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Three riders crash in five minutes on Brighton's latest bike lane

Raised kerb catches riders unawares on Vogue Gyratory

A newly opened cycle lane in Brighton has been called a "death trap" by one of three cyclists who crashed on it in a five minute period yesterday morning.

According to Ben Leo in The Argus, the three riders said their crashes were caused by a a disguised kerb in the new Vogue Gyratory cycle lane in Lewes Road, Brighton.

The first rider to come a cropper was Rick McEwen who fell at around 8am.

He said: “There’s a little kerb which you can’t see and I went right into it. I flipped over my handlebars and on to my side.

“I was getting myself together after the crash when I saw Simon come round the corner and do exactly the same thing.

“He had a really nasty injury to his elbow and was quite shocked. A few minutes later a woman came round the corner and also came off.

“There should be something identifying the kerb. It doesn’t need to be there. It’s a death trap. I wonder how many others have crashed?”

The next rider to fall, Simon Cooper was taken to hospital with a deep cut in his elbow that needed stitches.

He said: “The cycle lane is raised above the road and the kerb is impossible to see.

“I was left shocked and needed stitches to a deep wound in my elbow.

“I went to hospital and had to take the day off.”

Cooper tweeted an image of the next casualty and appealed on Twitter for Brighton Green MP Caroline Lucas to pressure the council to fix the lane:

 

 

"Really sorry to hear of accidents - will urgently raise with Council to get it made safer," Lucas replied.

Sian Evans was the morning's third casualty. She was taken to hospital with grazing on her chin, hands, knee and shoulder.

She said: “It’s the first time I’ve fallen off a bike in ten years.

“You can’t see the kerb at all, it’s half-raised and not the full height.

“My bike is fine and I’m ultimately fine. That part of the turn in the road is terrifying as it is, but that new kerb is just insane.”

Brighton's Green Party-controlled council came in for harsh criticism on news story comments, but Hughes defended the new bike lane.

"Hallo everyone retweeting me about the cycle lane," she tweeted. "For the record I vote green and think the Lewes Road improvements are a huge success."

She added: "I love the Lewes Road improvements, cycle every day & they really help, just this bit is scary!"

Brighton and Hove City Council said: “We have been made aware of the cycle lane incidents and are investigating them to make sure the temporary safety measures that are in place there are appropriate.

“We cannot comment in detail about the incidents themselves until we have seen the police reports.”

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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