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TfL to address safety concerns over drivers ignoring red lights at Bow Roundabout

Luke Redpath had initially been told by TfL nothing could be done, but it is now considering his suggestions

Transport for London (TfL) has told a London cyclist who complained about the danger posed by motorists jumping red lights at Bow Roundabout that its strategy and planning team is considering suggestions he made about how to improve safety there.

Last month, we reported how Luke Redpath, who has to negotiate the roundabout by bike when travelling to and from his home in Romford to visit clients in the City, had been told by TfL that they were unable to take measures he suggested such as fitting cameras to catch motorists ignoring red lights.

The reason they gave was that there was no history within the last three years of drivers going through red lights being a factor in collisions.

But as we pointed out in our article, that was found to have been a potential factor in the death in October 2011 of Brian Dorling, one of three cyclists killed at Bow in the last three years.

TfL has now told Mr Redpath, who had supplied it with links to videos shot by cyclists that showed drivers at Bow ignoring traffic signals, sometimes putting bike riders at risk, that his suggestions were now being looked at by its strategy and planning team.

It said they would “investigate deterrent options for drivers going through red traffic light at this junction.”

In his original email to TfL, sent on 10 September, Mr Redpath said: “I seriously urge you to take measures to reduce red light jumping at all the lights at the roundabout but particularly those on the roundabout itself.”

His suggestions included installing red light cameras, changing the phasing of the lights, and putting up signs warning both motorists and cyclists of the potential danger.

He added: “In an ideal world none of these things should be necessary but there are a lot of bad, dangerous drivers out there.”

TfL has also told him that Metropolitan Police officers will now be monitoring Bow Roundabout as part of Operation Safety, which aims to crack down on anti-social or illegal road users, whether motorists or cyclists, and including those who jump red lights.

Mr Redpath told road.cc: “I am pleased that TFL are taking steps to improve the situation although I remain sceptical that Operation Safeway is a good deterrent to his kind of problem, as it seems more focussed on handing out often patronising advice to cyclists (wear high-vis! etc) than actually engaging with or educating drivers. But it's a start.

“Maybe instead of handing out safety leaflets to cyclists, they could start giving them out to drivers instead,” he added.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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