Transport for London (TfL) has introduced the UK’s first junction designed to protect cyclists from being hit by left-turning vehicles on London’s busiest main roads.

The new safety measures for cyclists include installation of early-release and separate traffic lights at the Cambridge Heath junction on Whitechapel Road in East London.

Around 85% of cyclist accidents happen at junctions and the new system will give those on bicycles greater protection whether turning left, right or travelling straight ahead.

"We can encourage more safe cycling and further bolster London as a truly world-class cycling city."

According to TfL, the new junction on the upgraded Cycle Superhighway 2 at Whitechapel Road and Cambridge Heath Road will be the template for the rest of the main road network.

Cycle Superhighway 2 will cover 11 major junctions between Aldgate and Bow Roundabout by the time it is finished by early next year.

London mayor Boris Johnson said: "I made a firm commitment that we would upgrade Cycle Superhighway 2 to ensure that cyclists get the time and the space they need to cycle safely. That’s exactly what’s happening here in east London.

"The innovations we’re using at Cambridge Heath are a fantastic taster of the raft of improvements that are coming down the track, ensuring that people can cycle safely and more confidently in our city."

As part of the project, there will also be a new ‘two-stage right turn’ to let cyclists make right turns in safety.

TfL surface transport managing director Leon Daniels said: "This innovative junction, conceived and designed by our in-house team of designers and engineers, is a key part of the mayor’s wider cycling vision.

"By improving Cycle Superhighway 2, as well as miles of roads and numerous junctions across the capital, we can encourage more safe cycling and further bolster London as a truly world-class cycling city."

Work on the upgraded Cycle Superhighway 2 started in February and almost half of the work is already complete.

Following completion, the vast majority of the route will be separated with a kerb, which will keep cyclists away from traffic.