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Times Newspaper redesigns dangerous roundabout for cyclists and pedestrians

Brighton's Aquarium roundabout could be a model of safe cycling infrastructure...

As part of its 'Cities Safe For Cycling' campaign, The Times called for a review of dangerous junctions and roads, in the hope of limiting the deaths and injuries of cyclists around the country.

Yesterday, the paper published a compete overhaul of one of the roadways it considered particularly dangerous - the Aquarium roundabout in the centre of Brighton.

The roundabout is one of more than 10,000 nominations made by Times readers of dangerous stretches of road nationwide. More than 129 cycle crashes and 23 cyclist injuries happened there between 2005 and 2010.

Said the newspaper: "The roundabout currently has no traffic lights or lane markings around a small central island, forcing traffic from five directions into the same congested space at the same time.

"There is also no way for pedestrians or the millions of tourists who visit Brighton every year to cross the road directly between the town centre and the seafront.

"Although a cycle lane runs along the promenade, there is also no safe way for cyclists to access the lane back and forth between the town centre without navigating the busy roundabout."

Together with Phil Jones, a town planner, and Mark Strong of the Brighton & Hove City Transport Partnership, the paper came up with a new design proposal.

The new design proposes a central island, crossed by a pathway for cyclists and pedestrians, allowing them to traverse safely at traffic-light controlled crossings and continue their journey to the seafront or through the town, where new cycle lanes would be placed alongside pavements.

The entrance to the slip-road running along the seafront would be made into a priority zone for pedestrians and cyclists. The estimated cost of implementing the redesign would be up to £500,000, though the cost of commissioning research and design proposals for a dangerous junction would only be about £5,000 for a council.

Brighton is committed to spending a minimum of 10 per cent of its transport budget on schemes to benefit cyclists and pedestrians.

Ian Davey, a Green Party councillor and former Deputy Leader of the council, promised to consider the plans. He told the Times: “We can’t ignore the Aquarium roundabout. It is right outside the Palace Pier and probably visited by millions of people each year. This design is really interesting and when we look at that junction we will look at how to better use that space for the benefit of everybody.

“It does still have to work as a traffic interchange, but without putting pedestrians and cyclists behind bars.”

“People often mistakenly think that the only way to improve safety and the travel environment for cyclists is to invest in expensive traffic infrastructure. While advanced cycle-friendly measures in the right place are the gold standard, relatively simple and inexpensive measures can make a huge difference. For example, allowing contra-flow cycling in one-way streets, increasing cycle-parking and speed reductions can be delivered more cheaply and quickly and can go a long way to make cycling easier and safer.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on

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