Major victory as Transport for London says Dutch-style roundabouts could be in London in 2014

Dutch-style roundabouts that separate cyclists from motor traffic could be installed in London as soon as 2014, according to Transport for London and the Mayor's Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan (BBC video report).

The news was welcomed by LCC's campaigns officer Charlie Lloyd:

"Our 2012 Love London, Go Dutch campaign is bearing fruit: anyone who's cycled through a Dutch roundabout with a segregated cycle track knows these designs offer comfort and safety for cycling far in excess of British roundabout designs, which often require skill and nerve to negotiate on a bicycle when there's fast-moving motor traffic.

"These Dutch designs also increase efficiency of the roundabout because bicycles use much less space than cars, which should mean less congestion and less conflict for motorists, as well as the safety benefits for those who cycle."

In 2012, we campaigned against a flawed shared-use proposal for Lambeth Bridge roundabout, suggesting precisely this type of Dutch roundabout instead.

Transport for London withdrew its proposal, and has promised to revisit the design, hopefully with one of the first Dutch roundabouts in London.

We also criticised the measures proposed by Transport for London for Waterloo roundabout, which we said failed to provide a safe and inviting envrionment where anyone could cycle.

The Transport Research Laboratory has set up a life-sized trial of the Dutch design at its facility in Berkshire (see photo above), with a view to rolling out the design in key locations in London next year.

The roundabouts - which are commonplace in Dutch cities, towns and rural areas (see the video) - ensure cyclists don't have to share roadspace with motor vehicles within the junction.

Where replacing roundabouts with conventional junctions isn’t a sensible option, Dutch-style roundabouts offer major safety advances over traditional British ones.

Dutch planners realise most collisions happen at junctions so they design roundabouts to slow down motor traffic and give priority to cyclists and pedestrian: the result is fewer crashes and fewer injuries.

The design makes sure bicycles and motor traffic cross perpendicular to each other, so motorists should always have a clear view of anyone potentially crossing their path.

Cyclists and pedestrians have priority at crossing points, where motorists are obliged to give way.

A major cause of serious injury and death to cyclists in London is when vehicles turn left across cyclists at junctions.

The design principles also recognise that starting and stopping on a bicycle is much more labour-intensive than maintaining cycling speed, so gives priority to the cyclist.

Transport for London is also testing cyclist-specific traffic lights, also common in the Netherlands, which would allow cyclists and motorists to pass through junctions in different phases, removing conflicts that are one of the most common cause of collisions.

London Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan told the BBC said:

"We've got a cycling budget of £913m over 10 years and it includes £100m to refit junctions. I'm really looking forward to seeing this [roundabout] on the road. I think it's going to be fantastic for cyclists."