Mayor Boris Johnson at odds with TfL over cycle safety

Cycling in London Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly have questioned the mayor about cycling safety

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Following on from my report on Tuesday about cyclist safety at King's Cross, I've just been sent the question below by the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly.

They asked the mayor about the speed issues on the junction.

In response the mayor says: "TfL currently has no additional proposals at this location."

That does seem to contradict the statement issued yesterday by Transport for London (TfL) which said it was working on three junctions at King's Cross for the benefit of all road users, including cyclists.

In fact, last night I received this statement from TfL: "We are working to design a scheme which will benefit all road users including cyclists and pedestrians.

"Earlier this year, key stakeholders and the local community were consulted about these plans aiming to increase pedestrian capacity and implement safety improvements in time for the London 2012 Games.

"Detailed design work is now being finalised and work will begin later this year to be completed in spring 2012. This junction is just one of a number across London where TfL is investing millions to improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists."

Start Quote

There have been few speed related collisions along Pentonville Road, Penton Rise and King's Cross Road and therefore TfL currently has no additional proposals at this location.”

End Quote Boris Johnson Mayor of London

So which is it? No additional proposals or a scheme that benefits all road users? And, will the road designs actually benefit cyclists?

Here is the Liberal Democrat's question to the mayor:

Question by Caroline Pidgeon on 15 September 2010

"You have acknowledged that safety on the King's Cross one-way system through the boroughs of Camden and Islington needs addressing. Pursuant to your answers to MQs (1053/2010), (547/2010) and (2701/2009), can you tell me:

a) What has been the result, if any, of your discussions about "speed issues" on the King's Cross one-way system with the London Borough of Islington?

b) Whether a new design for the Caledonian Road/Pentonville Road junction is now ready, and whether this will improve road safety for pedestrians?"

Answer by Boris Johnson:

"There have been few speed related collisions along Pentonville Road, Penton Rise and King's Cross Road and therefore TfL currently has no additional proposals at this location.

However, a scheme to provide southbound cycle facilities has recently been implemented on Penton Rise which has narrowed the carriageway and is expected to reduce speeds on this section of the gyratory. TfL will monitor the impact of this scheme.

In addition, following customer correspondence and discussions with officers from Camden, TfL has identified a future scheme to investigate the feasibility of providing cycle facilities at Swinton Street and Acton Street.

TfL's ability to progress this scheme in future is dependent on the availability of funding, however."

TflL has also asked me to include the following answers to another Mayoral question from September this year. It looks like there will be speed surveys in March 2012 on the roads surrounding King's Cross:

Question by Caroline Pidgeon

"Further to MQ (1876/2011), you have said that you will consider providing further speed reduction measures on the King's Cross one-way system including on the worst-affected roads such as Acton Street "if surveys indicate that there is a problem".

Can you tell me when these surveys have been carried out or will be taking place, and when you will have the full results of these surveys and if these will be made publically available?"

Answer by Boris Johnson

"Speed surveys in the Kings Cross area, including Acton Street, Swinton Street, Grays Inn Road and Kings Cross Road are planned to be undertaken by March 2012.

The results of these speed surveys will form the basis of any decisions on action taken in the area. The survey results will be available within a month of their completion."

Tom Edwards Article written by Tom Edwards Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

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  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    I'm putting up a ghost bike at Kings Cross, for 24 year old Min Joo Lee, the fashion student form Central St Martins who was killed riding a ‘fixie’ bike, by a construction truck.
    I'll be attaching the bike, Wed 26th Oct 6.30pm.

    I've contacted Boris, TFL, Camden and the Police.

    Ghost bike sites London page


    James Thomas

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    TfL's only proposals are to put a spot of paint on the road on a couple of the one-way system's many dangerous junctions. The TfL consultation said the objective of these proposals was to let more people move around.

    So there is no contradiction, Tom, between Boris's statement to the Lib Dems and TfL's plans - the TfL schemes haven't been designed with the objective of cutting speeds.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Keep plugging away Tom! TFL's use of stats is not to be trusted. Please keep asking questions of TFL in relation to why nothing has changed and what the current plans are?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Cycling in London is in a shambles and I have never known it this bad in the forty years I have been cycling, motorbiking and driving in London.

    With the increase in cyclists, now more than ever we need joined up thinking and action from the Mayor and TFL.

    If not, then more cyclists will die and more motorists will live with the nightmares.



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