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Dame Sarah Storey slams drivers who turn “a blind eye to yet another death”, asks for progress after three HGV crashes with cyclists in a day — two of them fatal

The British Paralympian and Greater Manchester’s active travel commissioner said that she felt “sick” after a cyclist died on road she frequently uses, and that “deterrents to dangerous and anti-social behaviour in a vehicle are clearly not severe enough”

Dame Sarah Storey, Britain’s most-decorated Paralympian who’s now the active travel commissioner for Greater Manchester, has denounced drivers who dismissed a 19-year-old cyclist’s death after a collision with an HGV driver in Manchester, on a day which saw two more collisions between cyclists and lorry drivers — leaving one cyclist dead in London and another in Manchester “fighting for his life”.

Responding to the news of a crash which cost the cyclist his life in Great Bridgewater Street, off Deansgate around Wednesday midday, Storey said: “This news has knocked me sick. A road I use a lot and a regular route for many others cycling. The circumstances of the collision have not been released yet but when they are it’s vital the city region make progress to prevent it happening again.”

However, the crash for which a 55-year-old has now been arrested on the suspicion of careless driving, when reported by Manchester Evening News, invited toxic comments downplaying the tragic death and claiming that “cyclists shouldn’t be on this road”. The website has since last night closed off its comments section on the report to fend off such conversation.

Dame Sarah Storey, responding to those comments said: “Yes and those people making those comments are also likely to drive which makes the roads even more frightening. Deterrents to dangerous and anti-social behaviour in a vehicle are clearly not severe enough. Vehicles are potentially weapons, just like a knife or a gun.”

However, one person replied under Storey’s original tweet claiming that it was not a major cycle route and that an “accident like this will always see a driver arrested”.

In another reply, the person added: “You really do need to shut up. Great Bridgwater St IS NOT a major cycle route at all. There is a huge construction site at Viadux that has restricted road space & necessitated temporary lights.”

> Dame Sarah Storey calls out "entitlement" of speeding drivers — "too many 'my driving offences won't cause harm' attitudes"

However, Storey, who before taking over Chris Boardman’s role in May 2022 had also served as the active travel commissioner for Sheffield for three years, said that the road doesn’t need to be a major route for people to care that a fatal crash doesn’t happen there again”.

She added: “This gentleman can’t seem to fathom that a road not being a major cycling route (in his opinion) somehow warrants a ‘turn a blind eye to yet another road death’ approach. Sorry to disappoint but I won’t keep quiet, people’s lives depend on it.”

The former cycling and swimming athlete with 17 gold medals in the Paralympic Games has been staunchly advocating for safer cycling and raising awareness about the dangers caused by reckless and inappropriate driving behaviours.

> Dame Sarah Storey joins South Yorkshire Police on close pass operation – and almost one in five drivers get pulled over

Earlier this week, we reported her calling out the “entitlement” of speeding drivers, as social media replies downplayed its subsequent risks after Met Police’s national lead of fatal collisions DCS Andy Cox noted that speeding was the leading cause of fatal crashes.

“Some of the responses and quote tweets on this statement, from a leading police expert, demonstrates perfectly the level of entitlement and subsequent risk posed by some drivers,” Storey wrote. 

Cox had made these comments after the UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman got tangled up in a speeding controversy where she allegedly tried to arrange a private driver awareness course after she was caught speeding in order to avoid public scrutiny.

London Cycling Campaign criticised the former Attorney Genral from the Conservative Party for not only being caught speeding, but “attempting to dismiss that as an issue and often getting away with no real consequences”.

> Suella Braverman criticised by cycling campaign group for “avoiding public scrutiny” over speeding offence

Just yesterday early morning, a cyclist was killed in a collision with a lorry being driven in central London. Commenting on the “devastating news”, the London Cycling Campaign said “yet again a tipper truck involved in a fatal collision with someone cycling”.

“It's too early yet for any clarity on why this collision happened — but incidents like this should be designed out of London. Our hearts go out to family and friends of the victim,” said the LCC.

The news of this crash came hours before Transport for London published its official road safety data for 2022, which showed that although cycling fatalities were down in the capital, the number of those seriously injured in collisions had risen.

> Cycling UK criticises imminent Department for Transport plan for "longer and more hazardous lorries" on Britain's roads

And in more terrible news from Manchester, a man in his 30s suffered life-threatening injuries and was left “fighting for his life” after a collision with a lorry near Manchester Piccadilly yesterday afternoon, reported MEN.

Constable Oliver Batty from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: “We are appealing to members of public and other motorists who may have been travelling along Fairfield Street at the time of this collision.

“It is an extremely busy area of Manchester and any information, no matter how small, may assist the investigation. I appeal directly to anyone who may have witnessed this or to anyone who has dash-cam or CCTV footage relating to this incident.”

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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14 comments

Avatar
Argos74 | 10 months ago
6 likes

Manchester Critical Mass is tomorrow night, and invariably goes through the underpass on Great Bridgewater St. It's the acoustics.

There will be feelings.

Avatar
HoarseMann | 10 months ago
6 likes
Quote:

In another reply, the person added: “You really do need to shut up. Great Bridgwater St IS NOT a major cycle route at all.

There's a rectangle sign denoting this is a recommended route for cycling, it's also on route 6 of the National Cycle Network. It is actually one of the major cycling routes through Manchester.

I really hope the person commenting there is not a driver.

https://goo.gl/maps/9PQuLZ3eGqJoDwjT6

Avatar
brooksby | 10 months ago
10 likes

This morning, coming into work, waiting at the traffic lights here

https://goo.gl/maps/vzXpn9U2Ri6ikqXt9

I was in the left lane, a HGV was in the right lane.  So, completely different lanes of traffic.  I had arrived at the lights first.

The lights changed and I pulled away.  So did the HGV.  As the cab went in front of me, I realised that the HGV was ever so gradually moving left, and I touched my brakes; the HGV carried on moving left, ending up in front of me just in time to go through the next set of traffic lights (a single lane, I've indicated just how far ahead) and away into the distance.

I forgot my point - I think it was something about how HGVs shouldn't be in the middle of busy urban centres...

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 10 months ago
8 likes
brooksby wrote:

This morning, coming into work, waiting at the traffic lights here

https://goo.gl/maps/vzXpn9U2Ri6ikqXt9

I was in the left lane, a HGV was in the right lane.  So, completely different lanes of traffic.  I had arrived at the lights first.

The lights changed and I pulled away.  So did the HGV.  As the cab went in front of me, I realised that the HGV was ever so gradually moving left, and I touched my brakes; the HGV carried on moving left, ending up in front of me just in time to go through the next set of traffic lights (a single lane, I've indicated just how far ahead) and away into the distance.

I forgot my point - I think it was something about how HGVs shouldn't be in the middle of busy urban centres...

There's not much point in an HGV trying to get in front of you there as they'll either get stopped at the pedestrian lights that you circled or they'll get caught up in traffic further down the road. Bikes are much quicker along that section than cars/lorries.

Avatar
brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 10 months ago
2 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

There's not much point in an HGV trying to get in front of you there as they'll either get stopped at the pedestrian lights that you circled or they'll get caught up in traffic further down the road. Bikes are much quicker along that section than cars/lorries.

I agree.  Usually.  Annoyingly, he didn't get stopped at those lights and it was early enough that he could go off into the distance at definitely more than 20mph...

Avatar
Adam Sutton replied to brooksby | 10 months ago
3 likes

A big problem is people not thinking ahead. I have had this multiple times now, where drivers can't wait and go the wrong side of these keep left islands and every time I catch them up at the lights. This one was a doozy though as I wasn't going slow myself, and the driver nearly clips the next Island. Complaint sent to Addison Lee.

Skip to about a minute in for the incident. The footpath is also designated shared use, but as you can see that is ridiculous as there is a bus stop and people waiting at most times.

https://youtu.be/Q192BrxzjWs

Avatar
Adam Sutton replied to Adam Sutton | 10 months ago
2 likes

Same place month before and a chav'd up civic. I didn't catch him up as he jumped the lights as well.

https://youtu.be/ZrItMxUEqpw

Avatar
brooksby replied to Adam Sutton | 10 months ago
4 likes

Those are really big keep-left islands! 

Avatar
Adam Sutton replied to brooksby | 10 months ago
3 likes

Yup, there are a lot like that around the Dartford area I assme in an attempt at traffic calming. Like here though it actually makes cycling more dangerous as invariably drivers have MGIF attitiude as you approach them.

Avatar
ShutTheFrontDawes replied to brooksby | 10 months ago
2 likes
brooksby wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

There's not much point in an HGV trying to get in front of you there as they'll either get stopped at the pedestrian lights that you circled or they'll get caught up in traffic further down the road. Bikes are much quicker along that section than cars/lorries.

I agree.  Usually.  Annoyingly, he didn't get stopped at those lights and it was early enough that he could go off into the distance at definitely more than 20mph...

"Annoyingly" you didn't get back in front of the dangerous driver of a vehicle so large it could kill you without the driver even noticing?

Why on earth would you want to get back in front of that?!

Avatar
brooksby replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 10 months ago
4 likes
ShutTheFrontDawes wrote:
brooksby wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

There's not much point in an HGV trying to get in front of you there as they'll either get stopped at the pedestrian lights that you circled or they'll get caught up in traffic further down the road. Bikes are much quicker along that section than cars/lorries.

I agree.  Usually.  Annoyingly, he didn't get stopped at those lights and it was early enough that he could go off into the distance at definitely more than 20mph...

"Annoyingly" you didn't get back in front of the dangerous driver of a vehicle so large it could kill you without the driver even noticing? Why on earth would you want to get back in front of that?!

Didn't want to get back in front of him - I just wanted him to feel like a prat  4

Avatar
Flintshire Boy replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 10 months ago
0 likes

.

'cos much better to be right and dead than the alternative (of course!).

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 10 months ago
1 like
ShutTheFrontDawes wrote:

"Annoyingly" you didn't get back in front of the dangerous driver of a vehicle so large it could kill you without the driver even noticing? Why on earth would you want to get back in front of that?!

The usual traffic along Park Row/Perry Road means that you'll be wanting to overtake them when they come to a halt - preferably using that cycle lane with the removable plastic bollards.

Avatar
HoldingOn | 10 months ago
14 likes

I hope Dame Sarah can keep pushing through. I would imagine it is going to get very tough.

We need people shouting for change, otherwise news like this will continue not being as shocking as it should be.

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