After a two year trial, Denmark’s Transport Ministry has given its approval for cyclists to be permitted to turn right at certain red lights. CPH Post reports that the rule will apply at 33 junctions where certain criteria are met.
“Like everyone else in the traffic, cyclists need to reach their destinations quickly,” said transport minister, Hans Christian Schmidt. “With the option of turning right through a red light at selected intersections, we can provide cyclists a simple option to continue their routes. But it also requires cyclists to be considerate on the roads.”
The trial, from 2013-15, saw the number of cyclists turning right through red lights increase by 30 percent at the junctions involved with no increase in accidents.
The 33 junctions do meet certain criteria, however. Firstly, the cycle path must be wide enough that it can be split into right-turn and straight-on lanes; secondly, it must continue after the right turn has been made; and finally, it must not be somewhere where a lot of pedestrians cross.
Junctions where right turns are permitted on red will also have signs clearly marking that this is the case.
In October, cycling minister Robert Goodwill travelled to Copenhagen with Chris Boardman to look at infrastructure and admitted that the UK is three decades behind Denmark when it comes to cycling provision.
“Here, we’ve seen vast numbers of people on bikes, very good provisions on the roads and a lot of innovative ideas that I’m sure we’ll be taking back with us.
“This has happened over a long period of time. The problem we have in Britain is that we should have started 30 years ago.
“That means we need to re-double our efforts to ensure we get what the Prime Minister called a ‘cycling revolution’ in the UK, so we can come here without having to hang our heads in shame a little bit.”
The US secretary of transportation, Anthony Foxx, is to visit Copenhagen next week on a similar trip. Foxx will take a leisurely ride around the city with Schmidt to see how the city promotes cycling.