Transport for London (TfL) is planning to introduce “eye-level” traffic lights for cyclists as a part of safety measure improvements on the streets of London.
TfL is pushing for trial of the Dutch-style lights, which will be placed at eye-level for cyclists to make it easier for them to commute around. This year, London witnessed the death of nine cyclists. Cyclists feel that allotting a dedicated traffic phase for them at all major junctions will reduce the number of accidents.
The bike traffic lights are likely to feature a green light with a bicycle logo instead of the usual traffic signals. These lights are used even in Germany, France, Denmark, Spain and the US.
TfL is currently in talks with Department of Transport (DoT) about the installation of the equipment. Despite requiring a change of law for the implementation of the traffic lights, TfL is pushing DoT for a trial.
There is some evidence that the bike traffic signals could reduce accidents as they mean cyclists are less likely to put themselves at risk by rushing on red lights. Gerhard Weiss of the London Cycling Campaign said, “This would be a good idea but it must be led by demand. We wouldn’t want putting signals everywhere to be seen as a solution to the safe cycling problem. It’s not quite as simple as that.”
Leon Daniels, the managing director for surface transport at TfL, said that TfL had had meetings with DoT “to explore options for new traffic signals” to make cycling safer.
“If approval of an on-street trial cannot be granted before 2014, TfL will look to carrying out off-street trials instead”, Daniels wrote in a letter to Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the London Assembly.