Pressure mounts on mayor and TfL to make cycling safer


More action needs to be taken to make junctions safer for cyclists, according to campaigners

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The pressure seems to be growing on the mayor and Transport for London (TfL) to do more to make junctions safer for cyclists.

Outside King's Cross there is now a pile of flowers and a ghost bike tribute to a cyclist who died there. Many deaths seem to involve HGVs and junctions.

On Wednesday, the London Assembly tried to push for more action from the Mayor, but both he and the Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy doubted whether changing road designs could have saved any of the 14 cyclists that have died in the capital this year.

However there are many others who say that if the junctions were better designed, then cyclists' lives could be saved.

Worst junctions

TfL wants hauliers to do more and have more training and technology to alert drivers to cyclists.

It also wants cyclists themselves to avoid blindspots on trucks, something that nearly every cyclist I know with any sense already does.

One of the interviewees in my TV piece is organising a demonstration on Saturday.

Cyclists will travel to the 10 worst junctions for casualties in the capital.

The challenge for TfL is how to alter junctions without making the experience worse for other road users.

A ghost bike tribute and flowers where a cyclist died near King's Cross A ghost bike tribute and flowers where a cyclist died near King's Cross

TfL issued a pre-emptive press release before London Assembly members had started questioning it on cycling.

Reduction in deaths

It said: "While every collision is regrettable, it is encouraging that the proportion of cycling collisions on TfL roads that result in fatal or serious injuries has declined since 2008, indicating that the severity of collisions is falling.

"So far, during 2011 there have tragically been 14 cycling fatalities on the capital's roads, seven of which involved HGVs or tipper trucks. A huge range of practical measures are being delivered by the Mayor and TfL to tackle the issue and make the city's streets safer for cyclists."

Since 2010, TfL has been working to deliver its Cycle Safety Action Plan (CSAP).

It identified 52 targeted actions which the mayor, TfL and other stakeholders need to take to reduce the number of cyclists being killed and seriously injured on London's roads.

Tom Edwards Article written by Tom Edwards Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

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  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    In my previous comment No. 13 I wrongly used the word 'unequivocal', I should have said 'equivocal', which makes sense when followed by '- that is it isn't conclusive'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    I've read really good discussions here. What really bugs me is that drivers honk at me if I'm taking control of the lane (for my own safety I'm doing this) but don't honk at lorrys or buses albeit I ride faster than buses or lorrys in some of the roads.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    As a cyclist and driver, I am often followed dangerously close, and passed dangerously close, by drivers who happily endanger me in order to pass and who I pass easily later on. Such drivers are frustrated but their anger should be directed at car drivers who make up ~ perhaps +95% of the congestion. If they were more careful and considerate, more people would cycle and congestion would lessen.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Helmets are a case of 'blaming the victim'. The scientific evidence is unequivocal - that is it isn't conclusive. However, helmets cannot deflect motor-vehicles, nor will they protect a cyclist who is run-over. Evidence shows that helmets encourage drivers to pass closer, making collisions more likely. Helmets are only designed to protect the head of a cyclist who falls off at low speed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    I cycle regularly and over the past year or so have seen an increase in cyclists on the road. My observations are that a lower percentage of cyclists are breaking the highway code rules. What is more frightening to me is the increase in motorist running pedestrian crossings, jumping red lights and using cycle facilities (lanes & ASL's) for themselves - far more dangerous. And yes I drive as well.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    As a cyclist, I witness shocking instances of erratic behaviour from fellow cyclists on a daily basis that cyclists are only endagering themselves and others. There is no need to ride up the side of HGV's and buses, you can put yourself central to traffic and not squeeze yourself into tight spots, you're part of road flow so make yourself seen.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    A couple of things that would really help are:

    i) smooth lanes near the curb ie no bus wheel dug out troughs, cracks, slippery grates etc. However creating this would likely cost too much.
    ii) Bollards about 2-3 feet out from the curb art the apex of corners to encourage lorries to take a slower turn. This is however also unlikely as it would causes even greater congestion.
    Ho hum.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Bravo, Roger Geffen.

    I'm quite surprised no one has used 'lycra louts' in their post yet. The ignorance of some people about this issue is astounding.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    "Simon" asked:
    > How many accidents have been caused by irresponsible cyclists?

    The answers are here:

    See especially p7-8 (comparing the nos of pedestrians killed and injured on pavements by cycles and motor vehicles respectively) and p10 (the nos killed and injured due to red-light jumping).

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    London needs to be made more cycle friendly, starting with the Blackfriars redevelopment. A large proportion of the junction's traffic are bicycles. Instead of making it safer for these cyclists (and perhaps encouraging more to join them), TfL have opted to ease the flow of motor traffic, sidelining and making it more dangerous for the cyclists!

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Ashleigh and Simon, there is a familiar and dreadful pattern in these reports. So often the riders are completely blameless. Eilidh Kairns, referred to by the first poster on this list was run down from behind by a driver with defective eyesight on a road too narrow for him to safely overtake. Katriona Patel, killed by a drunken HGV driver who was on the phone. The list goes on and on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    London Girl - Running red lights and not wearing a helmet isn't the main cause of death though. While not condoning this (definitely condemning this) a helmet won't help you if you are hit by an HGV turning left into you becuase it can't see you. Road position is also a cyclists responsibility but additionally it is very tricky on London streets designed only for cars and HGVs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Ashleigh, unfortunately it does need to come into debate, The number of cyclists without helmets that run red lights etc and that decide that because of their mode of transport means they can swerve through traffic is getting higher and higher, and other cyclist only blaming others on the road is not helping, cyclists need to think more for themselves first!

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Simon - some cyclists don't ride with care but I find it irritating that whenever involved in a discussion about cycle safety, this always comes up. Cyclist/padestrian & cyclist/cyclist incedents rarely cause death. Main cause of death is Cyclist/HGV incidents & position in the road is an important factor in this. Roads need to be designed so cyclists are able to take the correct road position.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Whilst a lot of accidents may be the result of cyclists being the victims of motor vehicles. What about growing number of cyclists who flout the highway code (road markings, traffic lights, rights of way) etc? I have seen as many cases where the cyclist is at fault as the drivers. How many accidents have been caused by irresponsible cyclists? Can we get some balance in this apparent blame game?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    this protest is a great idea,i represented the Cairns family who were this week seeking a fresh inquest into the death of Eilidh by a HGV in Notting Hill in 2009 and i see so much of the carnage following HGV v Cyclist collisions.we are asking parliament to change the law so that cameras and sensors on HGV's are compulsory,please join with us.
    Kevin O'Sullivan, Levenes Solicitors.


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