Cyclists given new hope at lethal Bow roundabout

Bow Roundabout plans © TfL
The Bow roundabout (© TfL) and, top, ghost bike at the dangerous Dalston Junction

THIS NEWS has been overtaken by events. Transport for London suspended the new scheme after safety doubts arose and commissioned alterations over the Diamond Jubilee weekend with the aim of having the improvement to the improvement completed by Thursday 7 June 2012. 

CYCLE-PRIORITY traffic lights have this month been fitted to Bow roundabout, one of London’s deadliest junctions.

The scheme comes after years of protest by London Cycling Campaign about the dangers of the intersection, which cyclists approach via a Cycle Superhighway. The improved lights give cyclists a few seconds’ start before other road users.

This is how the scheme works: when the light for the main traffic lane turn red, the cyclists’ shows green, allowing them to move forward 12 metres to a second stop line. A green light shows, giving riders four seconds before the traffic behind them sees a green light and takes off. A raised kerb separates cyclists from the flow of vehicles.

Nigel Hardy, Transport for London’s capital development chief, says: “There were two fatalities at this junction and the [London] Mayor [cyclist Boris Johnson] asked TfL to see what improvements could be made at this junction, and others along the Cycle Superhighways.

“If drivers comply with the new layout and cyclists comply with the red lights, we have eliminated the left-turn conflict at Bow roundabout.”

TfL believes that the “early start” scheme is a first in London. The westbound early-start is due to be completed once the nearby London 2012 Olympic Games have been held. Funding for the  £200,000 redesign comes from the £15 million given to London in the government Budget to tackle junctions considered dangerous for cyclists. The scheme took six months from design to completion and if it is considered a success, may be introduced elsewhere.

The clamour for improvements to the roundabout grew after the deaths at Bow roundabout of Brian Dorling and Svitlana Tereschenko last year. They died after being knocked off their bikes within weeks of each other last year.



If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a comment below.

To have future articles delivered to your feed reader, subscribe to the RSS feed.
You can also follow Loving Dalston on Twitter for daily news updates.

2 thoughts on “Cyclists given new hope at lethal Bow roundabout

  1. Serious concerns have also been raised regarding how pedestrians should negotiate this junction. We are not, to the best of my knowledge, permitted to use the Bow flyover.

    Does anyone have any idea how we are supposed to walk, push our buggies or use our wheelchairs when we want to cross from east to west and vice versa?

  2. TfL was told that its original design, when it was still on paper, would be unsafe. Tragically, concerns were proved right. Jenny Jones [Green Party London Assembly member] has written to the Metropolitan Police to asked it to look into charges of corporate manslaughter against TfL (as it is doing at King’s Cross).

    Most of the cycle superhighways are nothing of the sort. Some allow parking in them at certain hours, some dump you into fast-moving traffic, where cars least expect you, and some look as though all logic has been ignored.

    For Nigel Hardy to say: “There were two fatalities at this junction and the [London] Mayor [cyclist Boris Johnson] asked TfL to see what improvements could be made at this junction, and others along the Cycle Superhighways” perfectly demonstrates TfL’s blasé attitude. It took TWO deaths for him to seemingly casually ask for it to be looked in to.

    Boris is all about smoothing traffic flow, and his true priorities don’t genuinely lie with cyclists.

Comments are closed.