Death toll of cyclists on Britain's roads reaches 105 this year

With only two months to go looks set to overtake the 107 deaths recorded in the whole of 2011

by Sarah Barth   November 10, 2012  

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

The death toll for cyclists in Britain is thought to have risen to 105 this year, with the latest casualty being a 94 year old man who was knocked off his electric bike in Crowle, South Yorkshire, by a Seat Ibiza car being driven by a 29-year-old man.

In the same week that Bradley Wiggins was hit by a van driver, and Shane Sutton, GB cycling team's head coach, was left with a fractured cheek bone and bleeding on the brain following a collision, six more cyclists died on Britain's roads.

On Tuesday, Sofoklis Kostoulas, 31, from Bow, east London, died in hospital eight days after being crushed beneath a lorry’s wheels in the capital. He was the 12th Londoner to die this year. He was involved in a collision with a tipper truck in Bethnal Green Road as he cycled to work around 6.40am on October 29.

It is thought Mr Kostoulas was caught between the lorry and parked cars.

In addition to the 94-year-old, a 67-year-old rider from Didcot died after a collision involving a Renault Megane on November 4. Police are appealing for witnesses.

On November 2, there were two more fatalities. Adam Bennett, 41, who was in a hit-and-run crash with a van as he cycled in Bruntingthorpe in Leicestershire, died in hospital five days after the incident. A 68-year-old man has been arrested. And in Cheltenham, Robert Chaplin, 56, died from the injuries he sustained to his leg, hip and pelvis when he was run over by a tipper trick in Cheltenham.

The day before, on November 1, 75-year-old Sam Sloan was killed in a crash with a car in Portadown in Northern Ireland.

In 2011 there were 107 recorded deaths of cyclists on the roads. With 105 in the first 10 months of 2012, the rate looks set to increase this year.

 

 

7 user comments

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Construction vehicles seem to be killing way above average for any vehicle type. I road-safed one a couple of months back for cutting me up where the road narrows, as peer usual I never get any contact from the met and it looks like they did nothing.

Apparently the drivers are paid per load, that needs to be outlawed.

posted by kie7077 [413 posts]
10th November 2012 - 14:34

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Tragic news. One death on the roads is too many, but this is getting ridiculous. More relieved than ever that I only suffered a broken ankle when I was taken out by a car on a roundabout on Thursday. Stay safe out there people

posted by graham_f [83 posts]
10th November 2012 - 14:50

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Quote:
Apparently the drivers are paid per load, that needs to be outlawed.

Not just tipper trucks though, the rise in just in time means a lot of sites run delivery slots. Drivers have to be at a place at a given time and if they are not penalties or refusal.

However my experience of HGVs is most are ok, taxi drivers though!

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [997 posts]
10th November 2012 - 14:55

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Just gotta keep your wits about you. Should have a direct action day, all the countries cyclist should plan a ride in their city and highlight improved safety measures and better protection where the laws concerned. Lets get this rolling.

posted by theincrediblebike [41 posts]
10th November 2012 - 19:22

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Tippers and skippers are the HGVs to be on your guard against. The accident rate is particularly high for those types of trucks. Whether you're riding a bicycle, a motorcycle or driving a car for that matter, always be careful when you're close to a tipper truck or a skip hire truck.

It has a lot to do with the way those businesses are run. The pressure to make deliveries is high. Let's just say also that a certain number of firms in the skip hire trade are perhaps not quite as legitimate as they should be, and nor are the drivers as skilled as your average artic driver. In London some of the companies involved in the scrap and skip hire trade have some questionable connections you could say. They're not all like that, but some are. I won't mention names for legal reasons, but it's something to be aware of and I expect it's pretty much the same elsewhere in the UK. Tipper truck drivers are not always the most skilled of HGV drivers either.

Some construction companies have higher standards and do train their drivers. Cemex does now, following a fatal accident involving one of its mixer trucks. I know FM Conway does too. There are a few others I think, but they're still the exception.

One rule of thumb to bear in mind if you're close to a construction trade vehicle is to look at its condition. If it's an older grubby looking truck with oil streaks on the back axle for example, chances are it's not looked after as well and the company could be as lax with the drivers it hires.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2107 posts]
10th November 2012 - 20:37

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Must get to read the latest report of the Traffic Commissioners. They issue and revoke licences both to drive and to operate HGV's and PCV's. Last year the retiring Commissioner for NE TAO railed at the fact he had only had 2 HGV drivers called in to explain their repeated bookings and reports for traffic offences, and he was certain that he should have been seeing more of them. Remember that Denis Putz had at least 20 driving offences and other convictions when he was driving still drunk and using a mobile phone and ran down Catriona Patel. Joao Lopes killed Eilidh Cairns and then had a string of minor collisions and incidents before killing Nora Gutmann, neither driver was called in before the fatal crashes nor were the operators who supplied the trucks for them to kill with.

DfT recognises that the 4-axle 32T rigid tipper/concrete jigger/skip truck causes the greatest damage to the city's roads, and provides a massive boost to pollution levels. The trucks are actually more damaging than 44T artics BUT they can be driven on a Class 3 licence, and offer the heaviest payload that can be shifted this way. A Class 1 driver is very likely to find the cleaner working conditions, better hours, etc available when driving for retail and logistics will keep them well away from having to drive construction site vehicles, and thus the pool of quality drivers is diminished to those less likely to move up to the higher level.

The position is likely to worsen as EU legislation requiring 35 hours of vocational training to be completed by all HGV and PCV drivers reaches its deadline. Many drivers have serious 'snow on the roof' - an example being the 75 year old driver who killed a cyclist in Oxford, and will simply retire rather than take the CPC training, leaving a major shortage of bus and truck drivers (just 200 days to the deadline for bus drivers).

Cemex (then RMC) had to act. Like most corporate operations they have in livery contracts with operators, many being small 1-2 truck outfits, although for the big groups now this can be a logistics company (Kuhne & Nagel, Stobart, Fowler Welch, WH Malcolm all operate trucks in the livery of major retailers, Sucklings, Suttons do tankers etc). One of RMC's sub contractors had a truck which killed 2 young women, and put a third in a wheelchair - twice with the same driver, facts only linked by the dogged investigation by a bereaved mother.

Of course the best way to deal with the problem is to remove the risk, and major construction projects in London have, and will generate massive movement to remove excavated spoil and import concrete and other materials. The 300,000 Tons or so that came out from the Francis Crick site at St Pancras was taken by road to Pitsea, a massive fleet of up to 50 32 Ton trucks making around 150 round trips per day stuck every 300 metres or so in the congestion through the City, damaging the roads, boosting pollution levels and increasing the levels of risk across the city - and that is just one site. 3 sites working between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges look likely to generate twice as many truck movements per day, shifting up to 10,000 Tons per day ALL BY ROAD out through danger points like the Elephant and Castle and Jamaica Road with an equal or even large operation due to kick in at Elephant & Castle as well.

Yet we have a river which can take loads of 2000 Tons downstream from as far up as Battersea, and potentially even greater loads from the Pool of London. The number of trucks and the distance they need to travel could be dramatically reduced, saving haulage costs as well as reducing road damage, pollution and risks to other road users.

The St Pancras site was less than 0.5Km from the aggregates delivery sidings for the Concrete Plant at Maiden Lane, with a disused 2 track railway line available for a loading facility less than 1Km away, and the Waterloo sites immediately adjacent to the river BUT each individual site will not invest in a special facility to load rail (1000-1500T) or river (2000T) bulk haulage and they will simply pile more 32T tippers on to the city roads becuase it is the chepaest and simplest option for them (ignoring the external costs of damage pollution and deaths and injuries likely to arise). TfL had a Freight Unit, which was closed but was resuscitated for the Olympics with a noted success, and thus it looks set to be restored. One of the key details has to be the delivery of reduced truck movements through the city by providing more facilities to unload and load containerised materials from rail and river facilities. A surprising number of locations exist where a train might park to be loaded or a siding fitted in, and the load moved out outside the rush hours, but the delivery has to be backed as a TfL facility rather than a private one. Part of this case can be made through monetarising the damage to the roads and pollution (and fatal and serious injury crashes avoided).

A thought on the economics, it costs around £300/day to run a 32T tipper truck and the Francis Crick site trucks were managing 3 to 4 trips per day, and given typical rates per load here would have been a great benefit in getting that 4th trip in per shift, as 3 trips would barely pay the running costs.

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

A V Lowe's picture

posted by A V Lowe [466 posts]
12th November 2012 - 1:11

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Education Education on road use and the law, also public awareness road safety films and advertisements; YES?

There's no armour plating surrounding a cyclist; and MURDERER is not a nice word to have tagged to your NAME!

BE AWARE AND SHOW YOU CARE, WHEN YOU SEE A CYCLIST, PLEASE TAKE CARE. THINK POSSITIVE; and LET YOUR CONSCIOUS BE YOUR GUIDE, Safety First, Time Passes Slowly Enough.

posted by Mostyn [400 posts]
12th November 2012 - 11:44

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