Elephant & Castle gyratory "fine" for cyclists, says Boris Johnson

The Mayor of London has described the Elephant & Castle gyratory as "perfectly negotiable" for cyclists.

Elephant & Castle gyratory

The Mayor made the remarks during a London Assembly meeting at City Hall on Wednesday morning. Mr Johnson was speaking in his capacity as chair of Transport for London.

In response to a question from Conservative London Assembly member Andrew Boff, the Mayor said: "One of the first cycle superhighways takes you round the back of Elephant & Castle – that cunning little cut-through that I sometimes use.

"Though I have to tell you ...sometimes I just go round Elephant & Castle because it's fine. If you keep your wits about you, Elephant & Castle is perfectly negotiable.

"I want people to feel confident. The cycle superhighways are about building confidence."

The northern roundabout at Elephant & Castle topped a recently published league table of the London locations with the highest number of collisions involving cyclists.

This Saturday cycle campaigners are leading a guided bike ride round the top ten locations on the list, including Elephant & Castle.

"The Mayor simply does not see the need to redesign junctions and busy roads to ensure that they are perceived to be safe by people who want to start cycling in London," says Green Party London Assembly member Jenny Jones.

"The Mayor, as an experienced cyclist, wants roads that are safe for him to cycle around, I want roads that are safe for a twelve year old to cycle on."

"My concern is that the Mayor's reluctance to disrupt the flow of motorised traffic means that recommendations which would have made cycling safer have been ignored.

"The Mayor may feel happy to cycle around the northern roundabout of the Elephant and Castle, but lots of people don't. More to the point, why would that stop the Mayor from getting rid of a roundabout which accounts for 89 casualties in the last two years alone?"

The future layout of the Elephant & Castle junction has been the subject of lengthy negotiations between Transport for London, Southwark Council and developer Lend Lease.

TfL has moved to block Southwark's original preferred option which would have created a new public square on a 'peninsula'.

Earlier in the meeting Mr Johnson had described himself as an "inveterate user" of Blackfriars Bridge, which he said "works pretty well" for cyclists.

The bridge has been the scene of a series of protests by cyclists this year urging the Mayor to reconsider TfL's plans to raise the speed limit and reconfigure the northern junction as part of the Blackfriars Station redevelopment.

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