London Assembly member John Biggs calls for further improvements at Bow roundabout

“The roundabout will still not be safe until more changes are made" says area member.

by John Stevenson   October 21, 2013  

John Biggs

In the wake of last week’s inquest into the death of Brian Dorking at Bow Roundabout, London Assembly member John Biggs has backed the coroner’s call for improved safety at the busy junction.

Coroner Mary Hassell said that 58-year-old Mr Dorling may have had “a false sense of security” due to the route, marked out by what a police officer giving evidence on Monday described as “just a piece of blue paint.”

Ms Hassall said she would record a narrative verdict. The details of her findings have not yet been released, but are likely to contain substantial criticism of Transport for London’s role in designing and building the Cycle Superhighway 2 bike route through Bow roundabout, despite warnings from engineers and police that it was not safe.

Mr Biggs, the London Assembly member for the City and East constituency, and Labour candidate for Mayor of the Borough of Tower Hamlets said that recent improvements including advanced stoping lines and extra lights had improved safety at the junction, but it still was not completely safe.

“The roundabout will still not be safe until more changes are made - for example by introducing safe crossing facilities for pedestrians too. This would help cyclists by extending the times when motor vehicles are not passing through the junction.”

Mr Biggs' office said he had repeatedly criticised TfL over the failure to redesign Bow roundabout, making it safer for cyclists and pedestrians. He has met with TfL officials on a number of occasions to raise his concerns about the safety at Bow roundabout.

Despite the improvements to Bow roundabout and Cycle Superhighway 2, plenty of cyclists still choose to disregard the facility completely and ride over the flyover. It says something about the perceived safety of the junction that riders choose to use an elevated dual carriageway with no cycle lane in preference to a strip of blue paint at ground level.

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Correction for Mr Biggs - even the TfL surveys counted 60% of cyclists riding over, and some informal counting whilst having breakfast at the Three Mills Cafe suggests that its nearer 70% - in other words MOST cyclists ride over the flyover because it is inherently safe (ie impossible for a truck to turn left or drive through you on a bike whether they obey the traffic lights and white lines or not).

Westbound one of the 2 lanes is permanently closed, and Eastbound a lane was closed for the Olympics - caused no issues - most motor traffic goes to the Bow Roundabout and sometimes the only vehicles on the flyover are bicycles.

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

A V Lowe's picture

posted by A V Lowe [539 posts]
21st October 2013 - 14:45

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I drove from Aldgate to Bow (on the way to Stratford Westfield) this weekend. It's a hellish drive, and numerous motorists used the bus/cycle lanes to undercut myself and other drivers, with the additional complications of parked cars causing these idiots to have to filter in.

Both my girlfriend and I felt that this is some of the worst cycling infrastructure we've seen. It appears that the only regard to cycling ever given is that someone tried to draw a few pictures of bicycles over blue paint in an effort to encourage people to use this road. As Mr Lowe has pointed out previously, it is unfit for purpose and should be avoided. Perhaps use the canal system and ride in that way.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1478 posts]
21st October 2013 - 14:53

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