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Fourth London cyclist this year to be killed by rubble-moving truck

A 21-year old woman has died a week after being hit by a tipper truck while riding her bike in the City of London.

The as-yet-unnamed woman from North London was crushed by the truck at the jnction of St Boltoph Street and Bevis Marks at 07:55 BST on Sunday 15 September, according to the BBC.

She was put on life support at the Royal London Hospital, a mile away from the scene, but City of London Police say she was taken off life support and died at 20:00 BST on Sunday.

Police are investigating, but say the driver of the truck has not been arested. 

Witness Rayhan Miah, who works in the nearby Tesco Express, told the Evening Standard: “It was a massive lorry. All I could see was the bike under the front of the lorry. There are always lorries going by because there’s quite a few stores around here.”

This incident is the fourth London cyclist fatality involving a tipper truck so far this year.

On April 7, Katherine Giles was killed when she was hit by a tipper truck in Westminster.

Philippine De Gerin-Ricard became London’s first Boris Bike fatality when she was crushed by a tipper truck at Aldgate on July 5.

Alan Neve died after being hit by a tipper truck on High Holborn on July 15.

After the death of Katherine Giles, 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 still not been implemented, though details were announced earlier this month - tragically on the day Chiara Giacomini was killed by an HGV.

This latest cyclist fatality is the eighth this year in London. Six have involved trucks, Between 2008 and 2012, HGVs were involved in 53 per cent of London cyclist deaths despite making up only 4 per cent of the traffic.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

24 comments

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ragtag [207 posts] 2 years ago
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Totally sick of having to hear about these stories. Not you reporting them but that they happen. We all know the common factors here but people in charge of London's roads doing nothing about it.

ps. typo 2nd para, 2nd line.

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Wolfshade [186 posts] 2 years ago
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These stories are tragic as each one is an avoidable tragedy.
No doubt the driver will not suffer any serious reprocussions, other than the physcological trauma knowing that he killed someone.

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mrchrispy [444 posts] 2 years ago
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it'll change when someone important/famous is killed, until that day the meat grider will stay open for business.

RIP

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turnerc99 [72 posts] 2 years ago
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I saw the headline and thought someone should really take that truck off the road:

Fourth cyclist this year to be killed by rubble-moving truck

Tragic story though - wish someone would realise that people lives can't just be thrown away like this...but I'm not hopeful.

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 2 years ago
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... but ... but ... Cameron opened a bike shop! He MUST care!

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zanf [812 posts] 2 years ago
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The Dutch changed their attitude to how their towns and cities were designed after getting sick of kids continually being killed by road traffic.

Hope Fennell's mum blocked traffic where her daughter was killed and this is the kind of demo/protest that is going to get things changed. This needs to be built upon until the noise from people demanding our towns and cities are redesigned for people, not cars and HGVs, is unbearable for those who are in the position to change things.

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mrmo [2069 posts] 2 years ago
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Until society demands that drivers are sanctioned for there actions this is going to continue.

How often do you hear drivers complain when they got caught speeding or get a parking ticket? There is a failure to understand that drivers are under licence and that failure to abide by the rules means punishment.

It depresses me that so many won't cycle or walk because they are scared of traffic, and by choosing a car make the problem worse!

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A V Lowe [573 posts] 2 years ago
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You won't stop the need to operate 32T rigid 4 axle trucks - the most damaging vehicles running on the city's roads (according to DfT) and also less efficient than the 44 T articulated ones in payload and pollution factors.

But with major construction sites in Central London going like a fair at present, and no sign of a let-up (more to come if current proposals come on stream) we have to call for TfL to deliver Freight traffic management to the same levels as it works to deliver passenger traffic management.

To do this we have to call on the FTA to have a wider view on the issue than their defensive and very poorly judged statement that focussed on their road haulage interests and highlight the fact that around 10,000 Tons per day currently moves through Central London without creating any danger to other road users - on the river, and similar if not larger quantities move around the capital by rail.

More of this traffic could go on water or rail, if not totally, then by dutting the 60+ mile round trips between a Central London site and the supply or tipping facilities out in the Home Counties. The Ton-Miles and thus the level of risk for fatal crashes, would be dramatically reduced if the tipper trucks were simply shuttling a few miles to a rail-head or canal or riverside wharf.

Tony has pictures of 1500-2500 Tons (75-125 x 32T tippers) moving along the Embankment through London to show how it can be done.

But there are a few other details which will help to focus our efforts to nail this issue.

First how many people can name the company who operated any of the trucks involved in fatal crashes? We focus on the driver and often miss detail about the company who employed the driver and the company who operate the truck, and for the construction industry that is frequently NOT the same company. In one example from over a decade ago the same truck killed 2 female cyclists and put a third in a wheelchair TWICE I believe with the same driver.

Second what site were the vehicles working for? have you ever seen this noted in any news report - or even in the court reporting. My hunch is that a surge in incidents in Bermondsey for example may have had strong links to the period of intensive activity at key sites such as the Shard and London Bridge. Identifying issues which can arise when for example you have 30 trucks running around the clock for nearly 3 days with 3 shifts of drivers, as happened for the main concrete pouring operations for The Shard, and you have greatly increased the levels of risk from the hazard of big trucks moving around in small streets. If nothing else you need to prove that measures taken to make such an operation as safe as possible are working.

Third, when you trawl through the detail it becomes apparent that in many cases the driver involved has previous 'form' and in the case of Denis Putz this should have been picked up well before he was able to kill Catriona Patel. We do have a regulator for vocational driving licences, but staggeringly they do not get a direct feed of any driving offences committed by vocational licence holders. The Traffic Commissioner can call a driver in for interview and revoke an LGV or PCV licence if they believe the person is unfit to hold one, but such events are rare. The TC can also revoke an operator's licence if they are not of Good Repute, for example having sub standard vehicles, or failing to properly check the detail of the drivers they employ.

Finally to ask that the road regulator (TC) draws on the way that the Rail Regulator operates and adopts prcatices common for rail and air transport. Any fatal incident gets an impartial report into the causal factors (like rail accident reports) and issues recommendations to prevent recurrence. the practice of suspending a driver from driving duties automatically (and the signaller/ATC operator) after any fatal or serious incident, until a proper inquiry and interview of the driver can take place. Until then the driver is off the road. I could envisage that, given the relatively small number of fatal crashes involving LGV and PCV that the Traffic Area Office could initiate a system whereby the driver's licence is suspended pending a formal interview of both driver and operator by the Traffic Commissioner or their deputy/ies. The suspension reflecting on the seriousness of the issue, and encouraging a prompt review of the vocational driving element.

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jollygoodvelo [1400 posts] 2 years ago
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Fucking shameful. How many more?

Thanks Road for reporting every one - they all need reporting to show the scale of the problem, and it shows respect for a victim who enjoyed riding their bike as we all do. Although - why is it (usually) a woman? It's beyond a statistical anomaly now. Surely someone could study this properly and find a reason?

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racyrich [243 posts] 2 years ago
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It'll be interesting to see the sentence meted out on the driver who ran over the policeman the other day. The unlit policeman standing in the road at night.

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arfa [734 posts] 2 years ago
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So incredibly sad that the pattern of young women dieing under the wheels of HGV's is not immediately obvious and all that is done is to introduce some half baked measures that will cost you £200 if you can't be bothered to implement them, such is the value of life on London's streets. It is just disgusting in a civilised nation that this is the best we can do.
My blood was brought to the boil by this "leading" thought piece in the torygraph which appears to have been written by the niceway code lot pandering to Surrey's nimbys who seem wholly oblivious to fact that roads are not just for range rovers and audis.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/10327196/Riding-rou...

The time for some serious sanctions for bad driving is way overdue and it needs to be as easy to lose your licence as it is to get one.
rant over

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John Stevenson [250 posts] 2 years ago
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Gizmo_ wrote:

Fucking shameful. How many more?

Thanks Road for reporting every one - they all need reporting to show the scale of the problem, and it shows respect for a victim who enjoyed riding their bike as we all do. Although - why is it (usually) a woman? It's beyond a statistical anomaly now. Surely someone could study this properly and find a reason?

We don't actually report every road death, but it's hard to see the number of tipper truck fatalities so far this year as not indicating that something is very badly wrong with the way these vehicles are being run in London.

As AV Lowe points out above, there are lots of alternatives to trucking CrossRail rubble out of the city, and it surely can't help that many of these drivers are being paid per load.

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
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What exactly is a tipper truck?

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jova54 [649 posts] 2 years ago
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Wolfshade wrote:

...... No doubt the driver will not suffer any serious reprocussions, other than the physcological trauma knowing that he killed someone.

Not bad, it wasn't until the second comment that someone intimated that the driver was to blame. How do you know? Were you there?

Yes it's a tragedy that a life has been lost but please don't assume that just because a cyclist and a truck are involved that the driver is to blame and the cyclist is blameless. If the police had any concerns about the driver's possible guilt they would have arrested him/her and released them on bail.

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thereverent [398 posts] 2 years ago
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Two points to note.

Most of the roads used heavily used by HGVs are wide enough to have segregated cycle lanes. At the moment thet are just 1.5-2 lanes wide. The City and TFL just need to make the changes (the roads are being dug and changes regually so cost is not so much of an issue.

The standard of construction HGV driving in the city is poor. I work in the city and often see tipper trucks cutting the corner onto the pavement at speed when turning. This is during lunchtime when their are lots of people out.

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mrmo [2069 posts] 2 years ago
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John Stevenson wrote:

We don't actually report every road death, but it's hard to see the number of tipper truck fatalities so far this year as not indicating that something is very badly wrong with the way these vehicles are being run in London.

Where i used to work we were one of the Olympic contract suppliers, i seem to remember the tender said no trucks, almost everything went by train or boat.

As for the drivers i think you will find very few are "employed" most are owner drivers and get paid on results.

It is one of the big issues i have with Taxis, the more journeys the more money, if ever there was an incentive to ignore the rules! and yet no tachos, no test, nothing!!!

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arfa [734 posts] 2 years ago
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"The standard of construction HGV driving in the city is poor".

+1 on this. Far too many are driven in the city with zero margin of error and if they had mandatory gps monitoring it would take little time to determine this. Heck, you could even send an app to most of the drivers and insist they use it as from observation, most of them have got smartphones they openly fiddle with

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OldRidgeback [2593 posts] 2 years ago
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As an addition to AV's particularly well made points, it is worth noting that several of the companies themselves whose drivers are involved in fatal crashes also have form. You could draw conclusions as to how these companies are run and how they vet their drivers.

Oh, and skip hire trucks are also ones to keep your distance from for the same reason. The sad fact is that all of this data has been washing around for 20 years. That's how long ago it was that the high rate of crashes involving skippers and tippers in London was identified.

That no effective measures have been introduced to reduce the fatality rate in this period is shameful.

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dullard [140 posts] 2 years ago
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jova54 makes the important point that none of you harpies shrieking 'killer' at the driver know fuck all about the circumstances. That's a busy junction, even on a Sunday morning. It's two lanes. You've got to take care. And just read the ES piece: according to one eyewitness, the driver was going round the roundabout (right of way) and the cyclist pulled out (not right of way). Sometimes - and I, too, don't know the full circumstances but am going on what is known - the cyclist is at fault. Tragic, sad, but true. But if it does turn out that the lorry driver was at fault, I'm all for calling for him or her to be strung up. Lorry drivers are not though necessarily murderers in spite of what you think. Every day commuting in London (sorry non-Londoners) I am fucked off by the number of unlit, red light-jumping, earphone-wearing, non-signalling, un-anticipating, unaware idiots on bikes who are told by cycling nazis that they have a 'right' to be on the road. Nobody has a right. I've been riding in London for 20 years, and standards of cycling (and driving also) have declined woefully. Cycling in traffic is a skill that needs full attention.

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arfa [734 posts] 2 years ago
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Dullard, you might want to go back to the highway code. Yes there are half wit cyclists out there (who need to be fined into compliance) but drivers of vehicles are supposed to anticipate risks and not just hammer along. You're right, we don't know all the facts but we rarely seem to investigate road deaths thoroughly so that we can help prevent repetition. It is so rare to see London HGV' s driven with a margin of error that you can't help but think something is fundamentally wrong. And by the way, when I see people cycle like half wits, it is rarely women.

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monty dog [455 posts] 2 years ago
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If these are publically funded projects, the politician have the right to bring to bear existing health and safety legislation on contracts - it worked for the construction industry to reduce workplace deaths and injuries, make road hauliers responsible and put contract measures and penalties - impact on profits and share prices gets business leaders to take notice, anything else is pi$$ing in the wind.

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Wolfshade [186 posts] 2 years ago
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jova54 wrote:

Not bad, it wasn't until the second comment that someone intimated that the driver was to blame. How do you know? Were you there?

No you are quite right, I wasn't there and having read the ES link it is not so straight forward. I am just bringing in my own personal biases agaist lorrys there. The original article talks of a cyclist ending up under the front of a lorry and the way it is presented makes it appear that the lorry is at fault. The eye witeness account suggests otherwise but we all know that accounts of eye witenessess can vary wildly from the reality of the situation.

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Colin Peyresourde [1690 posts] 2 years ago
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dullard wrote:

jova54 makes the important point that none of you harpies shrieking 'killer' at the driver know fuck all about the circumstances. Every day commuting in London (sorry non-Londoners) I am fucked off by the number of unlit, red light-jumping, earphone-wearing, non-signalling, un-anticipating, unaware idiots on bikes who are told by cycling nazis that they have a 'right' to be on the road. Nobody has a right. I've been riding in London for 20 years, and standards of cycling (and driving also) have declined woefully. Cycling in traffic is a skill that needs full attention.

+1 Agree with everything you say. It annoys me when people jump on this band wagon of safer roads, when we there is equal measure put on safer cyclists. The assumed assumption of driver guilt is far from reality I would guess given the maverick road moves I see on a regular basis.

Road awareness and road craft are often woeful amongst the 20-30 year olds. Probably on their bike for the first time since they were 12.

I also agree that there are times the road could be improved, but I don't think that is going to happen in a hurry when there are competing needs for both motorists and cyclists in our archaic and idiosyncratic infrastructure, so road safety could be improved.

Why doesn't Road.cc do a youtube series on correct approach for road cycling? Actually, I think that part of the readership would start to criticise it for being banal/patronising and worried about how it puts blame on the cyclist not on cars or some such nonsense.

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sean1 [175 posts] 2 years ago
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From what I understand most tipper trucks are paid 'per load' which can only encourage poor driving with drivers rushing to get as many jobs in the day as possible.

One simple step is to ban 'pay per load' tippers. Boris?