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London cyclist killed in collision with lorry at Elephant & Castle

Male rider dies at location shown to be most hazardous for city's cyclists - but LCC has attacked TfL's plans for it...

A male cyclist has been killed in London this afternoon following a collision with a lorry at the Elephant & Castle roundabout.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said they were called to the incident, at the junction with Newington Butts, at 4.05pm.

They said that the London Ambulance Service and London Air Ambulance treated the rider, but he died at the scene.

The statement added that police are awaiting formal identification and details of next of kin, and that no arrests have been made to date.

A London Ambulance Service spokesman, quoted in the Evening Standard, said: “We were called at 4.05pm to reports of a road traffic collision at Elephant and Castle roundabout.

“We sent a single responder in a car, an ambulance crew and a duty officer and London’s air ambulance.

“Sadly a man was pronounced dead at the scene by the doctor from London’s air ambulance.“

[Update]The cyclist has been identified as Abdelkhalak Lahyani, age 47 from Walworth, south-east London.

The Elephant & Castle gyratory system was one of 10 junctions singled out as being the most hazardous for the capital’s cyclists in the 2011 Tour du Danger, organised by bloggers Mark Ames of I Bike London and Danny Williams of Cyclists in the City.

In February this year, announcing 33 junctions where £300 million will be spent to make them safer for cyclists, Mayor of London Boris Johnson described Elephant & Castle as “intimidating” for bike riders.

Yet in November 2011, the mayor came under fire from cycle campaigners when he said, “if you keep your wits about you, Elephant & Castle is perfectly negotiable" for cyclists.

Official statistics show, however, that it is the most dangerous junction in the city in terms of the number of cyclist casualties.

Under Transport for London’s proposals, the junction is due to get a radical overhaul, although in March London Cycling Campaign advised its members to oppose the plans, which it says “fail to provide safe passage for cyclists.”

In a blog post published this evening, LCC’s Charlie Lloyd said: "Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the man who died today.

“This whole area is notorious for the serious danger it presents to people on bicycles because of the high volumes of lorries and other motor vehicles that pass through here.

"What's evident to anyone who visits the area or looks at the photos is there is a huge amount of space here, and yet no decision has been taken by transport planners to provide any protected space for cycling where the crash happened.

"Forcing people on bicycles to jockey for position with HGVs and other fast-moving motor traffic massively increases the risk of fatalities and life-changing injuries. This whole area should be redesigned with the safety of cycling made paramount."

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Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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