1920s Embankment gridlock pix should be used with care

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There are a great number of black-and-white photos showing chronic motor-vehicle congestion on the Embankment. Take care when posting them on social media because those who know their history will counter that they are not representative of a normal day.

The shots date from May 1926 and were taken during the General Strike when there was no public transport. Yes, the photos show genuine gridlock but this wasn’t a normal week. The other Unblock the Embankment campaign has used spuriously sourced photos so it’s best not to fall into such traps.

Oh, and spot the lone cyclist. If only there had been an Embankment cycleway at that time …

4 Replies to “1920s Embankment gridlock pix should be used with care”

  1. What’s notable in the second photo, however, is that the lack of running trams gave the motorists more space to drive on those lanes. Even that was not enough to avoid congestion on this day!

  2. I can’t find a way to post them but there are lots of images of trams, cyclists and cars on the Victoria Embankment. Basically by legislation, national policy and culture (see, for example, the 1930 Transport Select Committee) the cars pushed out the trams and much later cyclists reclaimed some of that space. So how about one third cyclists, one third trams (long time a 36, 38 or 40 went that way) and, I suppose, one third motor traffic?

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