Boris to upgrade menace junctions

Boris to upgrade menace junctions

London's motorists will soon be negotiating more than 30 new junction layouts following a £300 million drive to make the capital's roads safer for cyclists, it has been announced.

London mayor Boris Johnson and Transport for London said 33 junctions would be transformed.

The gyratory systems at Wandsworth, Aldgate, Swiss Cottage and Archway will be replaced by two-way roads with segregated cycle tracks while the Elephant and Castle roundabout in south London - the junction with the highest cycle casualty rate - will be removed. Hammersmith and Vauxhall's gyratories will also be altered with cyclists in mind.

Last autumn six cyclists were killed in accidents in the capital over the space of just two weeks, highlighting the dangers faced by riders in London.

It is hoped the junction alterations will improve safety and cut the number of accidents - andcar insurance claims - in the capital.

Mr Johnson described the junctions as "relics of the Sixties" and a "menace" but said the work would transform them into "more civilised places for cyclists and pedestrians while at the same time maintaining their traffic function".

Work will start later this year following the publication in March of detailed designs for the first schemes.

RAC head of external affairs Pete Williams says: "The announcement today that 33 junctions in London will be redesigned is of course a welcome move.

"Segregating cyclists and traffic is obviously the best safety solution and we know it is very much part of plans to keep cyclists safe in the capital, albeit within the limitations of London's infrastructure. The segregation of bikes and vehicles is something which is also being looked at in cities such as Manchester and Bristol as it has been proven to work very well abroad in countries like the Netherlands.

"We feel it should be used wherever it possibly can be as it helps to save lives.

"We know full well how challenging it can be for cyclists, many of whom also drive and pay car tax, to make use of our roads and cycle paths safely. This has been illustrated by the 8% quarter-on-quarter rise in cyclist casualties we saw during Q3 2013, according to the latest Department for Transport statistics.

"That rise in accidents alone is very worrying, but the number of fatalities which occurred in London before Christmas really re-emphasises the need to maintain momentum on initiatives to ensure the safety of the ever-increasing number of people taking to two wheels."

Copyright Press Association 2014