Junction of Grove Road/Burdett Road and Mile End Road isn't going Dutch

Transport for London's Better Junctions programme has published its decision on an important junction on Cycle Superhighway 2, choosing a proposal that falls short of being truly safe and inviting for cycling or walking.

The junction of Mile End Road and Grove Road and Burdett Road is part of phase one of Cycle Superhighway 2, which opened in 2011 from Aldgate to Bow Roundabout. 

The new design proposed at this junctions provides welcome improvements by removing outdated motorway-style left-turn slip-roads on Grove Road and Burdett Road.

These slip-roads are very dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians as they encourage motor traffic to turn corners at speeds totally unsuitable for urban areas. 

The mandatory cycle lanes and advanced stop lines to be added to the junction are also an improvement on the previous design.

However, cyclists wanting to turn right from anywhere on the junction will have to filter across multiple lanes of motor traffic to get from the left-hand lane to the right-hand.

Dutch junctions never put cyclists in this amount of danger, using cycling-specific traffic lights to remove conflict between cycling traffic and motorists.

People on foot will have to negotiate indirect staggered crossings, despite the very high footfall from nearby public transport.

We're disappointed that not even the minor suggestions for improvements made in our detailed consultation response were been taken on board (read our response).

We've argued for a consistent strategy for junction design along the whole of Mile End Road, but this isn't taking place and we're frustrated at the piecemeal solutions on offer

So, while a step in the right direction, the measures proposed for Mile End Road junction fall short of being safe and inviting for cycling or walking.


Mandatory cycle lanes positioned on the left side of left-turn (or left-and-straight) lanes, as proposed here, are a terrible idea. Fine when the lights are red, and bikes stop in the ASL, but when they go green, cyclists are led to the left of left-turning traffic, inviting left hooks. This is exactly the situation at Blackfriars that TFL are right now trying to modify:


It's crazy that LCC is still advocating this. If you have cycle lanes to the left of left-turning traffic, you need a fully separated lane coming up to the junction, and a cycle-specific light phase for bikes going straight on. This set-up also allows for safe two-stage right turns. (Failing this, the cycle lane should widen to become a 4m (left-turn only for motor vehicles, left and straight for bikes) lane... though this does not solve the right turn issue.)

LCC should reject this scheme outright - it's possibly more dangerous than the design it replaces - and ask for a safer Dutch solution. 

This post was edited by baron samedi at 8:39am 26 January 2013.

Dreadful, scary even.

  • By paul at 10:29pm 26 January 2013

As indicated above this is a long way short of Go-Dutch standards that Boris signed up to.

  • By David at 11:35am 27 January 2013

Quotes from the report:

"Reducing the lanes on the side roads from 3 to 2 would have a significant impact on capacity at the junction"

Cycling will never grow in significant numbers until they wake up and accept that in order to make cycling appealing the changes will have to have a negative impact on traffic movement in the short term.

"However, straight ahead crossings would have had too detrimental an impact on the length of traffic queues at this location"

Even America where car is king has straight across crossings, if we didn't have to have staggered crossings with islands at every junction there would probably be room for dutch quality segregated cycle crossings without reducing the number of lanes. Just make the cars wait a few seconds more. 


Plenty of room for s Dutch solution here. A wasted opportunity. Turning right out of Grove or Burdett Roads will be so much more dangerous with concurrent north/south running. Another, disguised Boris 'speed up the motor trafffic' plan in my opionion

This content was deleted by London Cycling Campaign at 11:36am 29 January 2013.

There is no point in wasting taxpayers' money on a design like this which is not going to encourage people to cycle. The Dutch solution would segregate pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles, and include separate timings of left turn and straight ahead traffic light phases to eliminate the risk of conflicts.

Bicycles use up less road space than cars, so converting motor traffic lanes to bicycle lanes actually increases the overall capacity of the road. This is likely to reduce congestionas long as the cycle lanes are safe enough to encourage people to use them.

I approve of your amendment to the title of this article!

  • By leftback at 11:37pm 5 November 2013

Mandatory cycle lane, you have got to be joking, the last place I want to be is right at the front of the traffic. Much better to be behind a car where you are protected. Until opposing streams of right turning traffic becomes one stream only this junction is dangerous. I nearly got killed further down Mile End Road on one of these horrible junctions. I now get off and cross as a pedestrian to do right turns. Dreadful design TfL, you should be ashamed. Try riding these junctions.

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