Update: London Cycling Campaign calls for protest as another London cyclist killed by lorry

Did police bus lane enforcement push rider into harm's way?

by John Stevenson   July 15, 2013  

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

Yet another person on a bike has died after being hit by a lorry in central London.

According to the BBC, the crash happened outside Holborn Underground station in High Holborn at about 9:25 this morning.

The victim, believed to be a man in his 40s, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, a police spokesman said.

The driver of the tipper lorry, a 51-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and is in police custody.

This fatality comes less than 72 hours after Friday evening's vigil for Philippine De Gerin-Ricard who was killed by a lorry just ten days ago on Cycle Superhighway 2 at Aldgate East tube while riding home.

The High Holborn area has recently been subject to a police blitz as officers have fined cyclists using the bus lane on Theobalds Road. The police-approved route involves, as cycling journalist Andy Waterman wrote today on his blog, "dropping onto Holborn and negotiating four lanes of traffic.

"I've done it every day since and it makes even me, an experienced cyclist nervous," writes Waterman. "Motorbikes buzz you, taxis rush red lights to get through and huge trucks obliterate the view. It's hellish."

London Cycling Campaign calls protest

London Cycling Campaign is organising a second #space4cycling protest ride on Tuesday 16 July at 6.30pm, starting at Russell Square (more details to be announced).

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said: "Three Londoners have now been killed in three weeks, all of them by lorries on busy roads that provide no dedicated space for cycling.

"Mayor Boris Johnson must take swift and radical steps to redesign our streets to make them safe and inviting for cycling.

"The evidence is clear: if he doesn't do this, then more Londoners will die needlessly cycling on our city streets."

Lorries

Lorries are disproportionately involved in crashes that kill or seriously injure cyclists, a problem that London mayor Boris Johnson acknowledged after the death of environmental scientist Katherine Giles on April 7. Ms Giles was killed when she was hit by a tipper truck in Westminster.

After that tragedy, London mayor Boris Johnson told ITV London News: “In future we are going to be stipulating that no HGV can enter London unless it meets cycle safety standards. One of the things that can be done is fitting of skirts to the sides of lorries and one of the big problems is that HGV drivers cannot see cyclists in the blind spot beside them.”

Those measures have not yet been implemented. In the meantime, several cyclists have been killed by lorries on London’s roads, including  Philippine De Gerin-Ricard and 41-year-old father Paul Hutcheson, who was run over just outside Lewisham town centre on on June 24.

A key recommendation of last week’s report from the Mayor’s Roads Task Force was that deliveries (that is, lorry movements) should be retimed outside peak hours with well-managed access for freight to support businesses, cut congestion and improve safety. During last year’s London Olympics, lorry movements were restricted, a measure that helped improve the road environment considerably.

Other major European cities, such as Paris already limit the times of day lorries can enter the city centre.

Better safety equipment and driver training would very likely benefit cyclists and pedestrians outside London too, as any haulage company that wanted to operate in the capital would have to upgrade its fleet.

The BBC reported this morning that a 79-year-old man, hit by a lorry in West Lothian, Scotland on July 11, died of his injuries in Edinburgh hospital yesterday.

16 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

recommendations don't save lives, actions do.

posted by JonnieC [12 posts]
15th July 2013 - 12:38

like this
Like (8)

its f*cking carnage out there. as a London commuter, i thank christ I make it home safely every day. Heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of the latest casualty. Awful

posted by SPAM Naval [125 posts]
15th July 2013 - 13:02

like this
Like (11)

Skirts? One part of the fix.

Another has to be looking at which vehicles are causing the most harm and whether it could be due to working practices.

On Twitter, @suitonbike confirmed that ggregate trucks are paid a fixed fee per load - from which driver has to cover vehicle costs as well.

It is therefore in the driver's interests to speed through London in order to maximise his/her daily fee.

That has to change.

Carlton Reid's picture

posted by Carlton Reid [107 posts]
15th July 2013 - 13:13

like this
Like (9)

Really puts me off commuting to work. There needs to be more off-road cycle tracks in busy areas. Or even more cycling lanes. Far too often cycle lanes just come to an abrupt stop in the middle of a busy road.

posted by MPMax [9 posts]
15th July 2013 - 15:57

like this
Like (9)

I've said it before, make Health and Safety Legislation applicable to vehicle operators - if companies faced the prospect of hefty fines, insurance premiums and the loss of major public service contracts they'd soon sharpen up their act. These vehicle contractors are working for major companies - make the building companies aware that it is their business that is literally killing people and they'll soon change their ways.

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [340 posts]
15th July 2013 - 16:44

like this
Like (14)

An interesting piece here :

http://andywaterman.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/death-on-holborn.html

- there is a bus-only bus lane short-cut north of Holborn that some cyclists use, only last week the Police were fining cyclists that used it. The alternative is to turn down towards Holborn and pass the spot where the poor bugger was killed today.

The author of the site above looks like on of the comment posters in the following, there's another couple of posters that use the same short-cut 'cos they feel it's safer:

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/waiter-tells-of-desperate-attempts...

posted by JonD [165 posts]
15th July 2013 - 17:00

like this
Like (11)

posted by CarolineF [8 posts]
15th July 2013 - 17:04

like this
Like (10)

BEFORE: then more Londoners will die needlessly cycling on our city streets.

AFTER: then more Londoners cycling on our city streets will die needlessly

Charlie Horse

posted by ch [82 posts]
15th July 2013 - 18:57

like this
Like (8)

Incentive in financial services are regulated because they encourage people to take risks. Time to apply the same logic (for much better reasons) to commercial road users.

posted by IanW1968 [88 posts]
15th July 2013 - 19:34

like this
Like (6)

monty dog wrote:
I've said it before, make Health and Safety Legislation applicable to vehicle operators - if companies faced the prospect of hefty fines, insurance premiums and the loss of major public service contracts they'd soon sharpen up their act. These vehicle contractors are working for major companies - make the building companies aware that it is their business that is literally killing people and they'll soon change their ways.

Spot on and throw in a few corporate manslaughter charges for failure to employ adequately trained drivers. Somehow it is always the "reckless cyclists" arguments that is used much like "they weren't wearing helmets" to detract from the real issue being that there is far too much bad driving tolerated/unpunished so no incentive to change ways. I have commuted by bike for 15 years in London and have always avoided HGV' s but have damn nearly been taken out on several occasions by impatient/F U driving. Over that period I have been knocked off my bike 4 times, all because of driver negligence. Over the same period I have managed to drive a car without an accident and if you think I am more reckless on a bike than a car you are plain wrong.
So I'll be there tomorrow as I am fed up with the cr@p spouted about cycle safety. Until there is proper sanction for bad driving, behaviour will not change and lives will continue to be ruined.

posted by arfa [330 posts]
15th July 2013 - 22:06

like this
Like (7)

Carlton Reid wrote:

On Twitter, @suitonbike confirmed that aggregate trucks are paid a fixed fee per load - from which driver has to cover vehicle costs as well.

It is therefore in the driver's interests to speed through London in order to maximise his/her daily fee.

That has to change.

+1

Anyone who has ever seen these trucks drive round London will notice they are driven excessively fast. There must be a way of stopping this?

posted by Tom Amos [199 posts]
16th July 2013 - 10:19

like this
Like (11)

Another one dies today as well I fear.

posted by Actium [37 posts]
16th July 2013 - 11:35

like this
Like (7)

At least in London something is being done! All be very slowly. In Manchester things are getting worse not better. Everyday I cycle to work (7 miles) I have at least 3 near misses each way (6 a day). The roads are getting worse and the police are nowhere to be seen!!!

Mattrb78

posted by Mattrb78 [20 posts]
16th July 2013 - 12:28

like this
Like (11)

Carlton Reid wrote:
Skirts? One part of the fix.

Another has to be looking at which vehicles are causing the most harm and whether it could be due to working practices.

On Twitter, @suitonbike confirmed that ggregate trucks are paid a fixed fee per load - from which driver has to cover vehicle costs as well.

It is therefore in the driver's interests to speed through London in order to maximise his/her daily fee.

That has to change.

+1

posted by 6654henry [54 posts]
17th July 2013 - 11:30

like this
Like (10)

"Better safety equipment and driver training would very likely benefit cyclists and pedestrians outside London too, as any haulage company that wanted to operate in the capital would have to upgrade its fleet." Not putting self centered dickheads behind the wheel of these 44 tonne monsters would help. 44 tonnes is to big for the UK's roads on the motorways fine but not on urban roads.

tired old fart

posted by tired old fart [78 posts]
21st July 2013 - 18:49

like this
Like (9)

What we need are...more petitions? There has to be a more proactive and louder way to peacefully but strongly demand change across the country. MPs are throwing our lives away for fear of upsetting the motorist, it has to change.

Hating our selfish and ignorant car culture

posted by ironmancole [109 posts]
20th November 2013 - 15:19

like this
Like (1)