The UK’s first junction designed specifically to protect cyclists from left-turning vehicles has been unveiled on London’s most dangerous road for cyclists.
Transport for London (TfL) has made the changes on East London’s Whitechapel Road, at its notorious junction with Cambridge Heath Road.
The improved layout will now use early release traffic lights to delay all left-turning traffic while allowing cyclists and vehicles heading straight on to go first.
(TfL Early Release Traffic Lights)
The significant dangers cyclists face by left-turning lorries have been well documented due to the appalling number of related deaths caused in part by HGV drivers failing to see cyclists in their blind spots.
The London Mayor’s so called Superhighway 2 (CS2) which runs from Stratford to Aldgate has gained the unfortunate reputation as London’s deadliest road of cycling casualties due to the number of fatal cycling accidents that have occurred there.
CS2 is currently being upgraded by TfL who are providing a largely segregated route into central London along almost the entire route. A kerb will separate vehicles from cyclists and where space is minimal flexible poles or ‘wands’ will be used. Improvement works began in February 2015 and by spring next year, all 11 major junctions along the superhighway will feature similar ‘early release’ junctions to ensure cyclists are separated from other traffic.
Around 85% of cycling accidents occur at junctions and the majority of collisions involve turning traffic. The new safety cycling measures introduced at the Cambridge Heath Road will also feature a ‘two-stage right turn’ using new marked waiting areas to reduce the risk of cyclists having to wait in the middle of the road.
Boris Johnson plans to make safety improvements to 33 larger junctions and TfL say the new measures will "significantly cut the cyclist casualty rate" in London.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers wholeheartedly welcome these innovative new safety measures. More than 5,000 cyclists were injured in London last year, an appalling figure and the highest since 1989.
Oliver Jeffcott is an Associate Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
Oliver is a keen cyclist who has written extensively on cycling and road safety for numerous national publications.
For a free consultation about how to claim compensation for a cycling accident injury call freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will call you.