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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc 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.