Fatal junction proves the need for Superhighways and Space for Cycling

 

Two cyclists have died in just six months close to the very heart of London on Ludgate Circus, at the end of Fleet Street. Both deaths were the result of being run over by 32 ton waste container lorries typically used in the construction industry.

This junction is at the core of the Mayor's Cycle Superhighway programme in the centre of the new North – South route from Kings Cross to Elephant & Castle. The diagram shows how the Superhighway will reduce danger to people on bikes.

Your support is urgently needed

The Mayor and Transport for London are running a consultation process right now to judge support for this Cycling Superhighway also the East-West route along the river and desperately needed improvements on route 2 from Aldgate to Bow Roundabout.

The Mayor's cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, has warned about the “political risk” from a few powerful businesses and property developers putting the Mayor's office “under enormous pressure to de-rail the programme.”  Use this link to add your voice to the majority of ordinary Londoners who support these schemes.

Space for Cycling

Currently, as shown by the red arrow, people riding cycles are at risk from turning lorries. When the new layout is completed by May 2016 people on bikes going North – South (right to left in diagram) will be in protected space with separate traffic signals.

They will cross over the junction when there is no motor traffic turning across their route. Lorries can still turn left along the red arrows while cycles pass on the other side. People on bikes wishing to turn into Ludgate Hill will wait and then have a clear run, following the yellow arrow while motor traffic is held back.

On Friday 17th October 26 year old Janina Gehlau was cycling south on Farringdon road as a huge lorry was turning left up Ludgate Hill. The driver did not see her, she and her bike were crushed beneath the wheels.

Janina died three days later, surrounded by her family who had rushed from their home in Germany to be at her side.

Earlier this year Victor Ben Rodriguez was killed instantly by a similar lorry also turning at this junction. He was coming down Fleet street and was not seen by the lorry driver turning left into Farringdon road. The lorry driver was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by careless driving.

Two young people who did not deserve to die while cycling in London. In our consultation response  London Cycling campaign will be lobbying for even more protection at this junction, especially where Victor died. We believe that a simpler traffic light phasing could allow the dangerous turning traffic is separated from straight ahead cyclists allowing pedestrians to cross the roads without having to wait twice.

Three years ago in 2011 this junction was identified as one of the worst 100 in London, needing urgent treatment. Since then it has been removed from the reduced “33 Better Junctions” programme. It is therefore essential that the Cycle Superhighway re-design provides improved benefits, reduced danger, for all road users.

Full details of TfL's proposals can be downloaded here. (large file 12.5MB)