June 19 2013 Latest news:
Else Kvist, Reporter
Monday, June 11, 2012
Changes have been made to a scheme to protect cyclists at Bow roundabout, where two people recently died, after traffic lights were suspended only hours after going live.
Traffic lights were installed to let cyclists out a few seconds before vehicles in attempt to cut the risk of serious accidents near the start of one Boris Johnson’s first cycle super highways.
The £200,000 scheme, which also includes a new kerb separating cyclists from other vehicles, is thought to be the first of its kind in Britain.
It follows an outcry after cyclists Brian Dorling, 58, and Svitlana Tereschenko, 34, were both killed by left-turning lorries, within three weeks of each other, at the roundabout last autumn.
But the traffic lights installed at the north-west arm of the roundabout, where Mr Dorling died, were covered up ahead of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend and not put back in operation until Wednesday last week.
A Transport for London spokesman said they have now “tweaked” the scheme and will continue to monitor it.
He said: “The scheme has never been used in London before so a lot of people don’t fully understand it. Some cyclists said they were confused about where to stop and we saw lorries clipping the kerb.
“We have now repositioned one of the traffic lights to allow cyclists to more clearly distinguish between the two stop lines and shortened the kerb.
“We’ve also remarked some of the blue paint, at the front of the junction, to help cyclists position themselves correctly in front of traffic.”
Debbie Dorling, the widow of Brian Dorling, said: “The way the cycle superhighway was designed didn’t help my husband, who was both an experienced cyclist and motorcyclist. Whether the new design would have made a difference I’ll never know.”
“TfL have invested £200,000 in the scheme so they are trying their best. Education is needed on both sides. Cyclists also have to be educated about how to use the roundabout.
A similar scheme is due to be put in place at the opposite approach of the roundabout, where Ms
Tereschenko died, after the London Olympics.