We support cyclist-specific low-level traffic lights but remind Mayor they alone can't make Bow roundabout safe

The London Cycling Campaign has restated our support for the use of cyclist-specific low-level traffic lights (a Dutch example is pictured above), but has reminded the Mayor Boris Johnson and Transport for London that use of these lights alone can't make a dangerous junction safe.

Specifically, the installation of low-level traffic lights at Bow roundabout is not sufficient on its own to prevent lorries and people on bikes coming into potentially lethal conflict again at this junction.

LCC's Chief Executive Ashok Sinha said, "We support the principle of Dutch-style low-level traffic lights, which are a useful addition to the tools that junction designers can use, but these lights alone aren't enough to make a dangerous junction safe.

"The presence of low-level traffic lights or otherwise doesn't remedy the major flaw of this junction: that many cyclists can't progress safely across the junction without motor traffic catching up with them, and potentially putting them in grave danger by turning across their path."

The current junction design at Bow provides cyclists travelling east or west across the roundabout with several seconds start ahead of motor traffic, but this configuration didn't prevent cyclist Venera Minakhmetova being run over and killed by a left-turning lorry on 13 November 2013 (see photo below).

fatal lorry crash at Bow roundabout
At Bow, we're calling for an all-green phase to allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross the junction safely while motor traffic is stopped.

Low-level traffic lights should help cyclists and motorists better understand how the type of junction at Bow is supposed to work, but even when it works as designed the layout doesn't remove the danger of lethal "left hooks".

VIDEO A motorcycle cuts across the path of a cyclist at Bow, despite the 'early start' junction design.

Replies

This week I have had one guy in a very large 4 x 4 vehicle diagonally across the entire 'early start' box turning left (travelling Eastbound) and a motorbike cut across me like the one in the video.

Really interested to hear what the Dutch transport visitors who were there this morning have to say about this embarrassment!

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