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Two-stage right turn, bus stop bypass, and early start traffic lights feature in short films

Transport for London (TfL) has produced three animated videos showcasing cycle safety features it is introducing along Barclays Cycle Superhighway 2, which originally ran from Aldgate to Bow but is now being extended further to Stratford.

Those are a two-stage right turn from Stratford High Street into Warton Road or Rick Roberts Way, due to go live in October, the much vaunted bus stop bypasses on Stratford High Street, which will appear in September and October, and the early start traffic lights at Bow Roundabout, which will also come online in October.

Being animations, they are over-simplified - the bus stop videos, for instance, don't show what is likely to happen when you have someone rushing to catch their bus with a cyclist coming the other way who isn't looking properly, while the traffic moving off at the lights behind the cyclists who have benefited from that early start seem to moving much more sedately than would be the case in real life.

As for that two-stage right turn, while it does give cyclists priority, the looping manouevre they have to do first, which takes them past the junction before effectively doubling back, doesn't seem to reflect the way that people on bikes - or foot, for that matter - tend to move in reality, when the shortest course is typically the preferred one.

Look at lanscaped lawn areas in a 1970s council estate that require people on foot to take the long way round, and you'll see the tell-tale 'paths of desire' across the grass that show that generally, they want to tak the most direct route.

In this case, we imagine that even assuming cyclists are aware of the route to turn right set out for them by TfL's planners - something that is by no means guaranteed - many will simply look at executing a right turn as normal from the main carriageway, perhaps waiting until the lights to their left change to give cyclists approaching from across the junction priority.

Have a look at the videos, and let us know what you think in the comments below - are these a step forward for cycle safety and something that should be adopted beyond the capital, or could the designs, and the way they are likely to work in practice, be improved upon?

 

 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.