First dedicated roundabout for cyclists in London is ‘the most dangerous’

Network of Cycling Superhighways in London  designed to make routes safer
Network of Cycling Superhighways in London designed to make routes safer - ASHLEY COOPER/THE IMAGE BANK RF

A dedicated roundabout for cyclists in London is its first but also the most dangerous, data suggests.

Queen’s Circus in Battersea, south-west London, ranks among the 10 worst junctions for those on bikes with one death and five accidents since 2018.

The seven-exit roundabout, which cost £2.4 million, has a cycle lane around its circumference, separated from lanes of traffic, with sets of traffic lights meaning that a vehicle cannot turn left into a bike.

It was opened in 2015 by Transport for London (TfL) and Wandsworth borough council who described it as an innovative cycle-friendly roundabout, given many collisions are caused by left-hand turns.

The revelation has led to calls for Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, to stop carving up roads for costly “vanity projects” to please bike lobbyists.

The new figures from the London Cycling Campaign (LCC), a lobby group that works closely with local authorities, also identify the capital’s dedicated routes as “dangerous”.

A network of seven numbered segregated lanes each known as a Cycle Superhighway (CS) operate across London.

The data, based on call-outs by the emergency services over the past five years, show that CS7 on Upper Tooting Road in south London, was the most unsafe with 11 serious and 18 slight collisions.

The LCC blamed heavy ratruns that intersect with the cycle lane.

Shane Murtagh Hammond, 34, a cyclist, was killed in a collision with a bin lorry on CS8 at the Queen’s Circus roundabout in July 2018 during the evening rush hour.

There have also been two serious and three slight crashes there in the past five years.

Pedestrians are also at risk because they have to look backwards over their shoulder to check for bikes when using the crossings.

‘Any flaws can be identified’

Peter Fortune AM, from the City Hall Conservatives, told the Telegraph: “Inner London needs better cycling infrastructure. But it’s vital this infrastructure is located in the right places and improves the safety of cyclists and other road users.

“This means selecting locations based on local safety data and consulting cyclists and communities so any flaws can be identified before taxpayers’ money is wasted on vanity projects.”

John Stewart, chairman of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “If this is cycle-friendly infrastructure then what is cycle unfriendly infrastructure?

“The cycling lobby groups really need to take a good, hard look at themselves and ask whether what they’re wanting is really in the interest of cyclists.

“Additionally, too many cyclists are playing fast and loose with the rules of the road.”

It is the second year that the LCC has released data on the 10 worst junctions, but this year is the first time that the Queen’s Circus roundabout and the CS7 have been featured.

Last year, the number of cyclists involved in serious collisions in London rose year on year from 999 to 1,027, an increase of three per cent. This included seven fatalities.

TfL says it has completed work at 44 of 73 dangerous junctions it has identified since 2017, while Mr Khan has a target of eliminating all road deaths by 2041.

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