Cyclists say redesign of Lambeth Bridge roundabout must follow Go Dutch principles

We’re calling for a Dutch-style roundabout (pictured above) to be installed where Lambeth Bridge meets Embankment in preference to the inadequate solution proposed by Transport for London as part of its Junctions Review.

The current layout at this roundabout (two wide lanes and small centre island) encourages high-speed motor traffic and contributes to the large number of collisions at this high-cycle-traffic location, which features in many routes taking cyclists from south London to the West End, including Cycle Superhighway 8.

We’ve argued strongly against retaining the current two-lane arrangement on the roundabout, which is difficult and dangerous to negotiate on a bicycle.

We’ve also protested against TfL’s “two-tier” solution, which means shared-use pavements are portrayed as cycle facilities for the ‘timid’ while the ‘brave’ put up with exposure to carriageway danger. It feels like an excuse for neither improving the carriageway nor providing cycle-specific measures.

Local cyclist protest

Local cyclist George Johnston complained about the TfL plans: "Providing blue Superhighway logos on the roundabout carriageway in order to ‘raise motorist awareness of cyclists’ and converting the footway around the roundabout to shared space for pedestrians and cyclists is laughable. 

“There needs to be a segregated system of cycle-only lanes so cyclists can safely cross the roundabout, so they don’t come into conflict with pedestrians or get killed by cars.”

In the Netherlands, this roundabout would have single-lane entry and exit points, tighter corners to slow motor traffic dramatically, and a segregated cycle track around the outside with cyclist priority.

We think Lambeth Bridge would be an excellent location for TfL and the Department for Transport to trial a design of this type, which offers safety and convenience for all road users.

All the roads leading to this roundabout are currently single lane already, so the entry/exit points could be made single-lane without causing significant congestion.

There are also existing zebra crossings at all the entry/exit points, so motor traffic is already used to giving priority to vulnerable road users.

A compromise solution

A compromise solution would be to put in place a more simple continental-style roundabout, with narrow lanes and sharper corners to control speed, but without the segregated track.

This could be done easily within UK guidelines and rules, and a continental roundabout would cost about the same as the current proposal. 

Saying that, given Mayor Boris Johnson’s commitment to our Love London, Go Dutch campaign, we’d like him to choose the more ambitious option.