Campaigners want “immediate redesign” of Bow roundabout after two cyclist deaths
16:05 14 November 2011
Cyclists are calling on Boris Johnson to order an immediate redesign of Bow roundabout’s new Superhighway route after two cyclists died there in three weeks.
On Friday afternoon a 34-year-old Ukrainian woman lost her life at the junction after colliding with a lorry.
Brian Dorling, 58, who was on his way to work as a cost consultant at the Olympic site, was killed on October 24.
The drivers stopped at the scene in both incidents and were arrested.
The London Cycling Campaign said its members are “furious” at the Mayor and Transport for London’s “refusal to address the danger” at the junction and are pressing him to urgently look into safety at the site.
In a cruel twist of fate, Mr Dorling’s wife told police and traffic engineers that someone else would lose their life at Bow roundabout shortly after her husband’s death.
She told a newspaper: “When we went for the reconstruction of my husband’s accident you could see how dangerous it was. You can’t have big lorries and cyclists sharing such a dangerous space.”
The LCC said they had warned TfL that the roundabout posed an “unacceptable threat to cyclists and pedestrians” before it was built.
The route, which runs from Whitechapel Road all the way through to Bow Road, is one of the main cyclist routes for the Olympics and is expected to be used extensively during the Games.
LCC’s chief executive Ashok Sinha said: “When we saw the woefully inadequate design for the Superhighway in February, we wrote to senior Transport for London management to warn them expressly that this roundabout posed a continued and real danger.
“We are appalled at this latest, preventable death and are fearful of what may happen when large numbers of cyclists have to tackle this junction on their way to and from the Olympics.”
On Saturday 350 campaigners rode their bikes through the ten most dangerous junctions in London to highlight cyclist deaths.
Bow junction was not among them but members say the latest tragedy has placed it high on the cycling community’s list of danger spots
Mark Ames, who lives in Bethnal Green and writes a cycling blog, said: “Encouraging families to use the route without well-designed space for cyclists is negligent by TfL in the extreme.”
Campaigners are calling for the complete separation of cyclist and motor vehicle lanes in dangerous spots and, where necessary, separate traffic lights for those on bikes.
Leon Daniels, managing director of surface transport at TfL said: “We are extremely sorry to learn of the tragic death of a female cyclist, I have visited the scene and both TfL and the police have launched inquiries which will report as quickly as possible.”
A spokesperson for Boris Johnson said: “The mayor’s thoughts are with the family and friends of the cyclist who was killed on Friday evening.
“A Police investigation is ongoing but Transport for London are also looking into the circumstances and will report back to the mayor as quickly as they can. TfL has invested over £100m on cycle schemes in London and will continue to do all they can to achieve the mayor’s aim of making cycling in the capital as safe as possible.”
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