London Cycling Campaign demands immediate Bow redesign after roundabout claims second victim in three weeks

There have been vehement calls for an immediate redesign of the Bow roundabout, after news that tonight it claimed the life of a second cyclist in three weeks.

The London cycling community has been stunned by the news that a 20-year-old female was killed around 4.45pm in a collision with an HGV at a location where there have now been three fatalities and eight serious injuries in recent years.

Cyclists are furious at the Mayor and Transport for London’s refusal to address the danger, despite repeated warnings that the roundabout poses an unacceptable threat to cyclists and pedestrians.

LCC’s chief executive Ashok Sinha said, “During a 2010 inspection ride, prior to the implementation of the Cycle Superhighway that connects with this junction, we warned TfL in the starkest terms of the dangers of left-turning vehicles, high traffic volumes and speeds, and the absence of provision for cyclists.

“And when we saw the woefully inadequate design for the Superhighway in February, we wrote to senior Transport for London management to warn them expressly that this roundabout posed a continued and real danger.

“We are appalled at this latest, preventable death and are fearful of what may happen when large numbers of cyclists have to tackle this junction on their way to and from the Olympics. 

“We cannot understand how this junction can form part of what is one of the Mayor’s flagship cycling projects.”

Earlier this week, the Mayor was forced to defend TfL’s safety record in the London Assembly after recent cyclist fatalities at Bow roundabout and Kings Cross left Londoners angry and frustrated.

When questioned about the death of Brian Dorling on the same roundabout three weeks ago, the Mayor told the London Assembly, "Cyclist safety is of huge personal importance to me."

He went on to say, "If we can do anything to ameliorate this junction then of course we will look at it."

The Mayor then qualified that statement, saying, "Sometimes, I don't think that physical streetworks are the answer."

The grim news of a second Bow fatality comes just hours before hundreds of cyclists are expected to take to the streets in a protest that will visit the 10 least safe junctions in the capital.

Many participants have indicated their intention to wear black on the ride on Saturday morning in memory of the latest victim.

Earlier this afternoon, just hours before the latest tragedy in East London, representatives from the London Cycling Campaign called for the safe design of junctions to be put at the top of the agenda during a meeting of TfL's Cycle Safety Working Group.  

LCC's road-danger reduction campaigner Charlie Lloyd said, "We've praised TfL for its steps towards improving the safety standards of lorry operators, but this work is being fundamentally undermined by the failure to provide a safe street environment for all road users."

photo Diamond Geezer


Q: How many cyclists have been killed and seriously or slightly injured on this roundabout in the five years leading up to the introduction of the 'Cycle Superhighway' (sic), and how many since its introduction?  Anyone know of a good law firm willing to work pro bono on a corporate manslaughter case?

On my way back from town last Thursday I changed my normal route slightly to go via the Bow roundabout and take a look at how it has changed.  My advice to anyone going that way would be to check behind, signal if necessary and move out to take the lane on the approach to the roundabout, and going through it.  Personally, I think I'll stick to going over the flyover.

Tom Edwards at BBC has examined the roundabout:
One of the comments is from Brian's wife, Debbie,
"I am the wife of Brian Dorling who was killed on 24th October at this awful junction. I and our 3 children are devastated by his needless death on what is an appalling layout. We went to watch the reconstruction of the collision and whilst I was watching the traffic in 20 minutes 3 more cyclists were nearly hit. I said to the police and traffic engineer at the time that someone else will die."

  • By phiroz at 9:41pm 12 November 2011

That roubdabout will have to be changed. If you want to go straight on, do you take nearside, middle or offside filter position? Whatever you chose you don't stand a chance. I have cycled this junction a number of times, and have never solved it. TfL could very easily solve it by introducing an all-red phase in the traffic lights for a few seconds combined with letting us use the footway. The blue cycle lanes actually make matters far worse. Along the whitechapel road they take you into the back of loading bays, bus stops and market stalls, and force you into close passing traffic. As the number of cyclists is increasing daily, the amount of road space allocated  needs to grow accordingly. This can't be done with blue paint which ends at the back of a bus, or at a death trap roundabout. Brian was a very experienced cyclist, doing about 5000 miles each year, and was always cautious and precise. On Friday I walked past his empty desk, and 10 minutes later was cycling past the wreckage of the latest tragedy. I managed to get home, but am seriously considering packing it in.

This content was deleted by crysfisch at 8:58am 13 November 2011.

I use this roundabout at BOW and mentioned it on your website yesterday RE: Westfield and Stratford . It is so so dangerous and SO SO tragic !! I feeel for the friends and families. There are no words but to tell Boris to please change to help cyclists. I'm really shocked !! I nearly got hit and scrathed someone's wing mirror with my handlebars because the turning is so tight.

Bow crash: Second cyclist killed junction

This post was edited by crysfisch at 9:01am 13 November 2011.

Currently the choices for cyclists at the Bow roundabout are:

1. use the "Super Highway"

2. use the flyover

3. stay away.

That is not good enough.

I feel very sad everytime I hear of a cycling accident. I must admit that I do not use the bow roundabout as I live in Romford and prefer to go down the A13. However looking at the photos I can understand the difficulty cyclists suffer. A lot of my near misses tend to be with drivers turning left or getting too close so I make sure I am well to the front at lights etc. I am wondering if it would be worthwhile to try and get some sort of action against the myriad of drivers who stop in the cyclists safe zone at lights and also to make them deeper, then at least we all have a good chance of being seen. I also like the idea of a cyclist traffic light rather than a red light as suggested earlier. We already have cyclists lights at some busy junctions why not here.

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  • By Tomm at 8:35pm 17 March 2015

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

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