The Lambeth Bridge roundabout where Moira Gemmill was recently killed may never be safe for cyclists, says Colin Wing, Westminster’s representative for the London Cycling Campaign. Wing has raised concerns about Transport for London’s (TfL) proposals for improvements and suggests a radically different design is needed.
A vigil and die-in was recently held on Lambeth Bridge in memory of Gemmill at which Westminster City Council came under fire for "mindboggling" road casualty statistics and a transport policy that many feel prioritises motor traffic flow over safety. The council was heavily criticised for its lack of action after it was revealed that they rejected TfL safety proposals for the junction in 2012.
"We're going to have the nightmare scenario of cyclists coming off the new cycle superhighway [CS5] onto Westminster streets to be killed and critically injured,” said Peter Hartley, Chair of Westminster Living Streets.
However, both the council and the London Cycling Campaign had serious reservations about TfL’s plans and speaking to the West End Extra, Wing questioned whether the junction could ever be made safe.
“I have some doubts whether that roundabout can ever be made safe for cyclists and handle the current volumes of traffic. So a solution should involve reducing traffic or a different design, such as a simple crossroads.”
At the full council meeting on Wednesday, the cabinet member responsible for cycling, Heather Acton, said that TfL had accepted the criticism of their earlier plans. “TfL accepted that and there was a discussion that there will be new plans draw up for the TfL junction but we have not seen any plans.”
The junction is one of those on the Safer Junctions programme, explained Leon Daniels, managing director of surface transport at TfL.
“Following a series of requests from stakeholders and the local authority for changes to initial proposals in 2013, we commissioned an extensive programme of off-street trials of new types of infrastructure and technology. We intend to consult later this year on a further design proposal for this junction.”