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Police launch manhunt after motorist left cyclist to die on road in Deptford

The Metropolitan Police have launched a manhunt for a motorist who killed a cyclist on a road in Deptford designated a Quietway by Transport for London who abandoned his vehicle after the fatal crash and fled from the scene.

Scotland Yard said that officers were called to the scene of the collision at the junction of Childers Street and Rolt Street, SE8 yesterday afternoon at 4.14pm.

The victim, a man aged in his 50s, was found to have critical injuries, but died at the scene.

The vehicle involved, a silver Mercedes B-Class, was found abandoned at the scene and police said they are making “concerted efforts” to trace the motorist.

The fatal collision took place on the route of Quietway 1, which runs from Deptford to Greenwich, roughly parallel with the route of the proposed Cycle Superhighway 4.

That section of the route lies within the London Borough of Lewisham which did not allow the originally planned filtering on it - ie the use of bollards and kerbing etc to prevent the routes being used as rat runs by drivers -  due to objections from local residents.

Simon Munk, infrastructure campaigner at the London Cycling Campaign, told road.cc that the fact there was no filtering allowed on that part of the route was “a failing of everyone involved.”

He said: “We obviously don't know the details yet. But it is worrying this tragic loss of another life happened on one of the notoriously weakest points on Quietway 1.

“And that reflects poorly on everyone involved in this Quietway – the council, local residents, some of whom opposed the filter at consultation, TfL and City Hall for accepting the scheme without filtering etc.”

He added: “It is long overdue that the quality bar for Quietways was raised such that only routes that actually are quiet enough for a far wider range of people to ride on move forward.”

The latest fatality comes after two cyclists were killed in the neighbouring Royal Borough of Greenwich last month in collisions involving HGVs, both on the A206 road which runs eastwards from Greenwich town centre towards Woolwich.

Oliver Speke, aged 46, was killed on Romney Road, died in hospital on 11 May two days after he was struck by a lorry outside the Old Royal Naval College, while Edgaras Cepura, aged 37, was killed in a collision with an HGV at the notorious roundabout where Woolwich Road meets the Blackwall Tunnel approach road.

The campaign group Stop Killing Cyclists will be holding a vigil and die-in outside Greenwich Council’s offices at Woolwich Town Hall, Wellington Street, London SE18 this Thursday, meeting at 5.30pm for a 6pm start.

> Stop Killing Cyclists to hold Greenwich vigil and die-in after two fatalities

The group’s co-organiser Alex Raha said: “Greenwich Council is delaying the extension of the protected cycle-highway CS4 by up to eight years to Woolwich and failed to install segregated cycle lanes in the Woolwich town centre project, even though original designs considered them.

“Historically, they have been one of the most anti-cycling councils in London. This must now urgently change.”

Yesterday’s incident in Deptford is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU) at Catford Garage and police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the crash, or who has information, to contact them.

Officers at the SCIU can be reached on 020 8285 1574 or the non-emergency number 101, quoting CAD5060/3June. Alternatively, information can be given, anonymously, to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.