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.