The first junction in Britain which has been designed specifically with the purpose of protecting cyclists from being hit by left-turning vehicles has been unveiled in London this month. It is the first of many junctions planned for London’s busiest main roads and is designed with the hope that it will see more cyclists protected as they ride on the city’s streets.
The new junction is placed on the newly named and upgraded Cycle Superhighway 2 at Whitechapel Road and Cambridge Heath Road and it allows for cyclists and motor vehicle drivers to move away from the junction in separate phases, with those left-turning vehicles held back whilst the cyclists make their move without risk and also cyclists held when vehicles are turning left so there should be no instance where both happen at the same time.
There are also plans for a new two-stage right turn feature which will allow cyclist to make their right turns in safety and for cyclists travelling straight-ahead the early release technology comes into play, giving cyclists a chance to get away before motor vehicles.
85% of Cycle Accidents at Junctions
Transport for London assert that 85% of all cyclist accidents occur at junctions and the majority of these involve turning traffic and therefore, there is a real chance that their new junction should make a difference to this figure, if rolled out across the city. The junction has been specifically designed with this figure in mind and has been developed with cutting the cyclist casualty rate in mind.
The junction at Cycle Superhighway 2 has been heralded as a template for further junctions to be introduced across the busiest areas of London and if successful, it could prove to be a blueprint for other cities. Managing Director of Surface Transport of TfL, Leon Daniels, has asserted that London is ‘leading the way in bringing safe cycling infrastructure to our streets.’
This video shows exactly how it works:
Cycling casualties and accidents have been in the news constantly this year, particularly in London where there have been several high profile fatalities and it is something which the local government and related agencies are working to halt. Of course there are cyclists across the whole of the UK who could benefit from the measures so there is hope that if these changes make a difference in London they may be considered in urban areas. Cycling traffic accidents often result in serious injuries because of the lack of protection for cyclists when compared to motorists.