London’s 7 worst cycling blackspots

The roads where you need to be extra vigilant

Every year there are tens of thousands of incidents involving cyclists reported on the roads of Britain. As traffic continues to rise and the road surfaces struggle under the extra use, it has never been more important for road users to be fully alert and aware at all times.

To that end, we asked injury specialist lawyers Cycle-SOS to help us to look at some of the worst cycling blackspots around London, so you can stay safe out on the streets. These hotspots were identified in a survey by Aviva Insurance as the scenes of the most incidents between motorists and cyclists over a four year period up to 2013.

While we always recommend you do everything you possibly can as a cyclist to stay safe on the roads, these are the key areas around London to particularly watch out for, and why.

#7. Vauxhall Bridge: 31 incidents in four years

At number 7 on the list, Vauxhall Bridge sees large volumes of traffic, which makes for dicey cycling
At number 7 on the list, Vauxhall Bridge sees large volumes of traffic, which makes for dicey cycling

The Vauxhall Bridge / Wandsworth Road junction is a particularly incident prone area of London which has seen over 30 incidents during the last few years. The busy junction sees Parry Street and Nine Elms Lane also feed into the multi-lane road, but peak times can see large volumes of traffic causing issues for cyclists.

#6. Grove Road: 32 incidents

The Mile End Road crossover with Grove Road has seen several incidents over recent years. The large junction does contain a cycle lane, but with such high volumes of traffic — particularly during rush hour — there have been more incidents than you'd expect. 

#5. Upper Tooting Road: 34 incidents

Thinking of riding on Upper Tooting Road? Watch out for the many side streets and feeder roads
Thinking of riding on Upper Tooting Road? Watch out for the many side streets and feeder roads

Upper Tooting Road on the A24 is an incredibly busy section of London, which means it’s no surprise that it features at number 5 on the list. With scores of side streets and minor roads feeding onto the road, and a busy high street, there are many distractions that could lead to both cyclists and motor vehicle drivers losing concentration, leading to a collision.

#4. Lambeth Bridge: 38 incidents

Lambeth Bridge is one of the most dangerous places to cycle, possibly because it has access for foot, cycle and motor vehicle traffic
Lambeth Bridge is one of the most dangerous places to cycle, possibly because it has access for foot, cycle and motor vehicle traffic

The second bridge to make it onto our list is Lambeth, with 38 reported collisions over the course of four years. The bridge features a roundabout at either end and has access for foot, cycle and motor vehicle traffic, which could be part of the reason for the high number of incidents.

#3. Waterloo Road roundabout: 45 incidents

The Waterloo Road roundabout has multiple exits, and while it does feature a cycle lane, it could be improved upon
The Waterloo Road roundabout has multiple exits, and while it does feature a cycle lane, it could be improved upon

The Waterloo Road roundabout at Southbank makes it to number three on the list. The three lane roundabout has multiple exits and while it does feature a cycle lane, this could be improved upon to help cyclists avoid further danger.

#2. Trafalgar Square: 46 incidents

Trafalgar Square is always heaving with tourists — which could be why it's the second most dangerous place to cycle in the capital
Trafalgar Square is always heaving with tourists — which could be why it's the second most dangerous place to cycle in the capital

As one of the biggest tourist attractions in London, there is constantly a heavy flow of traffic around Trafalgar Square which has led it to become the second biggest incident area in London.

#1. Elephant and Castle roundabout: 80 incidents

Elephant and Castle roundabout is by far the most dangerous place to cycle in London, according to the Aviva survey
Elephant and Castle roundabout is by far the most dangerous place to cycle in London, according to the Aviva survey

The former large, multi-lane roundabout situated at Elephant and Castle was considered difficult to navigate, especially for those not familiar with the system. It came as no surprise to locals that this was the biggest incident hotspot in the capital, with 80 reported incidents having taken place over the four-year period. A new road layout has been put in place to try and reduce the total number of collisions here.

Jamie Beach

Deputy Editor, UK
Jamie's been addicted to bikes from the moment his stabilisers came off. Earliest cycling memory is the chipboard-ramp-on-bricks, but happiest one is bombing down a Mallorcan mountain pass that seemed it might never end. Always on the hunt for the perfect rain jacket, a keen collector of hats.
  • Discipline: Road, gravel
  • Preferred Terrain: Big mountains with long climbs, equally long and fast descents, the chance to get above the treeline.
  • Current Bikes: Genesis Croix de Fer, Brompton M3L
  • Dream Bike: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Moots Routt
  • Beer of Choice: Augustiner
  • Location: Bath, Somerset, UK

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