London Could Get Dutch Roundabouts For Safer Cycling

Dutch-style roundabouts with segregated cycle lanes could be introduced in London if trials taking place at the Transport Research Laboratory are successful.

You can see a video on the London Cycling Campaign website on how the roundabouts would work.

Roundabouts are inherently dangerous places to be, with traffic attempting to negotiate often poorly-marked lanes while keeping an eye on all the other traffic around them. Even more so for cyclists — two people recently lost their lives on the Bow roundabout, prompting TfL to make improvements to the junction. But simultaneously trying to appease an increasingly vocal cycling community while avoiding impeding traffic flow led to criticism that the changes were ‘overcomplicated’ and some cyclists were ignoring them anyway.

Eye level signals (like the ones at Bow) are also under trial to help cyclists at junctions and, according to BikeBiz, make it clearer to the irksome red light jumpers that the same rules apply to cyclists as to motorists.

In March, London mayor Boris Johnson announced a £900m ‘cycling revolution’ for the capital which would see some segregated lanes as well as inviting outer-London boroughs to become ‘mini-Hollands’ to promote cycling for shorter trips. With £100m of that budget earmarked for improving junctions, we will hopefully see a sharp reduction in roundabout accidents. The announcement comes on the same day as three cyclists were hospitalised following accidents on London’s roads.

IanVisits has also helpfully pointed out that TfL have offered cyclists the opportunity to take part in the trials. Simply fill in this form.

Photo by Simon-K in the Londonist Flickr pool.

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  • FlyKLM

    Dutch roundabouts are a disaster. The cycle path is on the outside of the roundabout which results in cyclists overtaking on the inside. Car divers let along truck and van drivers have no visability.

    • http://twitter.com/briseglace mk

      Why are they a disaster? The key to it is giving cyclists priority (which is what happens in Holland). Drivers can see if there are cyclists approaching and know that they can only proceed if the cycle lane and the pedestrian crossing are both clear.

    • mike

      What rubbish! Dutch roundabouts are comfortable and safe enough for even young children to cycle through.

      And roundabouts built for bikes and cars have a MUCH higher throughput of people than ones solely built for cars because bicycles use space MUCH more efficiently

  • easy

    Its a sensible idea, the positioning makes it easier to see the cyclists. Instead of being next to you, you approach them at a right angle. You eliminate the smidsy excuse.

  • BethPH

    One of the problems with existing cycling provision on large/busy roundabouts is that their route around the edge puts them directly in the path of left-turning traffic, the drivers of which are often trying to keep an eye on traffic from the right and traffic ahead. No-one would do this with cars – although an increasing number of people seem to think that staying in the left-hand lane to turn right is a good idea – so I find it hard to understand why a cycle lane would be planned in this way.

    The current setup of roundabouts doesn’t allow for (and indeed creates a dangerous situation) traffic of any description to use a lane around the outside of a roundabout for anything other than turning directly left or going straight on.

  • Stylish

    Lol. UK is getting a bit behind on this. I know roundabouts since I started to remember things.