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Victim named as Karla Roman

The coach firm involved in the death of a London cyclist following a collision on CS2 in Whitechapel on Monday has been the subject of a number of complaints in recent years. Clarkes Coaches’ managing director has previously suggested that cyclists “must be accountable for their actions and take some form of responsibility” regarding collisions, but campaigners have asked whether there is a pattern of poor driver behaviour at the firm.

Karla Roman was knocked down by a coach at 9am on Monday. She was taken to nearby Royal London hospital but passed away yesterday. The incident took place less than eight hours after another cyclist, Anita Szucs, was killed in a suspected hit and run near her home in Enfield.

Linking to a Storify page gathering together complaints about Clarkes Coaches’ drivers, cycling campaigner Bez tweeted: “Will be interesting to see if this stuff is the tip of an iceberg that could justify corporate manslaughter charges.”

The complaints – many of which are documented in videos such as the one at the top of the page – range from mobile phone use to red light jumping and close passes.

Twitter user cyclistsinthecity also linked to a May 2016 Route One article in which Clarkes of London’s Managing Director Debbie Newman outlined the firm’s attitude to London’s cycle superhighways and cyclists in general.

“We are sympathetic to the cyclists’ plight, but it seems that at the moment the cyclists have won the battle and it is to the detriment of all other road users.

“Cyclists are often responsible for accidents, for instance when they jump red lights. We have CCTV on all of our vehicles – it’s a necessity. We have footage of cyclists hanging on to our vehicles and letting the coach pull them along.

“But when an accident occurs, they have no insurance, just as they have no MoT or vehicle tax. They are not even obliged to register their contact details, or to wear helmets or hi-vis.

“In these days of health and safety, surely they must be accountable for their actions and take some form of responsibility.

“Bus and coach operators, taxis and the general car-driving public are paying the price for the Cycle Superhighway, and once it is implemented there is nothing to compel cyclists to use it. Where’s the sense in that?”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

41 comments

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ktache [475 posts] 2 months ago
11 likes

As always, well done Bez.  Such blatent red light jumping, so long as you use the horn, yes.

Interesting when compared to the comments of Debbie Newman.

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davel [1138 posts] 2 months ago
19 likes

"Bus and coach operators, taxis and the general car-driving public are paying the price for the Cycle Superhighway". Off you fuck.

Cyclists pay taxes too, I'd wager a more significant proportion than fatties who earn a living by driving badly all day.

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ChrisB200SX [296 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

Debbie Newman is quite a piece of work!

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Sevenfold [56 posts] 2 months ago
11 likes

They have "CCTV in all our vehicles" - so the Police should collect this as a matter of course in this case. Assuming of course they bother to check...

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StuInNorway [114 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

Just need to search for Clarkes on youtube to find a wealth of clips of poor driving.  From what I understand if anyone complains via Twitter, they block the complainant . . . Hmm, Twitter user staming on the downtrodden masses (or run down cyclists) . .  Who does that remind you of ?  
Of course they will say "Al allegations of bad driving are 'fake news' and not at all true"

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leaway2 [66 posts] 2 months ago
39 likes

"At the moment the cyclists have won the battle". I'm not engaged in a battle. I'm just going to work.

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brooksby [2068 posts] 2 months ago
13 likes
leaway2 wrote:
Quote:

"At the moment the cyclists have won the battle".

I'm not engaged in a battle. I'm just going to work.

Is there any way of adding ten stars at once to this comment?  laugh

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StoopidUserName [277 posts] 2 months ago
9 likes
brooksby wrote:
leaway2 wrote:
Quote:

"At the moment the cyclists have won the battle".

I'm not engaged in a battle. I'm just going to work.

Is there any way of adding ten stars at once to this comment?  laugh

 

+1

 

And yes, I'm one of many who have been close passed by one of these on my commute. Timetables are more important than the highway code, #fact

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STiG911 [233 posts] 2 months ago
9 likes

Everyday at monument both Clarkes Coaches and The Kings Ferry drivers either blast through the red lights or stop just after them blocking the Pedestrian crossing. They bully their way into the lane they want, often using speed to scare cyclists and even cars out of their way.

Just a bunch of scumbags.

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hood [118 posts] 2 months ago
11 likes

This playlist would verify that Clarkes Coaches are driven quite badly, 9 recent incidents!
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRD6DpnTD6cGzHYZqntNibgileRpSdLDB

 

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Rapha Nadal [424 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes

I always enjoy the MOT/licence/tax comments when related to accidents.  Especially from motorists who all pay these and still cause accidents & fatalities.

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WillRod [160 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

I worked away from home during my apprenticeship and every 6 weeks we had the same dangerous coach driver, we complained, provided video evidence and asked our company to stop using them. That driver is still driving dangerously and has caused many near misses, but has never been stopped from driving.

 

I imagine driving a coach or lorry is hard and frustrating, but it doesn't excuse the horrendous driving I see.

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arfa [841 posts] 2 months ago
11 likes

About time someone took these contemptible corporate types to the cleaners.
The old saying: "the fish rots from the head" is entirely accurate for them

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STiG911 [233 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes
WillRod wrote:

I worked away from home during my apprenticeship and every 6 weeks we had the same dangerous coach driver, we complained, provided video evidence and asked our company to stop using them. That driver is still driving dangerously and has caused many near misses, but has never been stopped from driving.

 

I imagine driving a coach or lorry is hard and frustrating, but it doesn't excuse the horrendous driving I see.

This is a case in point - they're responsible for up to 60 or more lives inside the coach as well as countless lives on the outside, so what gives with these idiots?

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ktache [475 posts] 2 months ago
7 likes

There is no battle.  There is no war between motorists and cyclists.  It's slaughter.

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Grumpy17 [49 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

 But why are so many female cyclists being killed in London? This should be properly  addressed once and for all because it is surely disproportionate to the total number of cycling fatalaties for both genders in the capital. If, as I believe, this points to a lack of road sense or awareness on the part of some female cyclists in knowing how to 'survive' cycling in big cities then some realistic 'on the road' training should be offered, using a greater slice of the cycling budget than is available presently,  and with priority given to females.

 

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unconstituted [2270 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

@Grumpy17

 

what is the percentage of male cyclists that are killed per mile ridden compared to women? I haven't seen any figure, so no idea if women are actually mnore vulnerable on the roads.

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Daddy0 [2 posts] 2 months ago
8 likes

I have complained about Clarkes Coaches to the police before - one of their drivers aimed his coach at me and floored it, running me off the road. Seems like the problem with this firm is systemic.

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clayfit [91 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

Is there a lawyer there who could comment on whether, assuming that there is evidence that the coach driver was to blame for the death of Karla Roman, that the other anecdotes and patterns of behavior of this company could be used to bring a case of corporate homicide or corporate negligence?

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burtthebike [738 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes

The comments from Managing Director Debbie Newman could have come straight from the pages of the Daily Mail, and if that is the attitude of their most senior manager, it is hardly surprising that the employees feel justified in ignoring the rights of cyclists.

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StoopidUserName [277 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes
Grumpy17 wrote:

 But why are so many female cyclists being killed in London? This should be properly  addressed once and for all because it is surely disproportionate to the total number of cycling fatalaties for both genders in the capital. If, as I believe, this points to a lack of road sense or awareness on the part of some female cyclists in knowing how to 'survive' cycling in big cities then some realistic 'on the road' training should be offered, using a greater slice of the cycling budget than is available presently,  and with priority given to females.

 

 

I think (I may be wrong) that the problem is more to do with slower moving cyclists (including those who move away from the lights slower) and the incredible levels of impatience shown by drivers towards them - some cyclists/drivers may benefit from training...but thats not gonna work in the real world tbh...the current driving test etc doesnt work for instance. More segregated lanes (decent ones) are the only real solution if we're talking about main roads especially.

 

If you're not happy with your 8 year old kid or 80 year old grandma using it then it's not fit for purpose as they say.

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Jogle [5 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

It might be good to note that Clarke's is now owned by National Express. So they aren't some small family owned firm, they are part of a huge company with shareholders (of which I am one). This does also mean that Debbie Newman is no longer a director though.
As a shareholder, I don't like the thought that I'm profiting from dangerous drivers who are endangering lives and think that the company should come down hard on bad driving

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beezus fufoon [648 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
clayfit wrote:

Is there a lawyer there who could comment on whether, assuming that there is evidence that the coach driver was to blame for the death of Karla Roman, that the other anecdotes and patterns of behavior of this company could be used to bring a case of corporate homicide or corporate negligence?

the quotation from debbie newman does seem to imply that these deaths are simply nature's way of redressing the balance and that the individuals killed simply got in the way of the otherwise smooth running of the industry

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Paul_C [494 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
Grumpy17 wrote:

If, as I believe, this points to a lack of road sense or awareness on the part of some female cyclists in knowing how to 'survive' cycling in big cities then some realistic 'on the road' training should be offered,.

 

Nope it's rubbish infrastructure that practically ensures minor mistakes (such as a coming together in the cycle 'lane' means some one dies or suffers life changing injuries because they fell into the lane filled with fast moving squishing machinery...

the Dutch have got the solution... separation of vulnerable road users in both time AND space from heavy squishing machines... minor mistakes are thus NOT fatal or life changing

google 'sustainable safety' it does not require high-viz, helmets or fast riding...

'Duurzaam veilig'...

https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/sustainable-safety/

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ChairRDRF [350 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
Jogle wrote:

It might be good to note that Clarke's is now owned by National Express. So they aren't some small family owned firm, they are part of a huge company with shareholders (of which I am one). This does also mean that Debbie Newman is no longer a director though. As a shareholder, I don't like the thought that I'm profiting from dangerous drivers who are endangering lives and think that the company should come down hard on bad driving

 

If you are a shareholder you can turn up at the AGM and ask questions about their (lack of) safety procedures. It's hard work but it has been tried before, with Cynthia Barlow of RoadPeace buying Cemex shares and questioning themt his way. Cemex have since become more safety conscious - I don't know if that would happen with these people.

 

But it is a tactic which you could employ. Hard work and time consuming though.

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Grumpy17 [49 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
unconstituted wrote:

@Grumpy17

 

what is the percentage of male cyclists that are killed per mile ridden compared to women? I haven't seen any figure, so no idea if women are actually mnore vulnerable on the roads.

 

If we are talking about London(which we are) there is evidence that they ARE more vulnerable than men.

 

http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/why-women-seem-to-be-mor...

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Mungecrundle [629 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

Maybe it is because guys who cycle are more into cycling, by which I mean female cyclists may be more likely to see a bike only as transport, whereas a bloke is more likely to wrap some of his ego into the whole cycling thing, more likely to compete or partake in cycling activities events outside of just commuting. More likely to hang around forums like this and as a result I would propose that on average a higher proportion of male cyclists understand that finding yourself on the inside of a large HGV near a junction is an incredibly dangerous place to be.

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Bill H [51 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

If women are disproportionately affected by road deaths it is far more likely to be caused by misogyny than any other factor. Trying to find any intrinsic fault with women smacks of victim blaming.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1553 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
Bill H wrote:

If women are disproportionately affected by road deaths it is far more likely to be caused by misogyny than any other factor. Trying to find any intrinsic fault with women smacks of victim blaming.

Is that sarcasm? False-flag provocation? I can't tell.

It misses the point, either way.

There might be some minor academic interest in speculating why women at least _appear_ to get whacked by drivers more often than men do, but I don't see that it's relevant to the main issue - which is why drivers keep killing people (note a - male - pedestrian was killed the same day).

Heck, you could just as well ask why its men who seem to kill cyclists more often (almost all those left-hooking HGV and tipper-truck drivers seem to be male), if you want to ask divisive questions that divert attention from the real issue.

One crucial point is that both male and female cyclists are a self-selected, entirely unrepresentative, sample of their respective populations. Both groups are not typical of the wider population, and its possible they might be unrepresentative in different ways in each case.

Males who cycle might be, even by general male standards, disproportionately confident risk-takers, and, say, more likely to jump red-lights and ride on pavements, both of which seem to improve surivival chances, even if not to be approved of for other reasons. The same might not be true of women who cycle, who might differ fom non-cycling women in different ways.

The important point is that as long as drivers of either sex continue to kill people in significant numbers, you are never going to get more than that small self-selected group to ride a bike on the roads.

So its not 'why do female poeple get killed' its 'why do people in motorised vehicles kill'.
(People can waste time on the first question if they like, but it just suggests to me they have the wrong priorities).

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beezus fufoon [648 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
Bill H wrote:

If women are disproportionately affected by road deaths it is far more likely to be caused by misogyny than any other factor. Trying to find any intrinsic fault with women smacks of victim blaming.

Is that sarcasm? False-flag provocation? I can't tell.

No, me neither, it has to be the most obtuse, self-defeating, and unintentionally hilarious set of propositions I've ever seen. I will definitely be borrowing that!

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