£300m for junction improvements in London, as Assembly calls on mayor to do more to protect cyclists

London mayor Boris Johnson has announced a raft of road junction improvements aimed at keeping cyclists safe on the capital’s roads, as the London Assembly issued a report calling on him to speed up the transformation to prevent more deaths.

The mayor with Transport for London last week revealed that £300m would be spent on an overhaul of 33 notorious junctions.

As part of the programme, gyratories at Archway, Aldgate, Swiss Cottage and Wandsworth, among others, will replaced with two-way roads, segregated cycle tracks and new traffic-free public space.

The Elephant & Castle roundabout, which TfL said is London’s highest cycle casualty location, will be removed. At other gyratories, such as Hammersmith and Vauxhall, segregated cycle tracks will be installed, pending what the mayor describes as “more radical transformations of these areas in the medium term”.

TfL data shows that in the last three years, more than 150 cyclists and pedestrians have been killed or seriously injured at these 33 locations.

Johnson, said: “These road junctions are relics of the Sixties which blight and menace whole neighbourhoods. Like so much from that era, they’re also atrociously-designed and wasteful of space.

“Because of that, we can turn these junctions into more civilised places for cyclists and pedestrians, while at the same time maintaining their traffic function.”

The money will come from the £100 million Better Junctions budget announced in the Cycling Vision document, from the Vision’s Cycle Superhighways budget for those on superhighways, from the general TfL Major Schemes programme budget, and from confirmed third-party and developer contributions in the order of £50 million.

Most junctions will use a mixture of some or all of these funding streams. Designs for the first schemes will be published next month and work will begin in the second half of this year.

London Assembly

In an update to its Cycling in London report, the London Assembly Transport Committee has called on the mayor to do more and do it quicker. Citing a poll conducted late last year of more than 6,000 cyclists as its evidence base, the assembly has made three key demands of the mayor and TfL:

  • Stop underspending the cycling budget. If there is underspending on the cycling budget in one year, TfL should spend the underspend on cycling in the following year.
  • Deliver improvements to the cycle superhighways and to at least 10 traffic junctions by 2015.
  • Publish details of the plans for more enforcement of road safety for cyclists.

Deputy chairman of the London Assembly Transport Committee, Caroline Pidgeon, said: “There is a big gap between what cyclists want and what is being delivered. It is imperative that money is spent wisely to correct the mistakes of the past Cycle Superhighways.

Cyclists have been at great risk of accidents and their safety needs to be prioritised as soon as possible.”

Greater Manchester recently revealed that it is investing £650,000 in improving the visibility of cyclists for HGVs in the North West.

Hargreaves Logistics revealed as participant in EASI-LPG trial

Hargreaves Logistics has broken cover as one of the six operators involved in a trial of a new LPG system, dubbed EASI-LPG, that could improve mpg by as much as 15%.

Headed by Frome-based vehicle monitoring equipment supplier Btrack, the trial is being lead by fuel efficiency consultant Dr Michael Coyle.

Based on “LPG enhancement” rather than more traditional dual-fuel approach, the technique is described as being one that “enhances the combustion of the diesel and increases energy release.”

Hargreaves has now revealed itself as one of six operators that will be running vehicles utilising the technology as part of the trial.

Jay Laverick, fuel champion at Hargreaves Logistics, said: “I have had ongoing discussions with Doctor Michael Coyle for a number of years on the subject of fuel efficiency and emissions reduction and he was aware of the intense focus that Hargreaves Logistics is currently putting into these issues.

"We are thrilled to have been asked to get involved with the trial and working with Michael Coyle is always a pleasure.”

“The vehicle will continue to operate with diesel as its primary fuel, but small controlled amounts of LPG will be blended into the air supply to improve the combustion process. As the first vehicle of this type in the fleet, the simplicity of the system (a small LPG tank on the chassis) will also give us an easy introduction to the application of alternative fuels.”

Norbert Dentressangle is also part of the trial.