Worst cycling ‘blackspots’ identified in London, Oxford and Cambridge

Figures released about Britain’s cycling blackspots comes hot on the heels of yet another fatality on the UK’s roads.  The death of a man in his 30s, crushed under the wheels of an HGV, makes 3 cyclist deaths in 4 days.  This tragic news keeps cyclist safety in the headlines and should resonate with all road users about why these accidents are still happening with such frequency.

Statistics provided by the Department of Transport (DfT) and analysed by data analysts have revealed that a roundabout in North London has been identified as the worst cycling accident blackspot in Great Britain.  The roundabout in question is on Millbank at the north end of Lambeth Bridge and is where a 55-year-old cyclist was hit by a tipper lorry and killed in 2015.

The blackspot roundabout was being developed and redesigned at the time of the accident and is the same spot where 53 other cycling accidents have occurred resulting in either injury or fatality between 2009 and 2015.

The Transport for London (TfL) is aware of the bad safety reputation of the roundabout and recently unveiled plans for a temporary redesign but was heavily criticised by cycling campaigners as the plans come ahead of the local council launching a consultation over permanent changes to the junction which are considered safer and better thought out than the temporary plans.

Andrew Gilligan, a former London Cycling Commissioner told road.cc:

“They are making it worse,”

“It will be far better to do nothing than to do this. They are narrowing the road and will force cyclists into the path of traffic.”

The second most dangerous cycling blackspot has been revealed to be the Plain roundabout in Oxford.  Between the same years, 2009 and 2015, there were 45 cycling accidents and, although there has been a scheme of improvement (£1.35 million) to make it safer for cyclists to use the roundabout, local cycling campaigners complain that the improvements haven’t gone far enough.

The next three cycling blackspots included the junction of Trumpington Road and Lensfield Road in Cambridge (34 accidents), Upper Tooting Road (29 accidents) and Kennington Park Road (29 accidents which incidentally lie on Cycle Superhighway 7.

London, Cambridge and Oxford have some of the highest proportion of daily cyclists in the UK, so the statistics should not be unexpected.  However, the fact that some of the cycle scheme improvements don’t appear to be protecting cyclists from accidents the way they were designed to or not being implemented fast enough due to budgetary constraints for councils is concerning.

The policy director for Cycling UK told road.cc:

“Our national Space for Cycling campaign is calling on local authorities to start delivering top priority, Dutch standard schemes at key locations, particularly at junctions.

“Not only will this help maximise cycle use in these areas, but it will also act as a statement of intent about the design standards they intend to apply across their areas of responsibility.

“We’d urge local authorities to engage with their local campaign groups throughout the consultation process, as they will be able to identify the places where achieving Dutch standards is most critical for enabling a lot more people to cycle more safely.”

Chris Boardman, British Cycling policy adviser commented:

“The cycling infrastructure in the UK is way behind that of our European neighbours and without it, we will not get more people doing normal everyday things like the school run and the shopping unless they feel safe.”


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