7 Nov 2014
Research could help London become a haven for cyclists
Changing London’s cycling infrastructure will further improve safety and transform the city into a haven for cyclists, finds a study by researchers from Loughborough University and UCL.
The report, commissioned by Transport for London (TfL), could influence how London spends £913 million earmarked by Mayor Boris Johnson to improve cycle safety and increase the number of cyclists four-fold by 2026.
One of its major recommendations is for London to emulate the ‘best international practice in cycle infrastructure’ in cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam, where up to 40 per cent of trips are made by bicycle. The research team believes this would cut collisions by reducing the direct conflict cyclists face with buses, construction vehicles and HGVs.
Other recommendations include reducing HGV movements during commuting hours, educating cyclists not to pass to the left of HGVs and retro-fitting side-guards and mirrors that remove blind spots to HGVs.
The research was commissioned to support the development of TfL’s updated Cycle Safety Action Plan. TfL is currently consulting on proposals for Europe’s longest substantially-segregated urban cycle superhighway, which includes innovative designs for major junctions and roads.
Professor Pete Thomas, Director of the Loughborough University Transport Safety Research Centre, based in the Design School, led the Loughborough team. He believes that the implementation of their recommendations will support London along the road to emulating Copenhagen for cyclists.
He said: “We have said that we ought to aim for the world’s best provision for cyclists – and that is Copenhagen.
“To achieve that would take decades, these things don’t happen overnight. But this, I think, is achievable for London and for other cities in the UK. It’s expensive but over the years you would get the money back in terms of fewer accidents, healthier people, and, therefore, less pressure on the NHS. It’s also part of a broader issue. What do we want our cities to be like?”