London Cycling Campaign secures redesign of lethal roundabout at Bow

Responding to pressure from the London Cycling Campaign and others, Transport for London has announced it will redesign the lethal roundabout at Bow to make it safer for cyclists.

The move comes just weeks after LCC persuaded 2750 London cyclists to write to Mayor Boris Johnson asking him to ‘make Bow safe’; organised a candlelit vigil attended by families of two cyclists recently killed at Bow; and published its own safe roundabout design on the LCC website.

TfL has published two proposals as to how the junction could be made safer, and has promised to take into account LCC feedback before implementing any changes.

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said, “We’re delighted Transport for London has finally responded to cyclists’ calls for Bow roundabout to be redesigned, though it’s a tragedy two people had to die first.

“At first sight, these designs potentially offer improved cyclist safety, which is vital ahead of the Olympics when it’s hoped large numbers will visit the Games by bike.

“We welcome the fact that the two Bow proposals show a more innovative approach to cycling infrastructure than we’re used to seeing from Transport for London, including a willingness to propose measures commonly used on the Continent such as cyclist-specific traffic lights.

“However, we’re still calling for a comprehensive redesign of the entire junction to bring it into line with the highest standards of street layout seen on the Continent, for the benefit of everyone.

“We’ll scrutinise these proposals in detail to make sure the safety benefits are real.”

Despite the improvements offered for cyclist safety, the issue of pedestrian safety remains a major concern, and LCC will continue to liaise with pedestrian groups to ensure everyone can cross the junction in safety.

LCC will also be asking all its members, especially those in the local area, to give their views.

There's more information about the proposals (including images and videos) at www.tfl.gov.uk/bowroundabout.

Replies

This content was deleted by Paul_draper at 01:54pm 12 Jan 2012.

  • By anna_g at 11:01am 13 Jan 2012

Unfortunately, the TFL feedback site is down. What a surprise!

Thankful as i am for any response from TFL, does this really solve the problem for cyclists? or is it just another token response? Pedestrians get ignored in this review, here is TFL's reasoning 13/01/12:

Thank you for your e-mail addressed to the Mayor of London regarding Bow Roundabout. Your correspondence has bee brought to my attention at Transport for London (TfL). Please rest assured that I can understand you concerns in relation to this issue.

Both the A12 and the A11 Bow Roundabout form part of the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN). As the Highway Authority for these roads, TfL is obliged to consider all road users when planning schemes and cannot make changes if they will have a disproportionately adverse effect on other road users.

Prior to the introduction of the Barclays Cycle Superhighway Route 2 (CS2), TfL spent a significant amount of time reviewing the Bow Roundabout to try to identify some way to provide a signalised pedestrian crossing whilst ensuring this key junction could continue to operate effectively. Unfortunately it was not possible to identify a design that would provide these facilities without causing substantial and widespread disruption.

As there have been no personal injury collisions recorded in last 3 years which involved pedestrians crossing at Bow Roundabout (the most recent 36 months of collision data available is between 1 October 2008 – 30 September 2011), there is no road safety justification for providing signalised crossing for pedestrians.

TfL is currently reviewing the design of Bow Roundabout, alongside the ongoing police investigation into the recent fatal collisions, to see whether more can be done to improve safety for cyclists here. The current review will look at a number of different options, including the provision of traffic signals. This work is ongoing and TfL will report back to the Mayor with the findings as soon as possible.

Thank you again for taking the time to raise this issue. I hope that the information provided has been helpful to you. Should you have any future queries please do contact me. For more information regarding TfL’s services please visit www.tfl.gov.uk/contact.

 

You're right that the lack of a pedestrian solution is a major concern, and there are still many questions over the two proposals to improve cyclist safety.

At this stage, we have to give the plans a cautious welcome, and encourage the TfL engineers for coming up with some innovative solutions.

However, until we have more precise details, including traffic phases, we won't be committing to either measure.

  • By bigpete at 08:02am 17 Jan 2012

Like you I was encouraged (amazed even) when I first read this announcement. I struggled to make sense of the details however, and when the videos and plans became available nagging questions crept in. Just how long are cyclists going to have to wait before they’re “allowed” to enter that giant ASZ?

Many others share similar concerns (Cyclists in the City and David Hembrow express them far better than I could).

It looks like it’s just an election-year story after all, offering little of any real value but carefully spun so as to give the impression of doing so.

I'm astounded that the only prompt for action for the benefit of pedestrians by TFL, is for personal injury or loss of life to actually occur!!! So until someone gets hurt or loses their life, nothing will be done!!! In relation to the proposed design by the LCC for a signaling system, traffic flow seems to take priority over personal safety!!! It seems that TFL is prioritising traffic flow at any cost, even more than peoples lives!!!

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