The Department for Transport has approved low-level traffic lights last week, marking a step towards safer streets for cyclists.

The eye-level traffic lights cannot on their own revolutionise dangerous junctions, of course, but they pave the way for early-start traffic lights for cyclists, which are common in the Netherlands.

East London’s notoriously dangerous Bow Roundabout, where a cyclist died in November, will see the lights’ first trial, before their extension to 11 further sites across London.

Matt Winfield, deputy director of Sustrans London, said:
“This is a great first step toward a more cycle-friendly city. We now need to see an early green-phase for cycles, as soon as we can, so that cyclists can clear junctions swiftly and avoid mixing with heavy traffic and large vehicles.”

Low-level traffic lights are being promoted among new safer road designs, including Dutch-style roundabouts, cycle-specific signage and two-stage right turns, which are also being trialled, as are bus-stop bypasses. In the capital 80 per cent of cyclist KSIs (killed or seriously injured) accidents occur at junctions.

This article was first published in the December 19 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!

  • Clare Kissane

    Two days after the big press launch, today is Tuesday 21 January – just walked past the new lights and they are switched off and covered up. What is the point? Looks like another publicity stunt for the mayor.

  • Ken Evans

    There is so much visual clutter around the roads of London that larger traffic lights would be very good. The red light could be twice or three times as tall as the existing standard size, so inattentive and hung-over drivers had less chance of missing it !

  • roginoz

    lets hope it effective or motorists will moan about the cost.