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Narrow lane close to Vauxhall Bridge forces bike riders into dangerous position

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has highlighted the dangers posed by a cycle lane in Pimlico, Central London, where a cyclist was killed after being hit by a lorry last month.

Everton Smith, aged 48, from Fulham, died after being struck by the vehicle on the morning of Saturday 22 May close to the junction of Vauxhall Bridge Road and Drummond Gate, and police are asking witnesses to the incident to contact them on 020 8285 1574.

The accident took place on the northbound side of Vauxhall Bridge Road, and there is an equally narrow cycle lane on the opposite side of the road which has been graphically captured in a video posted to YouTube by user gaz545, who says “I hate this lane, it gives cyclist false hope that they are protected and car drivers and [sic] excuse to pass close!”

The footage itself shows cyclists using the lane forced to cycle right next to the kerb due to the close proximity of a passing coach, one of many to use the road, which is the main route south out of Victoria Coach Station.

According to LCC, the narrowness of the cycle lane results in cyclists having to adopt an unsafe position on the road, particularly when there are large vehicles such as lorries or coaches nearby.

LCC Communications Officer Mike Cavenett said: "This cycle lane is so narrow it was almost not possible to put a bicycle logo on it.

"It's a facility that says to drivers that bikes should be in the gutter, and encourages cyclists to ride in a position that National Standards Training says is unsafe.

He continued: "It's not known whether this lane contributed to Mr Smith's death, but something clearly needs to be done about these potentially lethal facilities.”
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

2 comments

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jova54 [648 posts] 5 years ago
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I wonder which idiot designed that piece of road and decided that it could safely accomodate five lanes of traffic and two cycle lanes?

The solution if they must have a bus lane in the centre of the road is to widen the cycle lanes and turn the four traffic lanes into a single lane in each direction.

So simple even a car driver can see it!

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mrchrispy [443 posts] 5 years ago
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it'd be a cold day in hell before I 'used' a cyclelane like that. centre of the main lane is the only way to go on a road like that.