Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Turning Left on Red

During the election last year one idea which received some attention was allowing traffic to turn left at junctions even when the lights were red. I had some sympathy for the suggestion but felt that the change - if implemented - should be nationwide, so that drivers didn't have to remember a different set of rules when in the capital.

Today we see this proposal resurfacing in the Evening Standard. Boris has suggested that it should be implemented but only for cyclists. The mayor hopes that cyclists would then be able to get a head start on the heavy vehicles that have claimed 13 lives this year.

Kulveer Ranger, director of transport policy, states "We have written to the Department for Transport asking to run a trial on this. It is a practical proposal which would help improve the relationship between cyclists and other road users." I'm not convinced about that last bit...

The DfT spokesman confirms my original view that "To allow for cyclists to be exempted from red lights a change to the current legislation would be required. This would need to go through the appropriate parliamentary processes before it could take effect."


morris hickey said...

Anybody turning left at that red light would simply crash with the raised footway and guard rails outside Hainault Station! The signals are temporary traffic lights to control taffic flow for roadworks.

I could have more sympathy with facilities for cyclists if they were willing to accept a licensing system with index plates that would assist in identifying that minority of them whose behaviour on the road can be both stupid and downright dangerous.

Anonymous said...

In my experience, cyclists do this already!!!!


judith said...

What about pedestrians who see the red light and assume it's safe to cross, and then get smashed into by a cyclist?