Female Korean student killed by lorry is 13th cyclist to die in London this year

Campaigners continue to highlight issue, but danger still all too apparent for cyclists on capital's streets

by Simon_MacMichael   October 5, 2011  

Broken bike (CC licensed image by garryknight, www.flickr.com)

A Korean fashion student has become the 13th cyclist to be killed in London this year, reports the Evening Standard, following yet another incident of a young female having her life taken away after being struck by a lorry.

Min Joo Lee, aged 24, was crushed under the wheels of the lorry in the incident which took place in the Kings Cross gyratory system close to the junction of York Way and Pentonville Road at approximately midday on Monday. The exact circumstances of the collision have not been reported.

The same day, a 25-year-old female cyclist was taken to Charing Cross Hospital with serious head injuries after she was struck by a van nearby on Fulham Palace Road, reports the Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle.

As stories here on road.cc repeatedly demonstrate, lorries are responsible for a disproportionate number of deaths of cyclists, particularly female ones, on London’s roads.

According to the London Cycling Campaign, despite accounting for just 5 per cent of the capital’s traffic, lorries are responsible for more than half of cyclist fatalities in London. Its ‘No More Lethal Lorries’ initiative is just one of several high profile campaigns and initiatives launched to try and address the issue.

Another is the See Me Save Me campaign launched by the family of Eilidh Cairns, killed when she was hit by a lorry in Notting Hill in 2009. Earlier this year, MEPs adopted a Written Declaration that lorries to be fitted with safety equipment to detect cyclists.

As reported here on road.cc last week, the European Commission is now being urged to take the appropriate action, and as this week’s events show, each delay sees more cyclists at risk of death or serious injury as a result of their sharing the road with HGVs.

In October 2009, Mayor of London Boris Johnson came under strong critcism from road safety campaigners after he decided to withdraw Transport for London funding from the Metropolitan Police’s Commercial Vehicle Education Unit (CVEU).

The CVEU had  undertaken inspection of lorries in the capital, but Mr Johnson insisted that the voluntary Freight Operators’ Registration Scheme (FORS) provided an adequate safeguard.

Although the CVEU has since been reconstituted by the Met as the Commercial Vehicle Unit, based in Alperton in North West London, it does not have the same level of either resources or manpower as it previously enjoyed.

Critics of the FORS say that because it is a voluntary scheme, that in itself means that it will fail to pick up the shadier operators whose vehicles are though to be involved in a disproportionate number of collisions involving HGVs in London.

5 user comments

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I saw Min Joo Lee killed at Kings Cross on Monday at 11.45am...horrific.

Later the same day I was at Waterloo Bridge (around 6.00pm). The bridge was closed to traffic

for hours due to a female cyclist apparently being taken by air ambulance to hospital after a hit-and-run. Urrrrgh.

posted by 2wheelsbest [1 posts]
5th October 2011 - 11:50

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The Kings Cross gyratory system is truely dangerous. It needs a major redesign.

posted by thereverent [298 posts]
5th October 2011 - 17:14

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Agree it is very dangerous. There are ASLs at different points, which can help if the traffic is stopped and actually respects them, but if you go through when it is moving it requires a great deal of confidence to primary position and hold it through the various junctions. Best avoided if possible.

For me, the real question is how many people will be killed by lorries in central london before there is a major rethink on the use of vehicles with terrible blind spots in very crowded spaces?

posted by step-hent [675 posts]
5th October 2011 - 17:36

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thereverent wrote:
The Kings Cross gyratory system is truely dangerous. It needs a major redesign.

Yep, it's a bad one. It is very sad about that another person has died.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2194 posts]
5th October 2011 - 22:09

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A ghost bike has been placed at the junction where she died, there is a brief video about it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RGeyvsZKI3U

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1947 posts]
3rd November 2011 - 23:22

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