26 June 2012
In the 2012 Budget the Chancellor allocated £15m to fix problem junctions in London. Now another £15m has been found to spend on junctions outside London. The additional funding is a testament to The Times's 'Cities fit for cycling' campaign in the spring.
The Times' #cyclesafe campaign generated 10,000 reports of bad junctions

The Minister in charge of cycling issues, Norman Baker MP, said that the fund will be used to support improvements [2] to junctions with poor safety records. The Department will work with local authorities and the Cycling Stakeholder Forum, on which CTC is represented, to identify the major junctions.

This fund will provide capital support to improve safety at junctions identified as having a record of road incidents that have resulted in cyclists being killed or seriously injured."

Norman Baker MP, Minister of Transport

 

CTC has repeatedly made the point that junctions with high levels of incidents of death and injury may not be the ones that are the worst for cycling - they may simply be the ones with highest levels of cycling. As with measuring risk of cycling [3], CTC recommends that numbers of injuries must always be analysed in the context of how much cycling is taking place, together with people's perception of the danger they encounter.

CTC's suggestion was taken up by The Times, which collected cyclists' own nominations [4] for the worst junctions using an online map. The Department has stated that it will decide which junctions to tackle based on numbers of casualties in addition to the submissions made by cyclists.

While CTC welcomes the additional funding, £15m (or 34p per resident of England), it is far too little to deal with the very hostile nature of much of the road network. This sum is unlikely to be able to pay for more than a handful of junctions - but CTC would prefer that approach to the funding being scattered on negligible improvements at many junctions.

CTC has suggested to the Cycle Stakeholder Forum that the money go to trial innovative approaches to tackle problems in urban areas similar to that encountered at Bow Roundabout in London (or the advanced cycle signal at Old Shoreham Road, Brighton [5]). For bad junctions in edge or town or rural areas the £15m should be matched by the Highways Agency, which manages much of the major road network and is responsible for some of the worst junctions for cycling.