A list of London’s most dangerous junctions for cyclists has prompted fears that efforts to improve safety could ‘fall short’ of what is needed.
Analysis of traffic accident data by insurers Aviva suggests there were over 22,988 motor collisions involving cyclists inside the M25 between 2009 and 2013, including 80 fatalities. Road collisions have already led to four cyclist deaths in the capital this year.
Elephant and Castle saw 80 accidents involving cyclists and motorists between 2009 and 2013, while 46 were charted over the same period at junctions surrounding Trafalgar Square.
These were followed by the Waterloo Road roundabout, which saw 45 accidents, and the Lambeth Bridge and Millbank roundabout, with 38.
The news comes as transport chiefs came under attack for under-spending their road safety budget by more than £50m this year. Following questions from Liberal Democrats, Boris Johnson conceded that Transport for London only spent £29m of its £82m cycling budget this financial year.
London Assembly members and transport campaigners also warned that measures to improve road safety under mayor Boris Johnson’s Better Junction scheme could fail to achieve the major engineering changes required.
Green Party assembly member, Darren Johnson, said: ‘This list of cycling casualty hotspots highlights how little Boris Johnson will have achieved for safer roads by the time he leaves office and how much needs to be done by the next Mayor. London is a big city and every delay in bringing forward Dutch style cycling facilities is leaving people vulnerable.
‘Boris Johnson has got to focus on his job as mayor and ensure that as many of the proposed safer cycling schemes actually happen before he leaves office.’
Matt Winfield, Sustrans London deputy director, added: ‘We mustn’t create the impression that cycling is an especially dangerous activity when statistically it isn’t. The most significant source of danger is poorly designed roads that aren’t fit for all types of road users.
‘We must design out the danger and conflict from our roads, and deliver outstanding integrated infrastructure by creating high quality streets that are comfortable and attractive for cycling across London.’
Transport for London (TfL) said construction of a major redesign to Elephant and Castle roundabout would begin this Spring following widespread public support for plans put forward by the organisation and Southwark Council. The project will be completed by Summer 2016.
A TfL spokesperson said: ‘While we don't recognise the interpretation of these figures, we entirely agree that any accident on London's roads is one too many. That is why we are investing nearly £1bn in upgrading the existing Cycle Superhighways with greater segregation, introducing major new segregated cycle routes and backstreet Quietways, and overhauling dozens of junctions on both our roads and on borough roads.’