03 June 2010
Elephant soon to be only half as lethal
Work has started remodelling one of the notorious twin roundabouts at the Elephant and Castle, here in south London. By early 2011 the southern roundabout should look like this, reports the SE1 website.
At the moment, the gyratory is a horrible experience for cyclists. It's especially dangerous for those heading south (from the bottom right of the picture to the top right). Buses in the left-hand lane on the approach to the roundabout force you into the middle lane (where the grey car is in the illustration of the future layout). Fast traffic intending to turn left (to the left of the picture) comes up behind you, overtakes you and then cuts across left in front of you, usually hooting, and swearing in some of London's hundred-odd languages in daily use.
There is a so-called Elephant and Castle cycle by-pass, but it's incomplete, slow, narrow and hard to follow. It's quite fun tracing it all the way round if you have an hour to spare one day and want to visit nooks and crannies of south London you've never been to before, though.
Anyway, the new layout should be a massive improvement. Even if a better option was vetoed by TfL because it would have reduced traffic flows. All we need to do now is deal with that lethal northern roundabout...