The new traffic light system would give pedal-powered a headstart on their combustion engine friends in a bid to combat the number of cycling accidents – and fatalities – on the capital’s roads.
500 junctions are to be examined as to how they cyclists’ safety could be improved. 16 cyclists lost their lives last year o the roads of London, including two within a three week spell at Bow roundabout. The cycle super highways, introduced in May 2010, have been criticised as contributing to these accidents for giving those on two wheels a false sense of security.
They are made up of wide blue-painted lanes, but they are not separated from the rest of the traffic, frequently cross busy thoroughfares and are often full of parked vehicles.
The new traffic lights under consideration at Bow would allow cyclists a headstart on motor traffic. Each of the junctions though is to be reviewed individually, this early start option but one of several under consideration.
London Cycling Campaign chief executive Ashook Sinha says of the review: “”These things are always about the detail. How is it going to work? Are the traffic signal phasings going to give cyclists the kind of priority they will need to get across the junction safely? Or are they going to be set at a level which will frustrate regular cyclists who will end up joining the general traffic rather than being held up twice?”
Cycling in London has been increasing at an estimated rate of 10% year on year.