TfL abandons flawed Lambeth roundabout in favour of trial of Dutch cycling design

Transport for London has decided not to proceed with its flawed proposal for the northern Lambeth Bridge roundabout, instead trialling a Dutch-style design suggested by us and other campaigners.

You can see how the roundabout works in the video above made by Dutch expert Mark Wagenbuur who blogs at Bicycle Dutch.

An off-street Dutch-style roundabout with segregated cycle lanes is being built at the Transport Research Laboratory in Berkshire, where its safety and effectiveness will be tested by British engineers.

These roundabouts are extremely commonplace in the Netherlands, where they provide safety and convenience for people riding bicycles.

A workshop hosted by ourselves and the Dutch Cycling Embassy established that there is space for a Dutch roundabout at Lambeth Bridge

TfL's original design kept the dangerous two-lane entries to the roundabout, which encourage high speed motor traffic, and also proposed shared-use cycling and walking zones around the outside of the roundabout.

The idea was that 'fast' cyclists would share roadspace with the fast-moving motor traffic, while 'slow' ones would use the shared-use area, away from motor traffic.

Why most people won't use the shared use facility

Sadly, this type of design fails to provide a useful cycling facility for 90% of Londoners.

The shared-use facility would be too slow and inconvenient for anyone cycling at normal speed (12-15mph).

It's also potentially dangerous for these 'slow' cyclists to rejoin the carriageway into a stream of motor traffic immediately after the roundabout.

And mixing cyclists and pedestrians in a shared space on what's likely to be a commuter route also has the potential to cause conflict.

Why most people won't cycle on the carriageway

The two-tier approach from TfL envisaged 'fast' cyclists riding with motor traffic on a roundabout not dissimilar to the existing layout.

However, surveys have revealed many times that most Londoners are too scared to cycle in close proximity to fast-moving motor traffic.

For that reason, the assumption that a two-lane roundabout is adequate for cycling is flawed.