London cyclists are 78 times more likely to die if they are involved in a collision with a lorry compared to one with a car. That’s one of the key findings of analysis conducted by The Daily Telegraph into Transport for London (TfL) data regarding cyclist casualties in the capital in the 12 months to July 2011. The TfL report is attached as a PDF file at the end of this article.
During that period, 12 cyclists were killed in London, two thirds of those in collisions involving HGVs, says the newspaper. However, in calendar year 2011, the toll was higher, with 16 cyclists losing their lives in the city, nine of those after being hit by lorries.
In all, there were 4,274 reported incidents involving cyclists, of which 11 per cent resulted in the rider suffering serious injury – a rate of more than one a day.
Infographics produced by the Telegraph based on the TfL data include an interactive map of blackspots, and a chart that confirms that the morning rush hour sees the highest number of incidents.
The most chilling graphic is the one that shows the percentage of collisions involving cyclists and other vehicles that result in the rider being killed.
Only one in a thousand (0.1 per cent) of collisions with a car resulted in the death of a cyclist in the period analysed.
That rose to one in 200 (0.5 per cent) where the vehicle was a taxi, and just under one in 150 (0.68 per cent) where small and medium goods vehicles were involved.
However, where the incident involved a large HGV or other oversized vehicle, 7.94 per cent – nearly one in 12 – resulted in the cyclist being killed.
While the longer term picture suggests that a disproportionate number of female cyclists are the victims of fatal incidents involving HGVs, the period that is the subject of the TfL data does not bear that out, with two women killed following collisions with lorries during the period.
London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has a long-running 'No More Lethal Lorries' campaign that focuses on the safety of cyclists around HGVs.
Commenting on the TfL data, Tom Bogdanowicz, campaigns manager at LCC, told the Telegraph that the figures emphasised the “urgent” need for lorry drivers to receive cycle awareness training.
"The data showing the far higher risk of serious injury in collisions with HGVs emphasises the urgent need for all lorry operators, especially councils, to provide specialised awareness training for drivers which is now available as part of the TfL Freight Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS)”, he continued.
“It is unacceptable that a third of London councils have still not joined FORS, the quality standard for lorry operators."
This year, LCC’s key campaign in the run-up to the London Mayoral Elections is called ‘Go Dutch’ and calls for “clear space, Dutch-style, for cycling along major roads in every London borough.”
"When you ask people to share space with fast-moving vehicles this is what happens”, said LCC spokesman Mike Cavenett of the TfL data.
“The question is why are there so many cycling casualties full-stop. Sweden has a zero-fatality policy, this is where London should be heading."
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.