Safer roads need joined up thinking

Today the most dangerous junctions for cyclists in London were revealed and at number 5 was the junction of Upper Tooting Road  / Lessingham Avenue and Ansell Road. As a cyclist down that road, it does not surprise me in the slightest, especially when cycling towards Tooting. Over 5 years, 34 incidents were reported to police, no doubt, there have been countless more unreported.

Lessingham Ave

This when it was revealed that TfL had underspent their road safety budget by over £50m this financial year. Already in 2015 we have had 4 cycle deaths, and for TfL to be underspending their safety budget is a travesty. Of course, it’s not just TfL’s responsibility on Upper Tooting Road, but also Wandsworth Council, who control the traffic off Upper Tooting Road.

Lessingham Ave and Ansell Road are being used as rat runs, which contributes to the problem, and more needs to be done to tackle this. Aside from denying motorists access, which is unrealistic, there are a number of solutions such as making the junctions have legal STOP signs rather than Give Way, or consider how best to manage the traffic flow with additional traffic lights. I also feel that managing the late night parking on Upper Tooting Road is an issue when cycling in the evening, the poor visibility for motorists (and cyclists) because of the parked cars.

Action now, not after another 34 (reported) incidents or even a death.