MOTORCYCLISTS REQUIRED FOR ROAD SAFETY RESEARCH

Dutch style roundabout (TfL)

Dutch style roundabout (TfL)

Transport for London (TfL) is recruiting motorcyclists to take part in road safety research, in order to make sure improvements aimed at cyclists also benefit them.

Trials of ‘Dutch style’ roundabouts and low level signalling are being carried out at the Transport Research Laboratory in Wokingham, to assess their suitability for introduction on UK roads, subject to approval.  If successful they could be introduced in London as early as next year.

The Transport Research Laboratory explains, “Typical Dutch style roundabouts have a tighter geometry which reduces vehicles speeds and improves visibility. Some also have an orbital cycle lane which allows cyclists to travel around the roundabout separately to other traffic.”

Though the emphasis of this particular research is clearly on boosting cycle safety, as part of Boris Johnson’s Vision for Cycling, TfL are clear that the impact on motorcyclists will be a key consideration.

John Newham, Head of Safety, Risk and Design Services for Roads at Transport for London says:

“Transport for London wants to ensure that continental style facilities are safe for all road users and as such would like motorcyclists to continue to volunteer to help with the research.”

Over the next ten years £913 million pounds has been earmarked to transform the capital to make it more cycle friendly.  Steve Kenward CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI) called for the impact on motorcyclists to be an on-going consideration:

“Cycling is not always an option for those commuting longer distances and therefore motorcycling needs to be factored into a two-wheel vision for London.  Cyclists and motorcyclists have a good deal in common as vulnerable road users and any measures which improve the safety outcomes for all two-wheel riders would be welcomed by the MCI.”

Karen Cole, Safety Director for the MCI highlighted areas that may need particular attention:

“The areas we would be concerned about are whether a tighter geometry at roundabouts results in motorcyclists being squeezed out by cars and lorries and whether tighter turning traffic results in more diesel spillages, which would be a problem for motorcyclists.  Also whether a motorcyclist giving way to a cyclist and effectively stopping mid island could then be rammed by the vehicle behind.

Motorcyclists aged 25 or over are invited to apply to take part by completing a form that can be downloaded from the Transport Research Laboratory’s website. Participation in this research will take place in Wokingham and should take up no more than half a day, with compensation for the time involved and refreshments being provided. Those with disabilities are particularly welcome to apply.

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