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Female Korean student killed by lorry is 13th cyclist to die in London this year

Campaigners continue to highlight issue, but danger still all too apparent for cyclists on capital's streets...

A Korean fashion student has become the 13th cyclist to be killed in London this year, reports the Evening Standard, following yet another incident of a young female having her life taken away after being struck by a lorry.

Min Joo Lee, aged 24, was crushed under the wheels of the lorry in the incident which took place in the Kings Cross gyratory system close to the junction of York Way and Pentonville Road at approximately midday on Monday. The exact circumstances of the collision have not been reported.

The same day, a 25-year-old female cyclist was taken to Charing Cross Hospital with serious head injuries after she was struck by a van nearby on Fulham Palace Road, reports the Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle.

As stories here on repeatedly demonstrate, lorries are responsible for a disproportionate number of deaths of cyclists, particularly female ones, on London’s roads.

According to the London Cycling Campaign, despite accounting for just 5 per cent of the capital’s traffic, lorries are responsible for more than half of cyclist fatalities in London. Its ‘No More Lethal Lorries’ initiative is just one of several high profile campaigns and initiatives launched to try and address the issue.

Another is the See Me Save Me campaign launched by the family of Eilidh Cairns, killed when she was hit by a lorry in Notting Hill in 2009. Earlier this year, MEPs adopted a Written Declaration that lorries to be fitted with safety equipment to detect cyclists.

As reported here on last week, the European Commission is now being urged to take the appropriate action, and as this week’s events show, each delay sees more cyclists at risk of death or serious injury as a result of their sharing the road with HGVs.

In October 2009, Mayor of London Boris Johnson came under strong critcism from road safety campaigners after he decided to withdraw Transport for London funding from the Metropolitan Police’s Commercial Vehicle Education Unit (CVEU).

The CVEU had  undertaken inspection of lorries in the capital, but Mr Johnson insisted that the voluntary Freight Operators’ Registration Scheme (FORS) provided an adequate safeguard.

Although the CVEU has since been reconstituted by the Met as the Commercial Vehicle Unit, based in Alperton in North West London, it does not have the same level of either resources or manpower as it previously enjoyed.

Critics of the FORS say that because it is a voluntary scheme, that in itself means that it will fail to pick up the shadier operators whose vehicles are though to be involved in a disproportionate number of collisions involving HGVs in London.

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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