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Richmond Park cyclist crashes into car’s rear window after driver slows to let geese cross road

Police say rider was taken to hospital but injuries are not “life threatening or life changing”

A ​cyclist crashed into the rear window of a car in Richmond Park yesterday after a driver slowed down to let some geese cross the road, according to police.

The incident happened on Boxing Day morning between Kingston and Ham gates, according to a tweet from Royal Parks police, accompanied by a photograph of the broken rear window of the Mercedes car involved.

Officers confirmed that the male cyclist had been taken to hospital, adding that his injuries were not “life threatening or life changing,” and that they are continuing to investigate the incident.

News of the crash has reignited calls for motor vehicles to be banned from the 955-hectrare Royal Park which is hugely popular with cyclists from southwest London and beyond and is a national nature reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.

Among those responding to the tweet from the police was Rory McCarron, a specialist cycling lawyer at Leigh Day solicitors, who was riding his bike in Richmond Park yesterday and described how he had seen some “awful driving,” including motorists exceeding the 20mph speed limit.

Richmond Park was closed to motor traffic for five months from March last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the decision by The Royal Parks to reopen the roads to rat-running drivers from March was described as a “reckless and drastic” move by London Cycling Campaign. Access to the park for motorists is due to be reviewed in the New Year.

Footage of close passes on cyclists and other instances of irresponsible and intimidating driving is regularly posted to social media, and we have regularly reported on cyclists being injured in road traffic collisions in the park.

Last month cycling instructor and bike mechanic David Williams said he was knocked off his bike on purpose by a driver as he returned home from a training session at a local school.

> Driver deliberately knocks cyclist off bike in Richmond Park

The 53-year-old broke his collarbone and sustained severe bruising as a result of the incident, which is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.

"This one car, a blue BMW, went past me and was really close,” he said. “I slapped the boot to let the driver know how close he had been.

“He immediately braked quite sharply. I wasn’t able to stop but filtered along the road between the car and grass and ended up in front of him.

“Immediately, he then accelerated and came alongside me – about a foot away. I rapped on his roof to make the point he was too close and get him away.

“He accelerated again and swerved in towards me, knocking me off balance and I fell right onto my shoulder into the road. He then sped off down the hill.”

He added: “The people in the other cars behind me were shocked. This was not an accident. They probably thought they wanted to scare me, but the consequences are very serious for me.

“My head hit the floor quite hard and my helmet is now finished as it has a big crack in it.”

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.

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