Kennington residents live within a couple of miles of seven of TfL's top 10 collision hotspots, according to a recent response at a Mayor's Question Time. The Cyclists in the City blog is arranging a tour - please read his blogpost and join in:
A tour of Transport for London's 10 most dangerous junctions for cycling in central London - in honour of Elephant & Castle roundabout
10.30am Saturday 12 November
Meet by the stairs at the front of St. Mark's Church, The Oval, Kennington, SE11 4PW
Here's the question to the Mayor, TfL's response and my comments in brackets and italics thereafter:
Question No: 2996 / 2011 Valerie Shawcross:
When asked at MQT about the 9.2% increase in cycling accidents in the previous year you referred to the TfL Cycle Safety Action Plan. Has TfL identified within the Cycle Safety Action Plan where and when collisions involving cyclists are most likely to occur? Please publish a table showing the ten most dangerous locations to cyclists in London, say which is the highways authority at that location and what actions TfL are taking to reduce the dangers to cyclists at each?.
Written response from the Mayor :
The locations with the highest number of cycle collisions in the GLA area between 2008 and 2010 are shown in the table below. These are on some of the busiest cycle routes in London and, as such, the number of collisions is generally proportionate to the number of cyclists in these locations. No fatal collisions occurred at any of these locations and at least 85 per cent of the collisions at all ten locations resulted in slight injuries, which did not require hospital treatment.
The table below indicates the specific infrastructure improvements which are taking place at each location. However, infrastructure improvements alone are not enough to improve cycle safety as collisions involving cyclists are not always concentrated at particular locations. TfL is therefore working with the London boroughs and the Cycle Safety Working Group to deliver other safety improvements such as education campaigns, better vehicle safety technology for freight vehicles and cycle training.
Location Borough Highway Authority Action being taken
1. St. George's Road/London Road/ Elephant & Castle Junction Southwark TfL An alternative route for cyclists was implemented at this location as part of Cycle Superhighway 7. (The alternative route implemented was a repaint of half of the existing but inadequately marked cycle bypass. If you want to test your urban orienteering skills try to get from Newington Causeway to Walworth Road on the eastern half of the bypass. It's a disgrace that this wasn't upgraded as complimentary works to CS7. Appallingly, the Heygate consultation plans don't show a significantly improved route.)
2. Clapham Road/ Kennington Park Road/ Camberwell Road Junction Lambeth TfL Safety improvements were introduced at this junction as part of Barclays Cycle Superhighway Route 7 (CSH7). Barclays Cycle Superhighway Route 5 will run east-west through Oval junction on the A202, and will deliver further safety improvements for cyclists. (My views haven't changed since I wrote this )
3. Strand/Northumberland Avenue/Whitehall Junction Westminster Borough Westminster City Council has identified £878,000 of Local Implementation Plan funding for safety schemes throughout Westminster. I have asked TfL officers to engage with the borough to ensure that this location is considered for improvements. (TfL and Westminster '30mph' Council - I'm not holding my breath)
4. Waterloo Road/ Stamford St/ York Road Junction Lambeth TfL Plans are being developed to improve signage in this area in order to provide cyclists with information about safe routes to Waterloo station that provide an alternative to navigating the roundabout at this junction. (The alternatives are so convoluted you'll need a quality of signage I've yet to see in London.)
5. Mansion House St/Princes St/ Threadneedle St Junction City of London Borough The City of London has three funded programmes in its Local Implementation Plan which will contribute to improving safety for cyclists throughout the ‘Square Mile’. I have asked TfL officers to liaise with the City of London to determine whether this location should be prioritised for improvements.
6. Elephant & Castle/Newington Butts Roundabout Southwark TfL Works to convert the roundabout to a signalised junction were undertaken between June 2010 and May 2011. Advance Stop Lines, Toucan crossings and shared use pavements were provided on all arms of the junction. (This has definitely been an improvement. I haven't explored all the shared use options, but for example, turning left from Walworth Road to Newington Butts you can simply hop onto the pavement and then off again to bypass the traffic lights)
7. Hyde Park Corner Westminster TfL As part of the Barclays Cycle Superhighways (CSH) Programme, cycling improvements are being considered at Hyde Park Corner, which will see Route 9 terminating at the roundabout. These proposals are still in the early stages of planning and are not yet confirmed. (Working on one route that terminates there is hardly sorting out every exit. Removing the filter off the gyratory to turn left to Constitution Hill so cyclists and pedestrians can cross to the middle from Green Park in one, rather than two, goes would be great. I understand TfL have ruled that out in favour of multi-lane motor traffic flow.)
8. Millbank/Lambeth Bridge Junction Westminster TfL CSH 8 has been implemented on Grosvenor Rd and Milbank, and mandatory cycle lanes installed on entry and exit at the Millbank arm with Lambeth Bridge to improve cycling safety at the roundabout. In addition cycle measures were incorporated in the recently resurfaced Lambeth Bridge. These included widening the westbound mandatory cycle lane. (CSH8 onto the roundabout is hardly helpful if you want to turn right over Lambeth Bridge. The cycle measures introduced on the bridge were done following pressure from outside and ignored most recommendations)
9. Clerkenwell Road/Farringdon Road Junction Islington TfL Cycle measures have been implemented at this junction primarily by London Borough of Islington catering for the heavy east to west cycle movement.
10. Albert Embankment/Kennington Lane/ Wandsworth Road Junction Lambeth TfL CSH 5 will run through Vauxhall Gyratory on the A202 and will provide a safer route for cyclists. Planned improvements include new sections of cycle lane, blind spot visibility mirrors, and changes to traffic islands and kerblines to reduce traffic speeds and improve safety. (We'll wait and see. It's not going to be much use if you want to go from Vauxhall Bridge down South Lambeth Road, or from Kennington Lane to Nine Elms Lane)
One final thought - do you ever see teenage girls and boys cycling on their own at any of these?