The Institute for Road Safety Research in The Netherlands has found that blind spot roadside mirrors (known as Trixi mirrors) do not have a significant impact on the number of collisions between trucks and cyclists at junctions.
They state that the solution is “a structural separation of trucks and cyclists.” It is this structural separation that we need throughout the King’s Cross gyratory system.
The excellent Cyclists in the City blog has reported that the Trixi mirror solution currently being promoted for London’s roads is just “a sticking plaster” that may have a brief temporary effect when first implemented due to launch publicity, but that effect wears off quite quickly leaving roads not designed for safety as perilous as before.
Transport for London has stated they will work with Camden and Islington councils to review the notorious King’s Cross gyratory in 2012, aiming to making it safe for cyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicles. Lessons like that recently learned in The Netherlands need to be included in the TfL review to maximise much needed positive outcomes.
The recent tragic death of Deep Lee (Min Joo Lee) occurred as a result of a lorry colliding with her bike on exactly the type of junction that so needs attention. It has long been recognised that removal of the King’s Cross gyratory is the only possible way to really make our local roads safe.
Combined with physically separated cycle lanes such as those implemented by Camden Council at Torrington Place as a result of lobbying by Camden Cyclists, this redesign of the outdated King’s Cross traffic system is long, long overdue. Let’s not be tempted by sticking plaster solutions.