Oxford Police have bailed the 74-year-old driver of a cement lorry on suspicion of causing death dangerous driving following a collision in the north of the city on Friday that resulted in the death of a 34-year-old female cyclist.
The fatal incident happened on Friday morning at the junctions of Woodstock Road and Polstead Road, according to a report in the Oxford Mail the street was closed for four hours. The driver of the lorry has been bailed to appear in court to answer the charge on December 6 pending further police enquries. The woman victim has not yet been named.
The Oxford fatality means that last week began and ended with cycling fatalities involving construction lorries, on Monday a male cyclist was killed by a tipper lorry in London at the junction of one of the Barclays Cycle Superhighways and the Bow Flyover Roundabout, becoming the first fatality on London's Cycle Superhighways.
The driver of the tipper lorry involved in the London fatality has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving. In a grim irony the victim of that incident, Brian Dorling was on his way to work at the nearby Olympic Park. His death came in the same week that the London Olympic organisers unveiled their walking and cycling routes to the Olympics. Mr Dorling died in a spot on Barclays Superhighway CS2 that was singled out as being particularly hazardous for cyclists making their way to the Olympic Park on the organisers recommended routes in a blog by the Telegraph's Olympics editor Jacqueline Magnay.
Also last week it was revealed that the Metropolitan Police have questioned 54-year-old Joao Lopes, the tipper truck driver who killed London cyclist Eilidh Cairns in 2009 and who was subsequently found to have defective vision over the death of an elderly pedestrian in an incident involving another tipper truck driven by him.
While the full details of the London and Oxford fatalities are not yet known their proximity to junctions suggests the classic scenario for an urban cycling fatality of a left turning HGV cutting across the cyclist's path.
Lorries account for a disproportionate number of cycling fatalities given the proportion of traffic that they make up, construction vehicles - tipper trucks and cement lorries account for a disproportionate number of the cycling deaths caused by HGVs and are by far the most dangerous vehicles to cyclists on Britain's roads.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.