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London Assembly member John Biggs calls for further improvements at Bow roundabout

“The roundabout will still not be safe until more changes are made" says area member...

In the wake of last week’s inquest into the death of Brian Dorking at Bow Roundabout, London Assembly member John Biggs has backed the coroner’s call for improved safety at the busy junction.

Coroner Mary Hassell said that 58-year-old Mr Dorling may have had “a false sense of security” due to the route, marked out by what a police officer giving evidence on Monday described as “just a piece of blue paint.”

Ms Hassall said she would record a narrative verdict. The details of her findings have not yet been released, but are likely to contain substantial criticism of Transport for London’s role in designing and building the Cycle Superhighway 2 bike route through Bow roundabout, despite warnings from engineers and police that it was not safe.

Mr Biggs, the London Assembly member for the City and East constituency, and Labour candidate for Mayor of the Borough of Tower Hamlets said that recent improvements including advanced stoping lines and extra lights had improved safety at the junction, but it still was not completely safe.

“The roundabout will still not be safe until more changes are made - for example by introducing safe crossing facilities for pedestrians too. This would help cyclists by extending the times when motor vehicles are not passing through the junction.”

Mr Biggs' office said he had repeatedly criticised TfL over the failure to redesign Bow roundabout, making it safer for cyclists and pedestrians. He has met with TfL officials on a number of occasions to raise his concerns about the safety at Bow roundabout.

Despite the improvements to Bow roundabout and Cycle Superhighway 2, plenty of cyclists still choose to disregard the facility completely and ride over the flyover. It says something about the perceived safety of the junction that riders choose to use an elevated dual carriageway with no cycle lane in preference to a strip of blue paint at ground level.

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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