Tuesday 30 April 2013

Something Is Going On In Berkshire...

I had almost forgotten that Transport for London was involved in off street trials of dutch style roundabouts. it seems there is a bit more being looked at.

A real live British-Dutch roundabout!
Image from TRL.
The BBC is running an item on its website reporting the trials being undertaken by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) into the operation of Dutch-style roundabouts. However, it seems that TfL has asked TRL to look at quite a few things.

TRL list the following things being trialled;
  • Segregated cycle lanes
  • Low level cycle signals
  • Ways of turning right for cyclists
  • Bus stop island
  • Dutch style roundabouts
  • High level signals
  • RFID cycle detection by HGVs
Look, there are even TfL's double red clearway lines, but perhaps a
bit too much hi-vis to be truly Dutch!
Image from BBC News.
Each trial has its own little page on TRL's website and it all seems to be interesting and encouraging. There is also a form on TRL's website for people to register interest as a participant in the trials - I think I will be filling this in myself!

TfL was criticised by many people for its design for the roundabout on Lambeth Bridge North and a huge amount of objections led to the scheme being put on hold while further work was done - seems like this was the tipping point to getting this trial under way.

I have read through the various pages on TRL's website and there is a chilling phrase "subject to Department for Transport Approval"; the DfT doesn't like change to happen too quickly (if at all), so I hope that TfL and the Mayor will genuinely push these ideas hard to the on-street phase. 

Low level signals.
Image from TRL website.
Looking at the roundabout, there are Dutch-style markings to show cycle priority where the cycle tracks cross the carriageway and Belisha beacons being used in the "wrong" place. This is the kind of thing over which DfT takes in a sharp intake of breath - but, I think we need to trial these markings to see how it might translate into English (why invent something new?) and cannot wait to see the outcomes.

Right, time to hit the mean streets to work - I wonder what my journey may look like in ten years' time...


  1. The low-level signals are interesting- there's several "bike" traffic lights in Cambridge that have "bike" green and amber but full-circle red. Seeing the "bike" red is intriguing.

  2. Yes, red is always red in UK and at high level (except nearside toucan signals). This could be very interesting...