All-party London assembly motion tells Mayor cyclist safety must come before 'smoothing the flow'

An all-party motion (full text below) passed in the London Assembly on Wednesday 14 December 2011 has called for a review of every dangerous junction in Greater London.

What still hasn't emerged is a date for the review of Bow roundabout and the other Superhighways junctions promised by the Mayor on 18 October 2011.  

The debate called for far greater emphasis on the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, and for less importance to be given to 'smoothing the flow' (reducing journey times for motorists) which comes at the expense of the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. 

Val Shawcross, Labour Assembly Member, said the safety of cyclists and pedestrians must be put much higher on the agenda and not be undermined by designs that favour motor traffic.

Green member Jenny Jones criticised the Mayor and Transport for London for repeatedly claiming cycling casualties are falling in the capital when the evidence for this is questionable.

London Conservative Assembly Member Andrew Boff called Transport for London ‘opaque’ and called for data on collisions and cycle flows to be made available.

He also specified that London Cycling Campaign should be consulted “at the start of the design process” for roads and not once the designs are complete.  

Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon said new proposals for Bow roundabout and King’s Cross - two locations where cyclists have died this year - must be brought forward.

She said it's inadequate to simply erect warning signs (such as at Bow), and emphasised that all junctions where cyclists have died needed to be addressed and safety mirrors erected.

An amendment  to the motion from the Lib Dems was accepted but the proposed amendment from the Conservatives for new design guidance were rejected on the grounds that urgent action is required to remedy the failure of TfL to implement existing design standards.

Conservative assembly member Andrew Boff warned that the motion might send out a negative message to people wanting to cycle in London and that the drivers involved in recent fatalities could use the motion to deny responsibility for the crashes.

Val Shawcross replied that the Mayor cannot deliver a cycling revolution without providing the safety, facilities and space cyclists need.

Text of the motion 

This Assembly deeply regrets the deaths of cyclists on London's road network and wishes to express its condolences for the loss felt by their relatives and friends.

We are concerned that some cyclist deaths and injuries could have been avoided if the road network designs for the locations where these deaths and injuries occurred had been safer.

We therefore call on the Mayor and Transport for London to:

  • Provide a comprehensive list of dangerous road junctions across London for cyclists, to include any where a cycling fatality has happened;
  • Carry out a full review of each of these junctions, considering any proposals made by cycling and road safety groups on how to redesign these junctions to make them safer. These reviews should be publically available and include details on why any suggestions have been rejected.
  • Secure an agreement with the Department for Transport to roll out Trixi mirrors at all major junctions across London, to help ensure cyclists are visible to drivers.
  • Look into expanding cycle training across London Boroughs.      
  • Bring forward proposals to improve cycle safety at Bow roundabout, King's Cross and the junction of Tower Bridge Road and Abbey Street where recent cyclist fatalities have occurred.