London Cycling Campaign demands immediate Bow redesign after roundabout claims second victim in three weeks

There have been vehement calls for an immediate redesign of the Bow roundabout, after news that tonight it claimed the life of a second cyclist in three weeks.

The London cycling community has been stunned by the news that a 20-year-old female was killed around 4.45pm in a collision with an HGV at a location where there have now been three fatalities and eight serious injuries in recent years.

Cyclists are furious at the Mayor and Transport for London’s refusal to address the danger, despite repeated warnings that the roundabout poses an unacceptable threat to cyclists and pedestrians.

LCC’s chief executive Ashok Sinha said, “During a 2010 inspection ride, prior to the implementation of the Cycle Superhighway that connects with this junction, we warned TfL in the starkest terms of the dangers of left-turning vehicles, high traffic volumes and speeds, and the absence of provision for cyclists.

“And when we saw the woefully inadequate design for the Superhighway in February, we wrote to senior Transport for London management to warn them expressly that this roundabout posed a continued and real danger.

“We are appalled at this latest, preventable death and are fearful of what may happen when large numbers of cyclists have to tackle this junction on their way to and from the Olympics. 

“We cannot understand how this junction can form part of what is one of the Mayor’s flagship cycling projects.”

Earlier this week, the Mayor was forced to defend TfL’s safety record in the London Assembly after recent cyclist fatalities at Bow roundabout and Kings Cross left Londoners angry and frustrated.

When questioned about the death of Brian Dorling on the same roundabout three weeks ago, the Mayor told the London Assembly, "Cyclist safety is of huge personal importance to me."

He went on to say, "If we can do anything to ameliorate this junction then of course we will look at it."

The Mayor then qualified that statement, saying, "Sometimes, I don't think that physical streetworks are the answer."

The grim news of a second Bow fatality comes just hours before hundreds of cyclists are expected to take to the streets in a protest that will visit the 10 least safe junctions in the capital.

Many participants have indicated their intention to wear black on the ride on Saturday morning in memory of the latest victim.

Earlier this afternoon, just hours before the latest tragedy in East London, representatives from the London Cycling Campaign called for the safe design of junctions to be put at the top of the agenda during a meeting of TfL's Cycle Safety Working Group.  

LCC's road-danger reduction campaigner Charlie Lloyd said, "We've praised TfL for its steps towards improving the safety standards of lorry operators, but this work is being fundamentally undermined by the failure to provide a safe street environment for all road users."

photo Diamond Geezer