With cycling safety firmly in the spotlight in the UK thanks to The Times’ Cities fit for cycling campaign, Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed the first of 500 road junctions which will be examined as part of a major review of cycle safety in the capital.
Highbury Corner, St George’s Circus and Tottenham High Road are among those earmarked for review by the summer following an evaluation of criteria such as collision statistics. It will involve all 375 junctions on the Barclays Cycle Superhighways, with Cable Street, Stockwell Gyratory and Grove Road prioritised using customer feedback, safety audits and collision data, though they don’t expect them all to require redesigns.
The move comes in the wake of a spate of cyclist deaths towards the end of last year, which prompted the Mayor of London Boris Johnson to ask the TfL to see if more could be done to improve safety. It’s been overseen by a “steering group” made up of a key stakeholders including senior TfL staff, representatives of the main road user groups (freight, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians), plus road safety organisations such as London Cycling Campaign and RoadPeace. They will meet regularly to discuss the progression of the review.
“We are seeing a step-change in both the way that people choose to travel, but also in the way that cyclists are viewed on our streets,” said Mr Johnson. “That is why I firmly believe that we must now start to evolve the means by which we plan and manage our extensive network of roads, and why I have asked TfL to review hundreds of key junctions across the capital to specifically examine safety and provision for cyclists.”
Currently on the agenda are proposals to improve safety at Bow Roundabout, a notorious incident hotspot, with an “early start” for cyclists at green lights among the features of the new design. Subject to agreement, work will begin in April this year so it will be ready in time for the Olympic Games.
Cycle Safety: Views from the public
The Times’ campaign began last Thursday (2 February) with a front page lead and has continued to dominate their coverage throughout this week. Their eight-point manifesto, ranging from requiring trucks to be fitted with more safety equipment to devoting more of the Highways Agency budget to building cycling infrastructure, aims to improve cyclist safety across Britain.
As of today, support for the campaign has built to 22,000 pledges, including luminaries from the sport such as Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Boardman. It has directly led to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling securing a three-hour debate on 23 February at Westminster with Government ministers in a bid to secure a motion on cycling safety in Parliament.