Like this site? Help us to make it better.


London cyclists 78 times more likely to die in collision with lorry than one with a car

TfL data highlight increased risk posed by lorries on capital's streets...

London cyclists are 78 times more likely to die if they are involved in a collision with a lorry compared to one with a car. That’s one of the key findings of analysis conducted by The Daily Telegraph into Transport for London (TfL) data regarding cyclist casualties in the capital in the 12 months to July 2011. The TfL report is attached as a PDF file at the end of this article.

During that period, 12 cyclists were killed in London, two thirds of those in collisions involving HGVs, says the newspaper. However, in calendar year 2011, the toll was higher, with 16 cyclists losing their lives in the city, nine of those after being hit by lorries.

In all, there were 4,274 reported incidents involving cyclists, of which 11 per cent resulted in the rider suffering serious injury – a rate of more than one a day.

Infographics produced by the Telegraph based on the TfL data include an interactive map of blackspots, and a chart that confirms that the morning rush hour sees the highest number of incidents.

The most chilling graphic is the one that shows the percentage of collisions involving cyclists and other vehicles that result in the rider being killed.

Only one in a thousand (0.1 per cent) of collisions with a car resulted in the death of a cyclist in the period analysed.

That rose to one in 200 (0.5 per cent) where the vehicle was a taxi, and just under one in 150 (0.68 per cent) where small and medium goods vehicles were involved.

However, where the incident involved a large HGV or other oversized vehicle, 7.94 per cent – nearly one in 12 – resulted in the cyclist being killed.

While the longer term picture suggests that a disproportionate number of female cyclists are the victims of fatal incidents involving HGVs, the period that is the subject of the TfL data does not bear that out, with two women killed following collisions with lorries during the period.

London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has a long-running 'No More Lethal Lorries' campaign that focuses on the safety of cyclists around HGVs.

Commenting on the TfL data, Tom Bogdanowicz, campaigns manager at LCC, told the Telegraph that the figures emphasised the “urgent” need for lorry drivers to receive cycle awareness training.

"The data showing the far higher risk of serious injury in collisions with HGVs emphasises the urgent need for all lorry operators, especially councils, to provide specialised awareness training for drivers which is now available as part of the TfL Freight Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS)”, he continued.

“It is unacceptable that a third of London councils have still not joined FORS, the quality standard for lorry operators."

This year, LCC’s key campaign in the run-up to the London Mayoral Elections is called ‘Go Dutch’ and calls for “clear space, Dutch-style, for cycling along major roads in every London borough.”

"When you ask people to share space with fast-moving vehicles this is what happens”, said LCC spokesman Mike Cavenett of the TfL data.

“The question is why are there so many cycling casualties full-stop. Sweden has a zero-fatality policy, this is where London should be heading."

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Latest Comments