Cycle safety in London

Key stage 4 Geography

Enquiry question: How can cycling in London be made safer?

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding

The number of journeys by bike in London is growing

Cycle superhighways now extend across London. CS2 runs from Aldgate to Stratford, via Bow.

On average, 12-14 cyclists die in road accidents in London each year

East Village is one of the most cycle-friendly neighbourhoods in London

Geographical skills

Use a variety of fieldwork techniques, including traffic counts, risk assessments, photos, mapping and questionnaires

Learning outcomes

Most students will be able to:

Classify and count vehicles in traffic

Carry out a risk assessment for cyclists at a road junction

Carry out a questionnaire about peoples’ cycling habits

Map features that encourage cycling in a new residential neighbourhood

In analysing data, most students will be able to:

Assess the difference that cycle superhighways make to cycle safety

Consider the views of cyclists and non-cyclists about cycle safety

Identify the features that encourage cycling

Pre-visit recommendation

Students study a map to show the cycle superhighway routes in London.

They read about fatal accidents at the Bow Interchange, that led to the campaign for safer cycling in London

They prepare their own questionnaires, interview questions or other data collection sheets (optional)


CSH network

Grumpy Cycling blog


Bow Church or Bow Road stations. Point out Cycle Superhighway 2 (CS2) on Bow Road. Explain how the road layout has changed and how this could make cycling safer. Walk to Bow Interchange roundabout.


None required


Location 1: Bow Interchange roundabout. Point out that three cyclists have been killed on this roundabout. The junction has been made safer for cyclists. Identify the changes that have made it safer.

Students carry out a risk assessment at the junction and take photos. Then, working in small groups, do a traffic count at each of the slip roads to and from the roundabout. Walk along CS2 back to Bow Church station. Travel by DLR to Stratford.

Location 2: Stratford Town Centre. CS2 comes to an end at Stratford. Cyclists are then faced with either using local cycle routes or the Stratford Gyratory system. The Santander Cycle Hire Scheme has also been extended to Stratford. Students carry out a questionnaire with members of the public, including cyclists, about cycle safety.

Location 3: Maryland Roundabout. Walk to Maryland Roundabout from Stratford. There is no provision for cyclists at this junction.

Students repeat the risk assessment, photos and traffic count they did at Bow Interchange, to compare safety at the two junctions.

Location 4: East Village. Walk to East Village from Maryland. Students walk through the village to map the features that encourage cycling, including cycle lanes, cycle racks and pedestrianized areas. There could be an optional visit to a cycle shop or the nearby Velodrome to interview a cyclist.


Sheet 1
: Risk assessment 1

Sheet 2: Traffic count 2

Sheet 3: Bow Interchange plan

Location 2
Sheet 4: Cycling questionnaire

Location 3
Sheet 5: Risk assessment 2

Sheet 6: Traffic count 2

Sheet 7: Maryland junction plan

Location 4
Sheet 8
: East Village map


Compare cycle safety at the two major junctions they visited. What difference has CS2 made to cycle safety? Have CS2 or the cycle hire extension changed cycling behaviour and attitudes? How is cycling encouraged in East Village and could this be a model for other areas?


Sheet 9: How can cycling be made safer?


Stratford International station on DLR


None required

Additional costs (2017 prices)

Rail travel in London: £4.00 per student on a group travel card (or free if booked in advance through TfL)