LCC urges Londoners to join Space for Cycling protest at Bow roundabout tonight calling for Mayor to take immediate action to make cycling safe

Bow roundabout fatality

Space for Cycling protest, 13th November 2013

The London Cycling Campaign is calling on all Londoners to join our Space for Cycling protest at Bow roundabout tonight (details below), organised in response to yet another death at the failed junction, which still presents a totally unacceptable risk to cycling.

This morning a woman cyclist was dragged under the wheels of a lorry, which appeared to be turning from Bow roundabout on to the southbound A12.

We, like many Londoners, are shocked and angered at what has been the fourth London cycling death in just eight days, and we're calling on the Mayor Boris Johnson to take immediate action to prevent further avoidable deaths - first, by putting in place a safe design for Bow roundabout.

On 13 September 2012, we wrote to Transport for London's Head of Surface Transport Leon Daniels (read the letter) warning of the substantial risk to cyclists from turning motor vehicles at Bow, despite the installation of the 'early start' facility.

LCC's Chief Executive Ashok Sinha said, "Although we don't know the exact circumstances of today's crash, we know it happened just a few metres from where Svitlana Tereschenko was killed in 2011.

"It's unbelievable that we are, again, two years after that death, calling on Mayor Boris Johnson to install cycling and pedestrian-safe traffic lights at Bow roundabout to prevent more Londoners being killed.

"A cyclist-specific traffic lights were recommended by TfL's own consultants before Superhighway 2 was built, but the recommendations of expert consultants, cyclists and pedestrians have been ignored."

LCC says that if the Mayor continues to prioritise motor traffic flow over cycling and pedestrian safety, then more deaths on the roads are inevitable. 

Since before the current design was put in place, LCC has pointed out the major problems with the design:

  • Significant risk to cyclists of being hit by a left-turning vehicle
  • Poor understanding of the traffic light system by all road users
  • Major delays to cyclists, compared with motorists, which encourage people to use the more dangerous flyover
  • No crossing facilities of any kind for people on foot

Details of tonight's protest

  • Assemble from 6pm (for 6.30pm start) on pavement outside McDonalds, and along Payne Road at Bow roundabout (if the roundabout is still closed by the police, we'll assemble as close as possible on Bow Road west side)
  • Please bring lights, candles, placards for this peaceful protest

Replies

  • By eamong at 01:17pm 13 Nov 2013

Hi

I commute via the Bow Rdbt every day. Clearly more than I are concerned by the traffic light configuration with regards to cyclist welfare and safety. Last Friday, 8 Nov '13, I took a photo of the same junction where the female cyclist was killed this morning. This was to demonstrate to friends and work colleagues what appears to be a contradictory and confusing set of traffic lights. Green bike followed immediately be a red standard light. Would you 'GO'? Ive attached it here. Its plainly confusing!

That a fatality has occurred right at the point where I took the photo only 5 days ago is not a surprise to me. The concern I hold for this junction could very well be the direct cause of this mornings terrible incident.

I fully appreciate that getting these things 'right' is not always easy. But now hopefully we can respond and make this safer for all, motorised vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

Eamon Gorman

13/11/13

  • By bigpete at 02:05pm 13 Nov 2013

I can't be there in person but please demonstrate the anger I feel on my behalf.

  • By Lucy at 02:55pm 13 Nov 2013

Anyone guiding rides over there? I have no idea how to get there, and I won't be allowed to take my bike on the train at that time of day..

I don't even know where the roundabout is, Google maps not helping.  Any tips?

  • By Lucy at 02:59pm 13 Nov 2013

No, wait, I've found the roundabout, but still no real idea how to get there from Richmond, Any ideas? :)

  • By eamong at 03:06pm 13 Nov 2013

Get to Aldgate / Aldgate East and the road is direct east from there. About 2-3 miles

It's appalling that this junction's dangers have been flagged up so clearly before, yet another life has been lost. Is there a case for corporate manslaughter against TfL for ignoring the warnings?

  • By AlexB at 03:36pm 13 Nov 2013

Personally I have no intention to go to London's worst spot for cyclists and try to mix it up with the traffic. I also live at the opposite end of London.

This is a tragedy, but I see no point in antagonising drivers.

Can we not have a protest outside county hall instead? It is relatively central, easily filmed for TV crews, and would be a massive embarassement for the Mayor, since he'd have to hide inside until we left (assuming he's not off swanning around the country on First Class travel somewhere).

can't be there, but my thoughts are with the family and friends of this young woman.

I went on youtube and looked at the ads that TfL have put out about this new contraflow system and to be quite honest, its a dogs breakfast. I have serious concerns about the level of town and country planning in London. I've sent Boris an email explaining my dissatisfaction. 

This is just awful.

I wish I could be there with you guys tonight.

Sending support to you from Glasgow.

  • By coraiw at 05:19pm 13 Nov 2013

Unfortunately I can't attend the protest ride tonight. However, with 4 deaths and 4 serious injuries in the past 8 days I think we're ready for an epic protest ride. I think it could be longer (I think most cyclists, even kids, would be happy to ride 10km), give people more notice and, frankly, cause more disruption.

  • By eamong at 05:28pm 13 Nov 2013

coraiw

 

sorry, this is not about disruption. Its about making a point about safety. An unfortunate by product is that it probably will also disrupt...

How much money has the Mayor spent and for what? Bow Junction is even more dangerous than before with the ambiguous cycle lights which is an absurd design. Another needless loss of life, needless because a proper electronic signaling system of crossings would solve the problem for everyone - as recommended by the LCC previously. TFL needs to take responsibility here for Londoners lives, pedestrians and cyclists...

Furious Local.

I would have come if i had known about this. This is getting outrageous. what I dont understand is how come the lorry drivers never get into trouble for it. It seems like the law is never on the side of the cyclists. Can someone explain why there are never charges against this?

  • By coraiw at 09:37am 14 Nov 2013

eamong

 

Actually in part I think it is about disruption. I think most forms of effective protest are, because it is about being heard. This is why the US government uses Free Speech Zones to dictate the time, place and manner of protests which minimises both disruption and the effectiveness of such protests. In the context of cycling I find images of the 1970s Dutch protests to be really powerful (http://www.pps.org/blog/how-the-dutch-got-their-cycle-paths/). Do you think these important changes came about by cyclists grovelling at the exhausts of motorists - "Excuse me, ever so sorry to bother you, but would you mind not killing us on the roads anymore. Ever so grateful. Cheerio"

If every time a cyclist is killed major roads have to be closed off for cycle protests then I think motorists might actually start to think a bit more about the repercussions of their actions. It's sad but true.

  • By Dave H at 10:05am 14 Nov 2013

In the rail industry the key for safe operation is to make a "Wrong-side failure" (such as running past a red signal) a fail-safe event. The railway has over the years failed to get this right but with the meticulous investigations by HMRI and now RAIB, the various causal factors are picked out in a blame neutral way, and the measures to eliminate the fail to danger are spelled out.  A level crossing with such glaring fail to danger issues would have a 28-day improvement notice slapped on it and heads would roll if no action was taken.

The arrangements at Bow roundabout deliver 8 motor vehicle movements where a wrong side failure, to stop at a traffic signal, yield at a Give Way line, or yield when turning left across traffic (on foot (HC Rule 170) and cycle) WILL result in a conflicting movement with cycle and pedestrian traffic in the same road-space.

Two questions were not asked at Brian Dorling's inquest - TfL's own survey results noted that 60% of cyclists were riding over the flyover to follow the main CS2 East-West route, my own observations taken on a couple of visits to Stratford when I had breakfast at the Three Mills Cafe was that the figure was more like 70% of cyclists riding over the flyover and 80-90% of motor traffic going to the roundabout.  Why was this clear showing from cyclists that going over the flyover was a safer and faster option discounted as the route to use.

Second would TfL care to comment on the relative likelihood of a vehicle turning left across the path of a cyclist or otherwise entering the roadspace with a conflicting movement a) where the cycle route is on the roundabout and b) where the cycle route uses the left hand lanes on the dual carriageway, over the flyover.  I think it is blindingly obvious that taking cycle traffic over the flyover for all practical purposes eliminates every possibility of motor vehicles entering the same road-space as cycles with a conflicting movement, whilst the very nature of the majority of motor traffic movements at the roundabout being made to turn left to join the A102 or to emerge from the A102 on to the roundabout are ALL potentially fatal crashes in the event of any driver or cyclist error, or deliberate disobeying of the instruction from a traffic signal/road sign.

To adapt from Michael O'Leary "What is it about inherently unsafe that TfL doesn't understand?"   

Noted today's further news of the fatality back at Aldgate East - a messy left-right move for those heading between Commercial Street and Commercial Road (A13), with the very difficult call on when/how to move across the flow from the left turn to join Whitechapel Road, and then to get a safe position in the right hand lane(s) within barely 100 metres. No clear signage or road markings, save from the near permanently blocked, sub standard width cycle lane on Commercial Street another recipe of confused and conflicting traffic paths.

  • By Dave H at 10:10am 14 Nov 2013

Just realised you last line - can you explain in detail what there is about using the flyover which is more dangerous than using the roundabout? It has less motor traffic, no left turning traffic and no traffic pullling out across the path taken by a cyclists, and with the major part of the cycle traffic currently using the flyover not a single death or serious injury. So again can you please explain what is more dangerous about using the flyover, compared to using the roundabout? 

Does the LCC still stand by the comment that "Major delays to cyclists, compared with motorists, [which] encourage people to use the more dangerous flyover" with particular reference to the assertion that the flyover is more dangerous?

 

I haven't checked the statistics, but I doubt the numbers of cyclists in KSI incidents on the flyover exceeds that of those on the roundabout. 

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