The Phantom of Blackfriars Bridge appeared to have some competition during Session #4 of the Blackfriars Bridge Traffic Study (BBTS) on July 18, 2022 as a new climber of the bridge was spotted on the structure.

Session #4 of the Blackfriars Bridge Traffic Study (BBTS) was completed by Gorski Consulting on Monday, July 18, 2022. Documentation occurred between the 2-hour period of 1201 and 1401 hours. The table below shows the observations in Session #4 compared to the three previous Sessions.

As can be seen the total number of traffic units observed in Session #4 (349) was just slightly higher than in Session #3 (333) but substantially lower than Session #1 (758) and Session #2 (545). The smallest number of eastbound motor vehicles (only 68) were observed crossing Blackfriars Bridge in Session #4. Similarly, the smallest number of cyclists (89) was also noted. However the number of pedestrians (182) was comparable to Session #2 and substantially higher than in Session #3.

Overall, looking at all four Sessions, there were one and a half times more cyclists observed (683) than motor vehicles (414), and about twice as many pedestrians (822) were observed compare to motor vehicles. And combining all the traffic units that were observed (1985) there were almost 4 times as many cyclists/pedestrians/non-pedestrians (1571) as there were motor vehicles.

Breaking down the numbers in the Session #4, the arrival of motor vehicles at the site was documented at 15-minute intervals as noted in the table below. There appeared to be nothing unusual in these arrivals.

The arrival and departure of cyclists at the site in Session #4 is also shown in the table below. As explained previously, the “Source” column notes the direction from which cyclists arrived at the site and the three remaining columns indicate in which direction the cyclists departed the site.

The above table shows that, by far, the number of cyclists entering the site was either from southbound (SB TVP) or northbound (NB TVP) along the Thames Valley Parkway. Seventy-eight (78) of the total 89 cyclists originated from the TVP and 69 of those cyclists continued riding on the TVP as they passed through the site.

We can also examine the actions of pedestrians as shown in the table below and here we can see a substantially different pattern of travel as compared to cyclists.

Of the total 88 pedestrians who approached the site from the TVP only 50 continued along it. A large number of pedestrians (26) turned from the TVP to travel westbound onto the Blackfriars Bridge. And there was also a large number of pedestrians observed travelling eastbound on the Blackfriars Bridge (42) and then departing primarily onto the TVP.

Interestingly, the approach of pedestrians onto the site was about equally divided amongst the four sources (SB TVP=47, NB TVP=41, NB Ridout=52, and EB Blackfriars=42). This is obviously different from the cyclist actions where a very large percentage arrived from the TVP.

We can also look at a summary of all 4 sessions combined for cyclists and pedestrians. The table below shows the summary for cyclists.

In the above table the predominance of cyclists riding on the TVP is obvious. Of the total 683 cyclists who were observed, 562 entered the study area from either southbound or northbound TVP, or about 82%. And of those 562 cyclists, 486 (86%) continued to travel along the TVP.

The next table provides the summary for pedestrians from all four Sessions.

The predominance of cyclists riding on the TVP is not so strongly demonstrated in the pedestrian traffic. Of the 822 pedestrians who were observed in the 4 Sessions, only 497, or about 60.5% originated from the TVP. Substantial numbers of pedestrians entered the study area from northbound Ridout (129) and eastbound Blackfriars Bridge (196).

In summary, there is still substantial variance in the volumes of the traffic units from one session to the next. In Session #1 a total of 758 units were observed. In contrast, Session #3 yielded 333 and Session #4 yielded 349. This is partly due to the large numbers of cyclists and pedestrians that were observed on the Sunday afternoon in Session #1. It is expected that additional Sessions will be conducted in the near future and some of this variance may be better explained.