There seems to be some confusion regarding the “early-start” invention that TFL came up with for Bow roundabout and now appear to be wanting to roll out across other locations.
Rather than looking at what works in other parts of the World, TFL have stuck to that favourite old British mentality of “not invented here”, and so we’ve ended up with an untested solution that is anything but satisfactory but which has been spun by some PR into something that sounds amazing.
So what’s wrong? Let’s have a closer look.
When the main road has a green light, the cycleway is held at a red signal.
And then finally when the main road has a red light, the cycleway has a green signal into the ASL, but no further.
Can you see what’s going on yet? Yes, although this means that bikes always end up safely in the ASL, bikes will always hit a red signal and so always have to stop. So it’s not an “early-start” for cyclists, it’s an “always-stop” for cyclists.
So how can we fix this? Easy, we do what they do on the continent, separate vehicle movements in space and/or time.
Want more info? Check out my post on how the Dutch do signalised junctions.