, access will be improved for other users, including cyclists and bus passengers.

New, protected cycleways on each side of the road will be installed and there will also be a widened bus lane on the bridge.

“As London continues to emerge from the lockdown we will need to help people to walk and cycle more often,” a TfL statement revealed on September 15.

TfL said its proposals—enforced with £130 fines, 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday—are designed to reduce “private transport to essential trips only.”

London Bridge has been closed to private motorists for six months due to £5-million refurbishment works, and TfL’s announcement is confirmation that buses and taxis will be the only motorized transport allowed on the bridge going forward, subject to review.

The bridge isn’t London’s most recognizable—it’s not, for instance, Tower Bridge—but it has long featured in slow-motion TV and film footage of pedestrians using its wide sidewalks.

While motorists will be able to use the bridge at weekends and overnight there will be less space for them, with four general traffic lanes now trimmed to two to make space for the bus lane and 2-meter-wide curb-protected cycleways.

The current London Bridge carries the A3 road from the City of London to Southwark and was opened in 1973. This crossing point is historic: it was where the Romans built the first bridge over the Thames.

The medieval version of the bridge features in the nursery rhyme, “London Bridge Is Falling Down.” When, in the 1960s, engineers discovered that the 1830s bridge was, indeed, falling down, a new (and ugly) concrete replacement was commissioned. The crumbling one was sold to American oil tycoon Robert P. McCulloch in 1968 for $2,460,000. It was shipped over to Lake Havasu in Arizona, where it still stands today.

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