Success for campaigners as Mayor announces death knell for gyratories

The London Cycling Campaign welcomes the Mayor's concrete commitment to transform or 'rip-out' 33 gyratories/roundabouts – "relics of the sixties which blight and menace whole neighbourhoods" to quote Mayor Boris Johnson – and to provide safe crossings for cyclist and pedestrians. We are pleased to see that that the funding for this programme has been increased to a more realistic £300 million, from the original £19m and the sum later allocated of £100m.

Elephant & Castle: one of London's worst gyratories

Urgent action must still be taken to address dangers presented to cycling at many more junctions across London. Nonetheless this announcement vindicates the actions of the many thousands of people who have supported recent LCC campaigns to make junctions safe by adopting international quality of provision for cycling.

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said: "We congratulate the Mayor on this hugely welcome announcement. At last we have a firm commitment, and the funding, to tackle the main barriers to cycling as identified by cyclists in the capital. Rapid implementation of this programme will help reduce deaths and serious injuries to cyclists, as well make our roads safer for pedestrians too. We share the Mayor's view that gyratories blight our capital and removing them will improve quality of life for all."

The initial programme of tackling key London junctions (Better Junctions Review) was a response by the Mayor to the tragic deaths of two cyclists in 2011 at Bow Roundabout and the subsequent vigils and protests by LCC members and the families of the people who died.Al l the Mayoral candidates in 2012 promised to adopt continental grade standards for cycle provision on our roads when they signed up to LCC's Love London Go Dutch campaign, and the Mayor wrote to LCC in 2013 promising action in response to our Space for Cycling protests at the Aldwych and Holborn gyratories.

The Mayor has released a map of the 33 junctions where gyratories will be tackled and high grade cycle facilities provided. He makes a commitment to ripping out gyratories at Swiss Cottage, Archway, Aldgate, Elephant & Castle, Wandsworth roundabout and other locations. They will be replaced by two-way roads "segregated cycle tracks and new traffic-free public space".

Transport for London is undertaking to provide detailed designs of schemes next month and to start actual works in the second half of 2014. LCC has previously objected to the slow pace of progress of the Better Junctions Review announced in 2011. The programme, which has examined several dozen junctions, has yet to deliver large-scale results on the ground. This time round the Mayor and TfL are promising that the "programme has been fundamentally refocused away from making minor, often cosmetic changes at a large number of junctions to delivering real and transformational change at the busiest and worst junctions." Average spending at each of the 33 listed locations will be around £9 million.

TfL says that, in the last three years, more than 150 cyclists and pedestrians have been killed or seriously injured at the 33 locations that are being addressed under the programme. Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: "They are some of the busiest traffic intersections in Europe, so this work has been complicated. But we are now fully committed to delivering these junction improvements as quickly as possible, making London safer and more inviting for all."

There will also be works at some of the remaining 100 junctions previously identified in the Better Junctions Review as in need of improvements.

 

Replies

more promises, more announcements, still nothing changed on the ground and evidence that cycling levels may be falling.

In New York they just got on with it, put in temporary changes to test new layouts and then made them permanent when they were happy. We have no such schemes in evidence.

"Smoothing traffic flow" still puts such design barriers in place for these junction reviews that it doesn't matter if you threw the whole pot at a single junction, it would still be expected to carry the same or higher traffic capacity and hence continue to relegate cyclists to 2nd class travellers.

Getting tired of this.

Can we add on Stoke Newington too, it is really dangerous as motorists keep driving onto the high street and going down the wrong way! A pedestrian died a couple of weeks ago. Please don't leave us Stokies out.

  • By SimonS at 02:03pm 27 Feb 2014
It's not Wandsworth Roundabout that is listed, it is Wandsworth's (evil) gyratory system. Also, it was not only LCC members who have been out protesting. As ever, good promises, but until we see delivery, most of us will remain sceptical. The multi million pound under spends and total lack of delivery over the past couple of years do merit some kind of announcement by LCC IMHO...
  • By Sid at 10:14pm 27 Feb 2014
When will the Mayor learn that TfL are incompetent and not capable of delivering these junctions in the next 10tears at least, they might get a couple small schemes complete by 2016. Some big schemes won't get done this decade! Their inhouse design team has 40 consultants doing hardly any work over the last 2yrs, yet they collect +£300 a day, the TfL Capital Design team has no experience and consists of a lot of recent graduates with no clue, especially on cycling. I guarantee the cycling designs are not taking priority. Boris has asked a circus to deliver these vital projects. All he bangs on about how much money he has allocated to TfL, knowing that it gets the press off his back and will be long gone by the time anything happens...
  • By bbm at 06:49pm 05 Mar 2014
I am getting disappointed that the LCC keeps announcing "victories" before anything has changed on the ground. The only victories in evidence are by the mayor's very formidable PR machine.

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