Death, Injury And Cycling Improvement Announcements

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 51 months ago
Death, Injury And Cycling Improvement Announcements
Cycle specific traffic lights proposed for inner CS2.
Cycle specific traffic lights proposed for inner CS2.
Proposed new segregated cycle track along Blackfriars Road.
Proposed new segregated cycle track along Blackfriars Road.

One death and another horrible injury to cyclists in 24 hours underlined how serious and urgent the need is for improvements to cycling provision in London, more of which were announced yesterday.

Brian Holt, a porter at Mile End Hospital, died on Cycle Superhighway 2 at Mile End Road on Tuesday afternoon, the third death on CS2 since it opened. The Evening Standard has witnesses describing a tipper truck running into the back of Mr Holt, who was crushed underneath. Another cyclist was critically injured in a collision with a coach at the Vernon Place/Southampton Row junction in Holborn, a spot that's seen four other horrific accidents in recent years.

So Wednesday's opening of the segregated extension to CS2 from Bow Roundabout to Stratford is welcome (London Cycling Campaign has an assessment of how the extension's been implemented). The London Cycling Campaign also applauds other announcements made at the opening: upgrading the inner section of CS2, including full segregation on the stretch where Philippine De Gerin-Ricard died, cycle-separation on all the busy junctions, cycle-specific traffic lights, and full or semi segregation on the rest of the route – "subject to further investigation by TfL".

The coroner investigating the deaths of Brian Dorling and Philippine De Gerin-Ricard on CS2 was highly critical of the unbordered sections of cycle superhighways, which during the inquest were described as "just blue paint" by a police officer. Proper separation is a positive step.

Elsewhere, the City of London will now change its plans for the Aldgate High Street/St Botolph Street gyratory and add separate space for cycling alongside the new two-way traffic, and there are plans afoot for what's being described as a "substantially segregated" north-south route between Elephant and Castle to King's Cross via Blackfriars. It's a similar idea to the east-west 'cycling Crossrail' unveiled earlier in the year, though hopefully the new route will have fewer troubles with the Royal Parks. TfL is also hiring an extra 100 designers, engineers and traffic modellers to help develop London's expanding cycling network.

Photo by McTumshie from the Londonist Flickr pool

Last Updated 07 November 2013

Andy Brice

Aesthetically, the Blackfriars Road redesign is pretty classy. But functionally it's rather lacking.

A great deal of attention has been paid to the junctions for motor vehicles, but not so much for cycles. How are cyclists supposed to get to the side-roads on the other side of the main traffic lanes without weaving across them?

I can't see any benefit to putting a bi-directional cycle track on one side of a road, as opposed to single lanes on each side. It just makes junctions far more complicated and less practical.

Stella

I was at a meeting where it was the claimed that the whole "just blue paint" thing would not arise and that this would be a superhighway in the full sense of the word. I no longer trust a single word coming from the mouths of anyone involved in roads planning in London! Also - i don;t really cycle much any more... its just too stressful!

Peter Murray

The cyclist killed at Vernon Place was Francis Golding a planning consultant. He was an experienced and cautious cyclist and his death highlights the fundamental problem of left turning vehicles in London. Most drivers seem to believe that as long as the nose of their vehicle is in front of the cyclist and they are indicating they have the right of way and can turn. In other European countries drivers will give the cyclist the right of way. There are too many junctions to find design or technological solutions to this issue - the only solution is changing driving habits.