Mayor and TfL accused of ignoring experts' recommendations on cycle safety at Bow roundabout

TfL advised in Jan 2010 to install traffic signals for cyclsits & separate cycle tracks at CS2 junction

by Tony Farrelly   November 18, 2011  

Bow roundabout - pic: London Cycling Campaign

Transport for London ignored recommendations that Bow roundabout needed to be made safer for cyclists by experts it commissioned over a year before two cyclists  were killed there it has been revealed by the London Cycling Campaign (LCC). The LCC is now demanding to know why TfL and the Mayor ignored their own experts' findings?

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said, “Documents show that Transport for London was clearly advised by its transport consultants, as well as by the London Cycling Campaign, to provide safe signalised crossings and off-carriageway cycle lanes at Bow roundabout.
“The Mayor has to explain why these measures were not carried out. We’re calling for an immediate redesign of the junction to reduce the road danger and prevent any more tragic deaths.”

According to the LCC Transport for London was given what it describes as "clear advice" by the civil engineering firm, Jacobs Consultancy in the implementation plan for Cycle Superhighway CS2. They recommended the installation of traffic signals specifically for cyclists and pedestrians, and that separate cycle tracks should be installed.

The LCC itself had advised as early as 2009 that something needed to be done about the roundabout to make it safer for cyclists. The organisation also contributed to the Jacobs' report and again warned of the need for alterations to be made in February of this year after seeing the design for the proposed Cycle Superhighway warning that the roundabout was a danger to cyclists.

Last week a 34 year old woman cyclist was killed at the junction when she was in collission with a tipper lorry, three weeks earlier Brian Dorling was killed at the same junction while cycling to work at the Olympic Park, this evening (Friday) a candlelit vigil was held at the roundabout in both their memories attended by members of Mr Dorling's family.

Transport for London is now apparently planning an urgent review of junctions, but as an LCC souce we spoke to commented "we need action on this junction right away and the straightforward options were outlined in this consultants report for TfL in Jan 2010".

TfL has a sorry record of ignoring it's own experts' reports when it comes to improving safety for cyclists and pedestrians on known blackspots having previously shelved recommendations regarding Blackfriars Bridge, the road layout around Kings Cross, and traffic on London's bridges.


7 user comments

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Title: *accused

posted by headfirst [83 posts]
18th November 2011 - 19:10


Ta, headfirst I'd just changed that as you posted.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
18th November 2011 - 19:30

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Sadly this looks like a missed opportunity and safeguards were not introduced before this superhighway was commissioned. This must make very sad reading for the bereaved relatives. Also potentially a deserved banana skin for Boris Johnson in his attempt to get reelected. As a voter I will remember this gaffe and others when it comes to casting my vote!

onlyonediane's picture

posted by onlyonediane [167 posts]
18th November 2011 - 20:44

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It wouldn't be the first time TfL has ignored safety warnings. I've alerted TfL to the potential risks of a junction near my home and was told it had been assessed by an 'expert' and that it was fine. A few weeks later a driver lost control and a vehicle mounted the kerb. This was then followed by a pedestrian being struck by a bus running a red light. I've now been told the junction will be improved but that there is no budget available for the next financial year. It takes at least one fatality before the great and the good at TfL take any action.


posted by OldRidgeback [2516 posts]
18th November 2011 - 21:18

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What it needs is for the family of one or other of the two recent victims to pursue a claim for negligence/tort against TfL and seek damages against them. I have no idea how viable a civil claim against such a body is, and quite apart from the expense (depending on whether they use a contingent fee arrangement with a solicitor)they would have a very distressing time of it BUT the only thing which is ultimately going to get a body like TfL to sit up and take notice is to have their actions thoroughly exposed to teh light of day in a court of law.

I would make a contribution to a fighting fund, if asked.

posted by Paul M [339 posts]
18th November 2011 - 23:06

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Paul M wrote:
I would make a contribution to a fighting fund, if asked.

Well said Paul. I would do this too.


formereve's picture

posted by formereve [65 posts]
19th November 2011 - 8:43


It was a moving experience at the vigil last night, especially seeing the fortitude of the bereaved relatives who've been willing to put themselves in the media spotlight to highlight the danger at Bow

We must take our hats off to them for having the courage to do this at what must be an incredibly difficult time

There are some atmospheric photos on the LCC website

posted by fluffy_mike [91 posts]
19th November 2011 - 15:57

1 Like