Mayor forced to defend E&C roundabout claims
The Mayor of London has been accused of having “no sense of road danger” after labelling London’s most dangerous road system “fine”, contradicting recent figures released by Transport for London (TfL).
Assembly Member (AM) Jenny Jones aimed the broadside at Mayor Boris Johnson during a meeting with the Greater London Assembly, where he and Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy were called in to answer questions on cycling safety.
As reported recently by Arts London News, the Elephant and Castle roundabout was the site of 89 road casualties over a two-year period, more than any other in the capital.
Yet despite these figures, Johnson, who is also Chairman of TfL, declared: "I go round Elephant and Castle [roundabout] because it's fine if you keep your wits about you - it's perfectly negotiable."
Accident waiting to happen
Labour AM for City and East, John Biggs, said he had warned Johnson over two years ago about the junction’s danger, calling it “an accident waiting to happen”.
Cycling safety is back in the spotlight following a number of fatalities on London’s roads, prompting ALN to launch its Right to Ride campaign.
Last month, Central Saint Martins student Min Joo Lee was killed at a King’s Cross junction and, more recently, two cyclists died on one of Johnson’s flagship Cycle Superhighways in Bow.
Caroline Pidgeon AM wanted to know why Johnson hadn’t pushed the issue of cycling safety or raised the Superhighway deaths at a recent TfL meeting, despite making a personal pledge.
"You've said you will personally look at cyclist fatalities but do you regret that at last week's TfL board not one board member raised the issue of the two recent tragic deaths on London's roads, and challenged TfL or Mr Hendy as to what TfL is doing to make the roads safer?” she asked.
Johnson agreed that lots of matters were discussed at the meeting of the board but cycle safety was left out, admitting there is "a job of education to be done".
Despite the recent deaths, Johnson insisted that cycling in the capital is getting safer.
He described cycle safety as "absolutely paramount" for TfL, who he insists are working very hard to ensure that, above all, the users of heavy goods vehicles understand the threat that they pose to cyclists.
Blind spot mirrors are being fitted to fleets of vehicles and there are plans to roll out raised ‘trixi mirrors’ at junctions to improve driver’s vision.
However, London Assembly Members were left unsatisfied and demanded immediate attention be given to road engineering.
Follow the Arts London News Right to Ride campaign at: www.artslondonnews.co.uk/righttoride