A man aged in his 50s has become the first cyclist to die on one of London’s Barclays Cycle Superhighways. The incident bears some of the all-too-familiar elements of a London cycling fatality, with a tipper lorry involved, and taking place at a busy junction described by a local blogger as “a bloody disgrace.”
The cyclist, who has not yet been named, died during yesterday’s morning rush hour on the Bow flyover roundabout in East London. Police have arrested a man on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, reports the BBC.
Transport for London (TfL) confirmed that it was the first case of a cyclist being killed on one of the capital’s Barclays Cycle Superhighways.
A spokesman said: "We are extremely sorry to learn of the tragic death of a male cyclist, following a collision with an HGV on the Bow Road roundabout."
He added that said TfL had worked on a number of safety initiatives including introducing safety mirrors and launching an awareness campaign highlighting the dangers to cyclists of riding up the inside of lorries.
By the end of the year, TfL will also have rolled out an “on bike” safety training course for lorry drivers in the capital, and an HGV cycle safety guide on the internet, while vehicles belonging to contractors used by TfL will need to carry “cycle safe” technology.
The organisation has, however, come under fire from cycle campaigners in recent months due to issues affecting cyclists’ safety including the proposed removal of a temporary 20mph speed limit at Blackfriars Bridge.
The junction is yet another in London that has long been viewed as a danger spot for cyclists and pedestrians alike. In a compelling blog piece posted today, local blogger Diamond Geezer says: “the Bow Flyover roundabout is a bloody disgrace, both for pedestrians and cyclists, as was tragically proven yesterday morning.”
Insisting that “TfL's overriding priority at the Bow Flyover roundabout is clearly vehicular traffic,” he adds that while “Bow's new floating towpath, constructed at a cost of £2.4m… enables cyclists and pedestrians to pass underneath the roundabout in perfect safety,” it only benefits those traveling North-South, at a junction where the major traffic flow is East-West.
Earlier this year, Greater London Assembly Member John Biggs asked Mayor Boris Johnson, "What progress has been made to provide safe pedestrian crossings at the Bow Flyover/roundabout on the A12?"
In his reply to the Labour Assembly Member, who represents City & East, Mr Johnson said: “TfL have been unable so far to find an immediate solution for providing controlled at-grade pedestrian crossings at Bow Roundabout that does not push the junction over capacity and introduce significant delays to traffic.”
Currently, four of the planned 12 Barclays Cycle Superhighways have been installed, with the remainder due to come into operation by 2015.
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.