LCC publishes rejected Bow roundabout design, while Assembly Members ask mayor to explain cycling safety failures

London Cycling Campaign published a design showing how Bow roundabout could have been made safe according to its own recommendations and those of Transport for London’s consultants.

New safety features:

  • Traffic lights at all pedestrian and cyclist crossings, timed so they allow fast and direct passage for people on bikes
  • Off-carriageway bike lanes in all directions
  • Enlarged pavements and reduced roundabout space
  • Sharper turns for motor vehicles to reduce speeds

Please show your support by emailing the mayor

The design features an off-carriageway cycle track to keep cyclists separate from HGVs, buses and cars, along with signalised crossings on the arms of the roundabout that would prevent collisions with left-turning vehicles.

The traffic lights should be phased to minimise the time that cyclists and pedestrians travelling east-west have to wait.

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said, “Our diagram shows there’s space for providing both cycle tracks and pedestrian crossings at Bow.

“The Mayor must explain to Londoners why these cost-effective safety measures at Bow were rejected resulting in two avoidable cyclist deaths.”

London Assembly members Jenny Jones (Green) and Val Shawcross (Labour) have also responded to the two recent fatalities at Bow by tabling a motion for 7 December that calls for the Mayor to identify junctions where cyclists have recently been killed, and to explain why proposed safety measures at these locations were rejected.

Safety recommendations for Bow roundabout were rejected by Transport for London, while proposals at several other junctions where cyclists have died in 2011, such as Clapham and Kings Cross, were not implemented.

We’re calling on everyone concerned for cyclist and pedestrian safety to email the Mayor asking him to redesign the Bow roundabout to make it safe.

Motion to the London Assembly, 7 December 2011:

Safety of cyclists on London’s road network

Proposer: Jenny Jones
Seconder: Valerie Shawcross

This Assembly deeply regrets the deaths of cyclists on London's road network and wishes to express its condolences for the loss felt by their relatives and friends.

We are concerned that some cyclist deaths and injuries could have been avoided if the road network designs for the locations where these deaths and injuries occurred had been safer.

We therefore call on the Mayor and Transport for London to:

  • produce a list of the 10 most dangerous locations for cyclists on the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) and all locations in London where a cyclist has died in the last three years;
  • report on any proposals that were put forward by cycling and road safety groups as part of official consultation processes for redesigning roads at those locations; and  provide the reasons why such proposals were rejected.


  • By clneely at 6:49am 25 November 2011

Dont forget stopping chance. Further East at the Canning Town roundabout I lose the will to live waiting for the cycle lights to change

I spent 10 minutes last Sunday watching traffic at the roundabout - I did not use the blue route.  It took me less than that to come up with a simple redesign - identical to yours!   It is all too obvious, the pedestrian crossings  are already in place and could so easily have been used inititially even without additional traffic lights.  

  • By d_c at 12:44pm 25 November 2011

This content was deleted by d_c at 12:52pm 25 November 2011.

  • By nigel at 6:51pm 25 November 2011

There is another dangerous roundabout..

The safety of cyclist is way down on the list for Newham and TFL and Westfields for that matter ,just take a ride along the new cycling lane Westfields Stratford ,to get to it you have to risk your life.

Warton Road which joins Stratford High Street, cycle down Warton Road under the bridge you have go turn right as you are turning right you soon realise that the new cycle lane is on the right side of the road and there is no other way to join it other than to break the law and cycle the wrong way for about 5 seconds crazy stuff.

Okay phew!! you are now on the new cycle heading towards Westfields with the Olympic venus on your left as the cycle rises 'not bad' ,but  then you soon realise that there is about 8 pieces of street funiture to wiggle your way through okay you've past that cycling along heading to Westfields then your heart sinks because there is only a handfull of bicyle loops in the ground no way  near enough and no where else to lock your bike up ,so turn around head back only to face a whole new challenge as you approach the roundabout to turn left the cycle disapears and you have use the road humm..

As you turn left now  just at that point the road narrows only space for one car  now no cyclist ''not enough room for a car and a cycle'' and it's also a blind spot you are 100% safer to stay on the pavment because HGVs use this road and they love to fly around that must give then emence pleasure.

So this roundabout at Warton Road Stratford is highly ,highly dangerous

To find somewhere to lock your bike you have to make your way to Stratford station where the old shopping centre is ,this is no easy task ,Stratford Broadway is just one big roundabout with no cycle lanes so as far as i'm concered ,at this point self preservation is the key.. again once you get to the other side of Westfields the only bicle loops are the ones that are on the other side of the road (old shopping centre sdie) that's it unless you use the railings which everyone does..i can go on and on and on..


Nigel King


  • By RogerG at 7:10pm 25 November 2011
Whether or not this junction design would work would critically depend on the phasing of the traffic lights. There is a risk that segregated facilities could make cycle safety worse, not better, unless a solution is in place which gives cyclists using these facilities clear priority over drivers who intend to turn across their path. This is easier to do this in countries like Denmark, Germany etc. They have rules about priority at junctions, which say that a driver who intends to turn at a junction must give way to a pedestrian or a cyclist who is alongside them and intending to go straight ahead. Moreover this rule applies even if the driver is entering the junction on a green traffic light - they will still check in case a cyclist or pedestrian is coming up on their inside, and will wait for them to pass before turning. And this rule is well observed by drivers too, as it is backed up by "stricter liability" rules, under which it is assumed that a driver is liable for injury damages if they hit a pedestrian or a cyclist. Taken together, these rules make it much easier to do segregation safely in countries like Denmark. By contrast, under UK rules, I reckon that what you'd need to create safe cycle priority, and not cause massive delays to both pedestrians and cyclists (not to mention drivers), would be to have separate signal phases on each entry arm of the roundabout, limiting the green time available for drivers turning left at each entry arm of the roundabout. It would mean that each entry arm would have to consist of one lane for left-turning traffic, the other for traffic going straight ahead or turning right (n.b. there wouldn't be very much straight-ahead traffic because of the flyover and the underpass). That in turn might reduce motor traffic capacity, and TfL / the Mayor might object. And it might still also involve some quite hefty delays for cyclists and pedestrians too. I think it would be worth it though: many cyclists will undoubtedly appreciate having the "slower but safer" option available. Still, the key issue here is the importance of getting the signal phasing right - and LCC's proposals need to explain this very clearly. Otherwise we too risk advocating a solution which is unsafe, and/or slow for cyclists, and/or which risks provoking driver agression towards any cyclist who decides not to use the segregated crossings (e.g. because they involve long delays or because they are unnecessary, e.g. if the roundabout is congested).
  • By Austen at 9:02pm 25 November 2011

Love this design.

I visited Bow Roundabout on Monday and one of the things that struck me is that as well as being highly dangerous for cyclists, it is effectively a no-go area for pedestrians.

I watched a little old lady running across the road where Svitlana Tereschenko died - there are no pedestrian crossing signals or phases whatsoever - you have to guess and hope (particularly dangerous if you are young, old or have mobility difficulties).  This is despite the fact that thousands of people live right next to the junction.

This post was edited by Austen at 9:24pm 25 November 2011.

Quite agree, Roger G.  I go round the roundabout at the bottom of Ruckholt Road using the pavement cycle lanes and traffic lights pedestrians/cycles but I wait forever!  Most cyclists seem to use the roads and get round a lot faster.  Some synchronisation of cycle lane lights is essential.  Islington can manage it - I don't see why Newham can't.

We've added a line to the blog post above to emphasise the importance of phasing the traffic lights to make journeys convenient for cyclists. This is certainly a priority in countries like the Netherlands where they recognise that you have to give people on bikes an incentive to choose this mode of transport over the car.

One of the things that upsets drivers is being stopped by lights at pedestrian/cycle crossings when there are no pedestrians or cyclists crossing or even around.  A compromise solution for the eminently sensible design above would be to make the pedestrian/cycle crossings on demand only not automatic.  This way they would only operate when needed and not restrict the traffic flow unnecessarily 

  • By cschocca at 11:47am 1 December 2011

Ok, here's my thoughts:

Blue paint - either get rid of it on the roundabout altogether OR paint a whole lane blue - Why? Its simply that a LHS narrow blue line makes drivers assume the cycle is turning left at that exit when the cycle is using the lane - when the cyclist goes across the roundabout exit using the blue lane, all the trouble and misunderstandings ensue (i.e. people get hurt). By painting the whole lane blue indicates to cycles that they should use the whole lane and gets the cyclists out of the gutter... 

Crossing points - I'm not a fan of the design promoted by LCC. It's too complicated. When I was at the vigil the other night, the only safe way to cross the roundabout was to go across the middle and cross at the existing lights - why not just extend this further and make the existing crossing points demand driven pedestrian/cycle crossings as well? Diamond Geezer has the idea already posted on his blog - have a look.


  • By Cyklops at 3:19am 5 December 2011


Too much emphasis on BLAME and not enough education about wearing bright colours.

DULL red is not a bright colour. A vest is not enough.

My own statistical analysis reveals FE MALE cyclists not wearing BRIGHT COLOURS.

IRRESPONSIBLE helmet manufacturers should make helmets in either WHITE,

flourescent YELLOW or flourescent ORANGE.

Backpack Manufacturers to make backpacks BRIGHT.

COLOUR is the KEY.

BE SEEN by CAR Drivers that are changing CD's, looking at SAT NAVS, texting,

peering through rainy windscreens,

lighting cigarettes, talking to passengers, tuning the radio, eating.

Irresponsible TFL Cycling Campaign Posters featuring Cyclists wearing DARK colours,

have a look for yourself ?

Irresponsible leadership amongst cycling community !

  • By DavidMAM at 10:25pm 12 December 2011

This design is a non-starter as it will cause gridlock as soon as the traffic gets above a very low level. It would perhaps be better to use the exisiting phasing and cross to the centre of the roundabout, replacing every set of lights with a cycle crossing to run alternately phased to the main traffic stream.


Like this:

Alternative layout

There is then a safe route through the roundabout. Not the fastest but feasible. No conflict points for cyclists pushed into a perimeter suicide lane. Traffic flow is not compromised and there is sufficient space to fit all the infrastructure in. The route is perhaps a little non-intuitive but with suitable signage will work well. If for well one considers a route that is safe and plays nicely with everyone else.


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  • By Tomm at 8:12pm 17 March 2015

This content was deleted by smsm1 at 11:40pm 12 April 2015.

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