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LCC launches Dangerous Junctions report

Time to “put safety first” on dangerous junction, says new LCC report on systemic barriers to bolder, more rapid rollout of safer junctions.

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The London Cycling Campaign today launches its new “Dangerous Junctions Report: Why Are We Failing To Achieve ‘Vision Zero’, Boost Active Travel And Trigger Mode Shift?” calling for London, the UK and indeed everywhere to “put safety first” in the battle for roadspace and capacity, in order to avoid the lives lost on our streets annually and to help trigger mode shift away from private motor vehicles towards more sustainable, healthy and safer alternatives.

The report, which is in part based on a summit of renowned UK planners, modellers and engineers that happened earlier this year, features 13 recommendations as summarised below. It is launched today with a presentation at national active travel conference, Cycle City: Active City in Sheffield.

Among them are: to use best practice and new design quality standards now in force nationally from the DfT and Active Travel England; embrace innovative approaches to road design, including using temporary materials and trialling schemes before full implementation; and making the current system of lobbying and consultation around changes to roads far more transparent for all stakeholders. The report also recommends a new, independent public body to assess junction designs and other road (safety) schemes to ensure they are achieving what is needed and to provide centralised design expertise and support – possibly under Active Travel England.

“For too long, politicians have told us they want to save lives on our roads – yet their inactions have spoken louder than word, Year after year notoriously dangerous junctions that over and over kill and maim are left untreated, despite us knowing what exactly what is needed to make them safe. If we want to achieve a ‘Vision Zero’ safer roads system, if we want more people to walk, cycle, use public transport, if we want to cut carbon emissions fast, we need to be far bolder and move far faster on building safer junctions. This report shows the ways forward for politicians and highways authorities serious about doing so.” Dr Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive, London Cycling Campaign

The full list of recommendations:

  • Politicians: Put safety first (and be public about it)
  • Politicians & officers: Ensure we design right (to the DfT’s LTN 1/20 funding quality bar)
  • Officers: Use temporary works & trials
  • Politicians & officers: Consult using evidence first, not hearsay (all discussions with stakeholders in open; assessment of arguments on evidence)
  • Officers: Data should be public
  • Officers: Plan for all junctions, not one at a time (and for longer term outcomes)
  • Politicians & officers: Computer modelling is to improve, not veto
  • Officers: Use bus gates to speed up schemes
  • Politicians: An Independent design review panel
  • Government: Funding is vital
  • Politicians & officers: Stop planning for more cars (in highways modelling and economic assumptions etc. – build for what you want, not what you think might happen)
  • Politicians: Demand management to cut cars (smart road-user pricing to free up roadspace)
  • Government: Innovation needed (side road zebras, ‘give way at turn’ etc.)

The report also highlights why delivery of safer junctions is so slow, how current design approaches in the UK are unsafe, the cost of unsafe junctions beyond loss of life, and examples of UK ‘best practice’ such as ‘Circulating Cycling Stage junctions’ found in Manchester and Waltham Forest, bus gates such as at Bank Junction and ‘Dutch-style’ roundabouts such as at Fendon Road, Cambridge.

The report is launched alongside a series of new images created using new design and visualisation software ‘BetaStreets’ of one of London’s most dangerous junctions at King’s Cross showing how dangerous junctions could be improved for safety and to enable more people to walk, wheel, cycle and use public transport in the city.

The full report is available here. For more on our Dangerous Junctions campaign, click here.