A notorious London roundabout will be the first junction in the UK to get new low-level traffic lights aimed at making roads safer for cyclists.
A number of cyclists have been injured in road traffic accidents on the Bow Roundabout with two riders having lost their lives there in November.
Transport Minister Stephen Hammond said following safety trials the new traffic lights, which will be installed at cyclists’ eye level, have been authorised for use.
They will now be piloted at Bow Roundabout by Transport for London (TfL), which is working with the Department for Transport (DfT) to install them at another 11 sites in the capital.
They show the same signal that is displayed on a junction’s main traffic lights, making them clearer to cyclists. More than four-fifths of the cyclists surveyed said they favour their use.
More new measures
Research is also being carried out to enable the DfT to consider whether using the lights to give cyclists “an early start” at junctions should be approved.
The safety of cyclists is something the TfL and Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, have been focusing on by trialling new measures such as bus stop bypasses and new roundabout designs.
Mr Johnson’s vision for cycling in the capital also includes so-called “Quietways”, a network of back streets with lower traffic levels that it is hoped will be launched from next summer.
The TfL has also been liaising with the DfT to develop a standard junction design that includes a two-stage right turn for cyclists, something that is used in other European countries.