All junctions on London's cycle superhighways to be reviewed

Vigil for cyclists A vigil is held for two cyclists killed in the Bow Roundabout

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A review of all junctions on London's cycle superhighways has been ordered following the deaths of two cyclists within a month.

The news comes as around 200 cycling campaigners held a vigil for the victims - Brian Dorling, 58, and a 34-year-old woman - at 18:00 GMT at the Bow Roundabout.

Mr Dorling, of Hounslow, was killed on 24 October while the woman cyclist died on 11 November.

Kulveer Ranger, Mayor Boris Johnson's director of environment, said London is seeing "unprecedented levels of cycling" and Transport for London (TfL) is looking into the issue of safety.

He said: "Work is beginning on how London gears up to move to the next level of cycling infrastructure and continuing to improve safety for cyclists.

"This includes a commitment from TfL to review all major schemes planned on TfL roads as well as to review all the junctions on the existing cycle superhighways.

"That work will include an assessment of Bow Roundabout, which TfL have been asked to report back to the mayor on as a matter of urgency."

'Unclear and difficult'

More details have also emerged about the recommendations made to TfL about the junction.

I have been given a document written by the Jacobs consultancy for TfL prior to the installation of Cycling Superhighway 2 (CS2).

It highlighted some problems cyclists could face, including "high traffic flows and speeds on Bow Roundabout" and the view that "continuation to and from the cycle route is unclear and difficult".

The recommendations about what should be done are very clear.

The document says Toucan crossings should be installed on the north and south sides of the roundabout.

And "off-carriageway cycle lanes" should be provided around the roundabout, to "encourage less confident cyclists to use the route".

Neither of these were acted on in the implementation of CS2. So someone made a decision to ignore the advice of TfL's own traffic consultants.

The document from the consultancy firm The January 2010 report highlights problems cyclists could face

The Greens on the London Assembly say they now want a clear and honest account of who made the decision not to proceed with these changes, and whether either the mayor's advisers - or mayoral direction - influenced the choices made.

The Greens made it clear, as I mentioned in a recent article, that they believe the smoothing traffic flow policy has affected the decision.

On Wednesday that was denied by Mr Johnson who said any decisions on this roundabout had not been referred to him.

Ashok Sinha, from the London Cycling Campaign, said: "These documents show that Transport for London were clearly advised by their own consultants, as well as the London Cycling Campaign, to provide safe signalised crossings and off-carriageway cycle lanes at Bow Roundabout.

"The mayor has to explain why these measures were not carried out.

"We are calling for an immediate re-design of the junction to reduce the road danger and prevent any more tragic deaths."

According to John Biggs, the Labour London Assembly member for City and East, we will know within a week the results of TfL's safety review of the junction.

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

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Whilst I agree with the proposed review, and appreciate the comments of the cyclists, I feel quite stongly that not enought cyclists realise that traffic laws also apply to them.

    Today, I have witnessed eight cyclists breaking red traffic signals, and two cycling the wrong way on a one-way street.

    I remember cycling proficiency courses for schoolchildren, maybe it is time to revise them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Can we inquire into who decided to ignore the recommendations of the consultants, and the reasons? If this were financial, as one may well suspect, then how should our blue sponsors feel about the blood on their tracks?
    Are they not portraying their values and very best of their community responsibility - in the widest sense - in undertaking such public works?
    What can we infer about this bank?

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    "Work is beginning on how London gears up to move to the next level of cycling infrastructure"

    A first level would be nice. Paint is all very pretty, but it's not a great substitute for thought.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Re:Cynic Al - Yes totally agree with you on that one, it is shocking the amount of cyclists who just ignore laws and nothing is done about them. The other day I nearly went into a cyclists who thought the law regarding having lights at night does not apply to bikes - believe it or not this was on the A49 near Ludlow - 60mph road with no streetlights even with my headlights I only just saw him.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    I drove on the M4 the other night. In the rain. 70mph speed limit. Was anyone at all doing under 70? Not a chance. Were people doing 90? plenty of them.

    Number of road deaths in the UK caused by cyclists: 3

    Number of UK pedestrian and cyclist deaths caused by cars: 782

    (2007 figures)

    Let's sort out the driving, first, shall we?

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    I cycle on that junction twice a day. It is terrifying.

    Cars turning left don't wait until cyclists have cleared the side roads before turning.

    I was waiting in an ASL, the lorry driver behind crept forward, putting me in his blind spot. He then turned left in front of me when the lights changed.

    (for the record, I always stop at red lights, I never cycle on the pavement or without lights).

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    CS2 in general is a classicof "paint pot engineering" - it was unpleasant in places before CS2, which has done precisely nothing to improve it. I'm told it was designed by the bus priority team. It shows.

    Bow roundabout itself has narrow gutter lanes out of the traffic flow encouraging cyclists to take pretty much the worst possible route round the roundabout. No novice should go near it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    The trolls are out in force. Today I came across a driver doing her make up, a few red light jumpers and you get the idea.

    Anyway, on topic, great to see the pressure building on tfl and the mayor.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    @1 &4
    It is sickening, but predictable that the anti cyclist brigade will reel out the old "cyclist breaking the law" chestnut, like it's news to anyone. This article is about two people who died in collisions and TfL accepting that they need to review the junction. Whereas you seem to be suggesting that they themselves could be to blame. Like I said, sickening.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    @Cynic Al - I was at the vigil tonight - I would love to see you argue to the families of the bereaved that, because _some_ cyclists jump red lights (probably out of self-preservation, rather than the hundreds of red-jumping cars that I see every day who are simply shaving seconds) that somehow this condones or excuses or devalues these appalling and needless deaths. Shame on you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Brian Dorling's son spoke with dignity of the loss of his father. Brian wasn't lacking in cycling proficiency.
    The sister of the young lady killed at Bow last week spoke to the vigil. She is Ukrainian and spoke no English, but her pain and anger were clear to us all.
    So don't turn this into the same old 'red light jumpers/helmets/I pay road tax' troll. These people were killed by TfL negligence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    @Cynic Al

    I remember cycling proficiency courses for schoolchildren, maybe it is time to revise them.

    Cycling Proficiency is now known as Bikeability and is taught in thousands of schools. Perhaps before you give your expert opinion - tasteless, inappropriate and crass as it is - you could at least do a little research?

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    In reply to Cynic Al - I'm a cyclist in London and I do see red light jumping frequently and agree that it's not appropriate for cyclists to do this in many situations.

    Although the larger issue is that the majority of vehicle drivers on the road *do not* treat bicycles as traffic. Currently cyclists have to fight their way through junctions. Improving them will help stop this happening.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    The ignorance and bigotry of some people who always pop out on these comments (yes you Cynic Al & Darren) is just unbelievable. I agree about obeying the rules but it is not ALL cyclists and not JUST cyclists. On my 10 mile commute the last 1 or 2 cars through almost EVERY junction are jumping the red lights.

    If someone mentions 'road tax' I might just explode...

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    For anyone -like Darren- who thinks it is all the fault of people on bicycles, perhaps you should try cycling round a city and see who is to blame

    Search for "CF54UWV" and see a video of someone driving who can't be bothered to look or give way at a junction. That's the kind of thing people on bicycles have to deal with. Even if they do follow traffic lights &c.

    You are blaming victims

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Cynic Al. My husband had all of the high vis gear, plus helmet, cateye lights; was a cyclist, motorcyclist and driver. He was very aware of road positioning, the highway code and traffic law both on bikes and in car. Unlike lots of drivers, he did not use his mobile phone whilst driving or cut-up cyclists because cars can. We need proper segregated cycle lanes and laws to protect cyclists.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    I agree Cynic Al...
    As a female cyclist I am appalled by the every day blatant disregard of the highway code by other (mainly young or middle aged male) cyclists. Pedestrians having to give way to fast racing cyclists going through red lights is dangerous, unlawful, selfish and provocative.
    Maybe as drivers have to pass a test something similar for cyclists? - a bicycle is also a vehicle.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    CynicAl, and Darren:

    There is a reason cyclists disobey traffic lights in certain situations. It's about personal safety. Those cyclists who don't jump certain traffic lights are exposing themselves to danger, as the surpressed TFL report highlights.

    Of course all users should obey traffic regulations, but these should be designed for needs of all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    I am dissapointed with BBC Londons listeners & some presenters constant rather negative view of cyclists, many thousands of Londoners HAVE to cycle no choice, there is a rather Marie Antionette view of cycling the BBC sometimes take.Its disgusting Peter Hendy apparently blames cyclists if they are killed Bow roundabout by large Olympic site trucks, we have spurts of cycle lanes, badly managed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    We NEED an authentic proper warts 'n' all cycling in London report - why has it not been done?
    Mr Johnson and his choice (not ours!) of 'B' for Barclays fits nicely with his B oris B ikes. I HATE that particular blue colour all over our old cycle lanes. INVEST in some new CYCLING lanes The Embankment, Tower Hill, Oxford St etc MR JOHNSON...or like Ken & the Buses..your just a BIG dissapointment.


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