Pressure mounts on mayor and TfL to make cycling safer

 

More action needs to be taken to make junctions safer for cyclists, according to campaigners

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The pressure seems to be growing on the mayor and Transport for London (TfL) to do more to make junctions safer for cyclists.

Outside King's Cross there is now a pile of flowers and a ghost bike tribute to a cyclist who died there. Many deaths seem to involve HGVs and junctions.

On Wednesday, the London Assembly tried to push for more action from the Mayor, but both he and the Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy doubted whether changing road designs could have saved any of the 14 cyclists that have died in the capital this year.

However there are many others who say that if the junctions were better designed, then cyclists' lives could be saved.

Worst junctions

TfL wants hauliers to do more and have more training and technology to alert drivers to cyclists.

It also wants cyclists themselves to avoid blindspots on trucks, something that nearly every cyclist I know with any sense already does.

One of the interviewees in my TV piece is organising a demonstration on Saturday.

Cyclists will travel to the 10 worst junctions for casualties in the capital.

The challenge for TfL is how to alter junctions without making the experience worse for other road users.

A ghost bike tribute and flowers where a cyclist died near King's Cross A ghost bike tribute and flowers where a cyclist died near King's Cross

TfL issued a pre-emptive press release before London Assembly members had started questioning it on cycling.

Reduction in deaths

It said: "While every collision is regrettable, it is encouraging that the proportion of cycling collisions on TfL roads that result in fatal or serious injuries has declined since 2008, indicating that the severity of collisions is falling.

"So far, during 2011 there have tragically been 14 cycling fatalities on the capital's roads, seven of which involved HGVs or tipper trucks. A huge range of practical measures are being delivered by the Mayor and TfL to tackle the issue and make the city's streets safer for cyclists."

Since 2010, TfL has been working to deliver its Cycle Safety Action Plan (CSAP).

It identified 52 targeted actions which the mayor, TfL and other stakeholders need to take to reduce the number of cyclists being killed and seriously injured on London's roads.

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

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 36.

    @25 Speaking Out. Unfortunately Ms Joo Lee is not here to answer for herself. None of the top 6 articles returned by Google on this accident make any mention of her running a red light. No inquest has yet taken place. So all accounts do not say she ran a red light. Please substantiate your claim or withdraw it.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 35.

    (And if I slow down on approach to lights preparing for the possibility of them turning amber, I'll get larger vehicles over-taking me and turning left cutting me off ... they DO! And ... and ... a lot of the time cars/trucks don't even indicate!!! What's the point in indicators if you don't use them??? It makes me CRAZY with frustration - wasting time just in case someone might be turning).

  • rate this
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    Comment number 34.

    Oh and finally - cars jump red lights all the time! Amber periods are very short. If I'm going at 15 to 20mph, approach a junction, and lights go amber (with no identifiable warning), I have insufficient time to brake AND gear down to avoid stalling later. Cars are fine - they go through a 1-sec+ redlight and zoom through. I go through on amber, and spend more time in the junction on red.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 33.

    And why is it assumed by motorists that they can park anywhere they want? Publicly owned carriageways are assumed by home-owners lining them to somehow belong to them to congest? Why can't they get a house with a drive/garage or not have a large vehicle? I park my bike in the kitchen. My taxes pay for the road too. I just get the main potholes, the sunken drains, the broken glass and rubbish.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 32.

    I mean pedestrian footway (to walk my bike on) - not right of way. Sorry - too tired to communicate clearly - and an emotive topic for me. And ... and why is it ok for motorised vehicles to go on paths? (With an excuse of "parking" or avoiding temporary obstacles?) They damage pavements that cost me tax-money! And I see police vehicles break traffic laws on non-emergencies! E.g. Illegal rghtTrn

  • rate this
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    Comment number 31.

    ... And guess what? Those junctions are often at the bottom of valley-type roads. So little traffic about ... but I have to lose precious energy stopping. Cars don't. The lights detect them and change obligingly. On one roundabout, there is no pedestrian right-of-way, and I have to wait 15+ minutes, or venture onto the round-about through a red light. I get angry that I am forced to do this!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 30.

    Oops - I mean Stockport Northampton, and vice-versa (not Stockport to Manchester!). I ride at night because it is safer. I'm more easily seen. There is less traffic. But perversely, I have to walk my bike across some junctions because otherwise I have to wait 15-mins for a larger vehicle to show-up and trigger the lights. ...

  • rate this
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    Comment number 29.

    I try to ride responsibly though I'm sure I occasionally make mistakes. I wear a helmet, have a fluorescent yellow bike, bright visibility lights effective in daylight, a proper road light for night riding etc. and I wear a helmet. I try to obey the law. I get frustrated on my 125-mile night trip from Stockport to Manchester by red-lights that do not detect bikes. ...

  • rate this
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    Comment number 28.

    Full moon said '.... If the gov are really concern about the cyclist then they should tax them....'

    FYI, 'Road tax' does not exist! It was abolished in 1937 by Winston Churchill. Roads are funded out of general taxation. By your logic Band 'A' cars shouldn't be allowed on the roads because they pay zero VED.

    VED is a licence to pollute, not a licence to use the road

    Please get your facts right

  • rate this
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    Comment number 27.

    As a cyclist in Bristol I learnt pretty damn quickly to give HGV's a wide birth. If you can't get past it then you need to hang back. The worst are busses who suddenly indicate and then start to pull into the curb a few yards from the bus stop when you thought they weren't going to stop and have tried to go past.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 26.

    I cycle every day on the cycle superhighway - Wimbledon to London, and have been doing so for 2 years. From experience, drivers would show a lot more respect towards cyclists if we were all to adhere to the road code. It is so frustrating to watch a cyclist dive through red lights and career towards pedestrians.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 25.

    By all accounts, the Kings X death was caused when the lady ran a red light. It is not a particularly dangerous junction (I cycle through it myself every weekday) there's a large part at the front of the junction and an in-road cycle lane. Your post is somewhat misleading, as it does not make this clear.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 24.

    Martin check back at the stats listed in post 8 interesting reading and maybe high lights the need for common sense. Why is it that so many people seem to jump on the "whining cyclist" when it is clear that there are indiscretions from all parties with the most serious consequences being attributable to the larger faster vehicles. Even pedestrians cause accidents through careless road crossing etc

  • rate this
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    Comment number 23.

    I've been cycling to college, Uni and work for nearly two decades and I never ever go to the side of a bus or lorry, it is just too risky that they won't see you. I was cycling in Twickenham once and a lorry was in front of me turning left, I stop behind and another cyclist past me and got pushed off his bike when the lorry turned. You may be right but you'll also lose if you try to prove it.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 22.

    Those who question cyclists risky behaviour might remember it applies to pedestrians as well. Crossings that prioritize motors by impeding or misdirecting foot or cycle traffic (who ever crosses just half a road?), are where there are more risks taken, and thus accidents.

    Like TfL, you can technically blame the pedestrians and cyclists, but it won't make you a better person.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 21.

    Whilst any life lost is a total tragedy, I do not see ALL cyclists as innocent victims.
    On my walk across London in the morning to work I see on average 5 or 6 cyclists fly through red lights, probably more than that undertaking vehicles at junctions, and even more than that cycling on pavements and getting in the way of pedestrians.

    When it is dark I lose count of lightless bikes

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 20.

    Additionally, as most of these really bad accidents involve HGV's and cyclists, then why are we allowing HGV's into a congested area like a City? replace them with smaller vans and it would increase safety - I know this would mean more vehicles on the road but that means more jobs and safer roads?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 19.

    When Bow Flyover junction was fitted with new traffic lights, we had an increase in accidents due to the lights changing immediately i.e. there was no delay in between light changes, as soon as one set hit red the opposing set went amber. Add cyclists to this scenario and its a recipe for disaster whichever side of the fence you sit on. there needs to be better enforcemant of ALL road users

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 18.

    Well and truly the government hates cyclist that’s the reason why they put the cyclist on front of the car in traffic lights so the driver can knock them off there bikes!! If the gov are really concern about the cyclist then they should tax them and create a different lane for cyclist a way from other traffics.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 17.

    Technology is available to prevent lorry blind spot cyclist deaths at minimal cost according to a recent "Newsnight"report.
    It could easily be made a legal requirement introduced, initially for new vehicles and then as part of MOT testing for Large vehicles such as lorries.
    It needs a MP to sponsor this . Who is up to the challenge? Come on David Cameron you do cycle in London!

 

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