Local Transport Today this week leads with the "bonanza" for the construction industry following George Osbourne's Autumn Statement earlier in the week but also high in the news agenda for the trade magazine is the apparent design failure of Boris Johnson's flagship Cycle Superhighways. Local Transport Today headlines its piece 'Fatalities throw spotlight on cycle superhighway roundabout design'.
The magazine reports that "A spate of cyclist fatalities in London has prompted Boris Johnson to order a review of cycle safety at every junction of the Cycle Superhighways network and every major planned road scheme on the Transport for London road network."
15 cyclists have been killed in London this year, said the magazine. In fact, the total is now 16: the police says a woman cyclist was killed this morning. Last year ten cyclists were killed.
The first junction review would be of Bow roundabout in East London, part of the Cycle Superhighway 2 between Bow and Aldgate. There have been two cyclist deans on the roundabout in recent weeks, both involving left-turning lorries hitting cyclists travelling straight on.
Blogger Owen Pearson, a member of the London Cycling Campaign, criticises the cycle lanes on the Bow roundabout:
“During site meetings prior to its implementation members of my group of London Cycling Campaign activists specifically advised TfL officers against installing this type of facility at this site, as did independent consultants from Jacobs attending the same site meetings."
Pearson said the design is discouraged by the DfT’s 2008 guidance Cycle Infrastructure Design, which states: “Keeping well to the nearside on the circulatory carriageway is the typical approach adopted by less confident cyclists, but this puts them in the most hazardous position for being hit by vehicles entering or leaving the roundabout. They are less visible to motorists entering the junction, and this is where most conflicts occur.”
Pearson, LCC, London cycling bloggers and many cyclists believe TfL puts "smoothing traffic flow" ahead of safety for cyclists and pedestrians.