Are you 'flying over' Bow roundabout?

  • By gegi on at 11:06am 20 January 2012
  • Posted in: General
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It turns out a large proportion of cyclists use the flyover at Bow rather than the roundabout. It seems surprising given the high speeds, wind and gradient on the flyover.

Are you using the flyover? Tell us why?


  • By Loshu at 8:51am 21 January 2012

I often use it when comuting to work (Walthamstow>Docklands), though prefer the Lea if I have the time to spare.

It adds the challenge of a hill, avoids a set of trafic lights and you don't have to filter through waiting traffic.   There is a nice view at the top and keeping up with the traffic coming down isn't ussually a problem. 

Heading West to Mile End, it can feel a little hairy before the start of the flyover with traffic passing you on both sides but the flyover itself is only one lane of traffic nowdays.  Normally drivers joiningg from the round about let me move back left - and if they don't I just stay in my lane until the next set of traffic lights.

Heading East to Stratford isn't as steep. I try to move out into the right hand lane before the pelican crossing before the flyover if I can.  Keep an eye on the traffic joining from the slip road after the fly over.

The first time a friend took me over it I felt so out of breath I thought I was going to hurl. But with a bit of practice its not as bad as it seems and you get a great sence of acheivement when you don't have to change down so many gears.

If I have to use the junction, I tend to use the flyover. Fortunately I'm in reasonable shape and my bike has gears so low it could probably clime a vertical wall without too much trouble. Having said that I still find it a bit of a struggle to get to the top at any speed if I'm carrying shopping, etc. Sometimes, the traffic is a bit too fast and aggressive, so I don't go over the flyover. Going round the roundabout I don't use the blue lanes as they position cyclists in the worst places to be safe. Until the junction is remodelled I think TfL should block the current facility to cyclists as its not safe. Cyclist would be better off joining the main traffic flow. Whatever new facility is installed, I think TfL needs to make sure that it can be traversed as quickly by cyclists as they would if they were in the main traffic flow, otherwise it won't be used. On the proposed new design from TfL, does it have to be 'radical'? Couldn't we have something tried and tested by our European neighbours, such as a signalised turbo roundabout?

This post was edited by insouciant at 4:22pm 21 January 2012.

  • By gegi at 4:18pm 23 January 2012

I'd use the roundabout when it's quiet or I want to access the tow path. The flyover is handy to avoid the queues at peak time.

I tend to use the flyover more when going out of the city the gradient is quite shallow and it’s easier than trying to negotiate the roundabout.

However coming into London I only tend to use flyover during the early hours around 05:30 to 06:00. It is a much steeper ride and more dangerous when coming off the flyover trying to get over into the Cycle lane. In the old days the priority used to be given to the flyover traffic and the roundabout traffic used to filter in then I would have probably used the flyover all the time.

The roundabout is dangerous and I think has been made more dangerous by Boris's cycle lane.


  • By rjwise at 8:52pm 10 September 2012

I used to use it as I considered it a much safer option than the roundabout (this was before the recent deaths) despite the sometimes daunting prospect of getting into the middle lane whilst heading into the city.

Due to the new lane arrangements and Olympic lanes it has been made more difficult to use the flyover leaving London so I have been using the roundabout with the new safety measures. Only today I was waiting at the cyclist lights when I discovered right behind me a truck and motorbike! The motorcyclist then began mouthing off to us cyclists at the lights about going beyond the lights and how we were in the wrong (so why was he there). When the lights went green he revved loudly and sped off left (as did the truck) calling us names.

I think I'll go back to using the flyover – I now think this is still the safest option, despite the lane changes.

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