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Police appeal for witnesses after grim day on London roads

The bike rider killed when he was hit by a tipper lorry on London's Cycling Superhighway 2 in Mile End yesterday has been named as Brian Holt, a porter at Mile End Hospital.

Mr Holt, a married father, was described by colleagues as a “wonderful man who would be sadly missed”.

The collision happened at the junction of Mile End Road and Bancroft Road at aboyut 4:50 on Tuesday afternoon. Witnesses said the lorry struck Mr Holt after pulling away from traffic lights at the junction.

The Metropolitan police believe that the lorry was not turning at the time of the collision.

Motiur Khan, 22, told the Evening Standard: “The lorry was behind the cyclist and sort of went into the back of him. He hit the cyclist who went under the lorry which just ran over and crushed him.”

Will Hutton, 41 said: “It was a horrible scene. A motorcyclist was shouting at a tipper truck, which I assume was involved in the collision, to stop. The traffic had been moving slowly, so I do not think the truck can have been going very fast.”

Police interviewed the driver under caution, but he was not arrested.

Brian Holt is the third cyclist to die on Cycle Superhighway 2, which was described in the inquest into the death of Brian Dorling at its Bow roundabout eastern end as “just a piece of blue paint” by a crash investigator and as “confusing” and “an accident waiting to happen” by the coroner.

Just hours after Brian Holt was killed another cyclist sustained serious head injuries when he was struck by a coach in Holborn at a junction where two other cyclists have died since 2007.

He was taken to St Mary’s hospital where a Met police spokeswoman said this morning: “He is still in a critical condition.”

The coach and the cyclist are believed to have both been turning left toward Euston at the junction of  Vernon Place and Southampton Row.

Sainsbury’s security officer Omar Sillah said: “I heard a bang and I rushed out to see what was happening. I saw the man on the floor bleeding. His body wasn’t moving.”

Anyone with information about the two collisions is asked to help police investigate by calling 0208 597 4747.

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.

46 comments

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nod [66 posts] 2 years ago
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"Police interviewed the driver under caution, but he was not arrested."

WTF? I know I shouldn't be surprised given what we know of the police's attitude towards cyclists, but this is a new low.

That's it. I'm just going to cycle around Richmond Park from now on and join the rapha-mamil clan.

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A V Lowe [573 posts] 2 years ago
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Sounds like what could have happened with me about an hour later - fortunately truck driver was made to feel well aware of cyclists being present and not to be driven through.

When you see some of the near crashes (and crashes) on CCTV/headcamit beggars belief that the claims "out of nowhere" hold any credibility

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bobinski [226 posts] 2 years ago
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Dont read anything into the "failure" to arrest. Following changes to legislation last year it is not strictly necessary in many cases, especially as here, the driver remained.

I am trying to get into the habit of looking behind me at the drivers whenever i am waiting at a junction. Just so i know whats there. And they know i am there. On odd occasion have pulled further infront when larger vehicles just a little too close for comfort.

Re the holborn accident i had a running, well cycling, row with a dutch (dutch!) coach driver on monday night coming through brixton into Herne hill. Driving like an idiot in and out of 2 lanes without indicating just using the sheer sise of the coach to effectively push or scare other road users out of the way. He claimed all english cyclists jump red lights as if that gave him carte blanch to drive so dangerously.

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nod [66 posts] 2 years ago
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bobinski wrote:

I am trying to get into the habit of looking behind me at the drivers whenever i am waiting at a junction. Just so i know whats there. And they know i am there. On odd occasion have pulled further infront when larger vehicles just a little too close for comfort.

Common sense! Hallejuah! You should tell that to Zanf on the other thread. It's all getting a bit lively...

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zanf [795 posts] 2 years ago
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nod wrote:
bobinski wrote:

I am trying to get into the habit of looking behind me at the drivers whenever i am waiting at a junction. Just so i know whats there. And they know i am there. On odd occasion have pulled further infront when larger vehicles just a little too close for comfort.

Common sense! Hallejuah! You should tell that to Zanf on the other thread. It's all getting a bit lively...

Why dont you go making more victim blaming comments, you fucktwit?

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MileEndDweller [1 post] 2 years ago
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The main issue is that someone has lost their life again on a London road.

Thoughts to the family involved. I live round the corner and saw the disruption afterwards. I was hoping that whoever had been involved would pull through. Sorry to hear that it ended this way.

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nod [66 posts] 2 years ago
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zanf wrote:
nod wrote:
bobinski wrote:

I am trying to get into the habit of looking behind me at the drivers whenever i am waiting at a junction. Just so i know whats there. And they know i am there. On odd occasion have pulled further infront when larger vehicles just a little too close for comfort.

Common sense! Hallejuah! You should tell that to Zanf on the other thread. It's all getting a bit lively...

Why dont you go making more victim blaming comments, you fucktwit?

tut tut. No need to get all tetchy and resort to name calling. Perhaps you should save your wits for all that fast flowing traffic sitting behind you in an ASL?

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londonplayer [620 posts] 2 years ago
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Can you think of any other situation on this planet where you can kill somone and not be arrested? Jesus wept.

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dave2041 [22 posts] 2 years ago
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heart wrenching when i read the description given by Motiur... R.I.P Brian.

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Elcustardo [8 posts] 2 years ago
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nod wrote:
zanf wrote:
nod wrote:
bobinski wrote:

I am trying to get into the habit of looking behind me at the drivers whenever i am waiting at a junction. Just so i know whats there. And they know i am there. On odd occasion have pulled further infront when larger vehicles just a little too close for comfort.

Common sense! Hallejuah! You should tell that to Zanf on the other thread. It's all getting a bit lively...

Why dont you go making more victim blaming comments, you fucktwit?

tut tut. No need to get all tetchy and resort to name calling. Perhaps you should save your wits for all that fast flowing traffic sitting behind you in an ASL?

Or perhaps the day after someone is killed, isnt the time for point scoring on a forum?

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mrmo [2064 posts] 2 years ago
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bobinski wrote:

I am trying to get into the habit of looking behind me at the drivers whenever i am waiting at a junction. Just so i know whats there. And they know i am there. On odd occasion have pulled further infront when larger vehicles just a little too close for comfort.

Which if you go by the court case currently going through could actually mean you have broken the law!!!! I do the same, but crossing the stop line is illegal regardless of why!!!!

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ridemybike [10 posts] 2 years ago
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Why does the driver need to be arrested straight away? If he's stayed in the area and is talking with Police and not considered a flight risk then they don't need to arrest him.
Once they arrest him they've only got a certain amount of time before they have to release or charge him - so why start that clock unnecessarily.

Save your indignation for when he's not charged appropriately...

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Orbea Mike [20 posts] 2 years ago
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Thoughts and prayers with the family and friends of the fallen cyclist and get well soon to the injured person. A few random thoughts on cycling infrastructure. ASLs should be more widespread and rigorously enforced. Advance green lights on the busier junctions need introducing to give cyclists ten seconds or so time to move off before other vehicles. On junctions where practicable cyclists should be able to turn left even on a red light so that they are able to remove themselves from the crush zone on the inside of the bend. This is especially the case where there are barriers between the road and footpath. In most cases the barriers should be removed and replaced by bollards so that cyclists have an escape route if needed. Farces like the blue paint con are pointless, "just a bit of blue paint" to quote HM Coroner, unless backed up with more infrastructure. I'm not a fan of separate bike lanes, unless they have right of way in respect of driveways, footpaths etc, otherwise it's so stop/start that we'll use the main road anyway where, as a vehicle, we have the right to be. There also needs to be a big publicity campaign aimed at cyclists that never, ever, go up the left hand side of lorries or busses. Overtaking, when absolutely necessary and safe to do so, should always be done on the right hand side of queueing traffic.

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congokid [261 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:
bobinski wrote:

have pulled further infront when larger vehicles just a little too close for comfort.

Which if you go by the court case currently going through could actually mean you have broken the law!!!!

I wonder what the legal position on this is if, having crossed the ASL box, you dismount and stand beside the bike while you wait for the lights to change. Clearly you'd need to hop on again and move off rather quickly once they do...

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Furry Mommy [32 posts] 2 years ago
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Without adding to the potential of blaming the victim because I am not doing this...but nowadays if there is a truck, bus/coach or other such large vehicle first in line at a traffic lights I prefer to stay behind them just in case, better to be safe.

Obviously if a truck, bus/coach or other such large vehicle comes immediately behind me at a traffic lights that I have stopped for and there is no ASL...yes I will cross the stop line but not enter the junction (as long as I can see the lights opposite the junction) and be in contravention of the road traffic act and if I get pulled over by the police I'll explain why I did so and take my chances with the law rather than a large vehicle.

Mind you, I've been doing this for years (long before ASL's became popular or were even thought of in this country!) and have never had a problem with even police cars/vans sitting on my back wheel...I have been asked by a couple of traffic wardens why I did this and they thought it was acceptable...!

Regardless in all cases I do ensure that I know who is behind me and if in doubt will "eyeball" them and ensure that their face and the licence plate has been recorded on the helmet camera...!

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AWPeleton [3263 posts] 2 years ago
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If the driver is arrested all that would happen is that they would be interviewed under caution which is the same as what happened here. There is far to much work to do with a fatal before a decision is made and it cant be done in the time period we are allowed for custody.

There is no need to arrest every time.

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zanf [795 posts] 2 years ago
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Just hearing reports of another cyclist injured on Regents Street by a left turning artic lorry.

https://twitter.com/brizinorth/status/398157256623403008

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zanf [795 posts] 2 years ago
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nod wrote:

tut tut. No need to get all tetchy and resort to name calling. Perhaps you should save your wits for all that fast flowing traffic sitting behind you in an ASL?

Lets review what you said, shall we?

nod wrote:

No disrespect to the dead and not to absolve the driver of any blame (he has killed someone after all), but with every hgv-roundabout-left-turn fatality I'm increasingly thinking "idiot cyclist".

You only have to go through some of the most publicised incidents (go and read the coroners report about Brian Dorlings death) to grasp that the blame lays at the feet of how the infrastructure is designed that creates fatal conflicts, yet time after time, idiot bellends like you pop up with the same victim blaming bullshit when you display such an incredible lack of the facts of any of those situations.

This is demonstrated further when you completely miss what I said about ASL's in the other thread and yet you continue to make "hurr-duur, Im really funny pointing out my own stupidity" comments.

You're an asshat.

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AWPeleton [3263 posts] 2 years ago
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zanf wrote:
nod wrote:

tut tut. No need to get all tetchy and resort to name calling. Perhaps you should save your wits for all that fast flowing traffic sitting behind you in an ASL?

Lets review what you said, shall we?

nod wrote:

No disrespect to the dead and not to absolve the driver of any blame (he has killed someone after all), but with every hgv-roundabout-left-turn fatality I'm increasingly thinking "idiot cyclist".

You only have to go through some of the most publicised incidents (go and read the coroners report about Brian Dorlings death) to grasp that the blame lays at the feet of how the infrastructure is designed that creates fatal conflicts, yet time after time, idiot bellends like you pop up with the same victim blaming bullshit when you display such an incredible lack of the facts of any of those situations.

This is demonstrated further when you completely miss what I said about ASL's in the other thread and yet you continue to make "hurr-duur, Im really funny pointing out my own stupidity" comments.

You're an asshat.

Well said Zanf  41

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horizontal dropout [266 posts] 2 years ago
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"dutch (dutch!) coach driver"

Hey Bobinski was it Bovo Tours? Like this one? https://secure.flickr.com/photos/59115230@N06/7160378933/

I've had two runins with them. I wrote to them once and they said they'd do something about it but didn't hear further.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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Orbea Mike wrote:

In most cases the barriers should be removed and replaced by bollards so that cyclists have an escape route if needed.

It's a tough one for cyclists, but I suspect that far more pedestrians (especially children) would be killed if the barriers were removed. But if you can slow traffic down by redesigning a whole junction (as demonstrated this year at Poynton) then there would be no need for barriers at all. But it all costs money.

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hexhome [26 posts] 2 years ago
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Blind Spot? No it's a Failed To Look Spot!

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nod [66 posts] 2 years ago
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OK Zanf.

I'm not blaming the victim - I said that. I do think as cyclists we need to be aware of what's around us. Getting crushed by left hand turning vehicles has happened enough unfortunately that cyclists should be aware of that by now.

ASLs are just painted boxes and if you're relying on them that much to keep you safe, then you're the asshat and you should fuck off and consider some cycle training. You say you/everyone stays on the left or in the gutter of an ASL? Why not use the middle of the box and be more visible?! See? Common. Fucking. Sense. Get. Some.

I don't care if people like you think I'm a twat - I think you're an idiot who blindly follows blue paint. What I am is a realist. I want to survive. I take responsibility for my safety. I think for myself.

You? Come on! Reply with something better than name calling and moaning about how infrastructure should work. Refute the meat of what I'm trying to say - as cyclists we should be aware of what's around us and take as much responsibility for our own safety as possible.

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AWPeleton [3263 posts] 2 years ago
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nod - i dont think there is any need for such language on the forum. I'm sure you can get your point across without resorting to such.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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hexhome wrote:

Blind Spot? No it's a Failed To Look Spot!

If you ever get the opportunity to sit in a moving truck, I challenge you to spot everything that's going on in every mirror simultaneously. It's more difficult than you think.

As an HGV driver, there are times when I find myself completely surrounded by cyclists, some of them even holding on to the sides of my artic. There are cyclists squeezing up both sides even when the ASL box is completely full, regardless of whether I'm turning left or right, and I have to actually stand up in the cab to see if there are any individuals hiding directly in front of the truck below my normal sightline. OK, it's not like that all the time, but it happens regularly enough to be of major concern. So it simply isn't fair to just accuse drivers of not "looking in the blindspot".

As a cyclist, I tend to hold back. If an HGV driver overtakes at the wrong moment then I scrub off some speed and drop back. I never ever use the ASL unless I'm already at the front. Sometimes (shock horror) I'll actually get off by bike and walk across the junction using the pedestrian crossing. If there's a quieter route, I'll use it. It's slightly trickier on the open road but, in town, it's very easy to reduce one's own exposure to risk.

Sure, we have just as much right to be on the road as HGV drivers, but if are concilliatory in our exercising of those rights then we can collectively reduce the number of KSIs dramatically by staying well clear of trucks, and encouraging less experienced cyclists to do the same.

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nod [66 posts] 2 years ago
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He called me an asshat and a fucktwit!  20

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AWPeleton [3263 posts] 2 years ago
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nod wrote:

He called me an asshat and a fucktwit!  20

Does that then require you to be abusive back because all that will happen is that it ends up in name calling and no one gets any further.

Trust me i have said things on here which i totally regret and there was no need for so its best just to either ignore or be pleasant.

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Colin Peyresourde [1673 posts] 2 years ago
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Jesus wept…..

This internecine arguing over stuff does my head in. Zanf you came at Nod with a baseball bat of abuse, and after that you're only going into a battle of who has the last word.

There are infrastructure issues, there are issues with cyclists knowing how to use the infrastructure and there are issues with cyclists knowing how to ride the roads.

This is a terribly sad event, and very likely preventable. We don't know the full facts at the moment. It seems like the cyclist dropped into a blind spot. As Neil says, as a driver it's almost impossible to look in all the mirrors of these vehicles and as a cyclist you need to understand that.

I was in a car the other day and was sitting in traffic. I decided to pull forward and as I did so a motorbike popped out of nowhere to pull across the front of my car. He had the temerity to stop and shout abuse at me even though he had undertaken me and decided to pull across me. And I didn't even touch him. He pulled a risky manoeuvre and claimed to be righteous. But the point is that the urge to move through traffic all the time is risky and this is really where the problems arises, undertaking a HGV trying to get into the ASL is no good idea.

At the moment the infrastructure encourages that with an ASL, and sometimes it is not the right thing to do. So yes, change infrastructure, but yes, educate people. How many people did an ASL in their cycle training, I know when I was 9 they didn't exist. How many people refresh their cycle training? I know I didn't….but years as a driver has widened my knowledge massively.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1165 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

Sure, we have just as much right to be on the road as HGV drivers, but if are concilliatory in our exercising of those rights then we can collectively reduce the number of KSIs dramatically by staying well clear of trucks, and encouraging less experienced cyclists to do the same.

Not really likely to do much to increase cycling though, is it? The best way, after all, to stay 'well clear of trucks' is what most people I know do (and what I did for decades) and not cycle. That's the real problem here, and is why a better solution is required.

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nod [66 posts] 2 years ago
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stumps wrote:
nod wrote:

He called me an asshat and a fucktwit!  20

Does that then require you to be abusive back because all that will happen is that it ends up in name calling and no one gets any further.

Trust me i have said things on here which i totally regret and there was no need for so its best just to either ignore or be pleasant.

Sigh... of course you're being mature etc but... ahem... you did +1 him!  3

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