Cyclist killed using mayor's hire bike and Superhighway schemes


A cyclist riding a "Boris bike" has died

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Appalling news, again.

Last night (Friday) another cyclist was killed at a junction in collision with a HGV.

Again the cyclist was a female and for the first time, the cyclist was riding a hire bike (also known as a"Boris bike"). It also appears the cyclist was on the blue-painted Cycle Superhighway 2.

This time the collision was at the junction of Commercial Road and Whitechapel Road in east London, a junction well-known to cyclists for not feeling safe.

We don't know the exact circumstances of what happened.

Whether the experience of the cyclist riding the hire bike is a factor we don't know. We also don't know yet if the painted blue lane of the Cycle Superhighway lulled the cyclist into a false sense of security.

Busiest routes

But this is bound to lead to more questions (again) about the safety of cycling in London.

London is embarking on safer segregated infrastructure particularly at junctions but this will again raise concerns about progress and speed of delivery.

There will also be many questions about where we are putting these Cycle Superhighways and how they encourage cyclists on to certain roads.

They are on the busiest routes to decrease cycling commuter times.

In 2012 Jenny Jones from the Green Party on the London Assembly raised concerns about this route, saying: "Traffic on red routes [is] too high for drivers to tolerate cyclists."

The bike hire and cycling superhighways are both Mayoral flagship transport projects and now someone has died while using them.

This death will undoubtedly raise the temperature in the safety debate.

It will also mean the Mayor will have to answer serious questions about the safety of his cycling schemes.

This is not the first cyclist to die at a junction on a cycling superhighway. Brian Dorling, a very experienced cyclist, died on a superhighway at Bow roundabout.

The overwhelming feeling it leaves me with, is that for all the education programmes on blind-spots and millions being invested in safety, and for all the well-meaning exchange programmes for cyclists and HGV drivers - I'm afraid it doesn't seem to be working yet.

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

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  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    I work for the ambulance service sadly see many collisions involving cyclists. Who was to blame is not the point here, the point is that these bicycles can be hired without the rider needing to wear a helmet! Whether that person chooses to stupid enough not to wear one is their risk, but by not having them available to be hired, that person is left with little choice.

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    Hard though it is in our overcrowded London Roads-and pavements,but cyclists need to be able to cycle legally on the pavement wherever possible.- with green tracks applied where ever possible. I Would feel safer....and we all need to respect and show care for other road /pavement users however we get comes down to the individual in the end

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    Mr Edwards is pandering to the victim-blamers below who attack cyclists for not paying a tax that doesn't evist. VED is not hypothecated, cyclists pay the same taxes as everyone else and the same VED as other non-polluting vehicles. Zero. Cyclists have a natural aversion to collisions cos they hurt more than a scratched bumper. That's why in most cyclist/vehicle collisions the DRIVER'S at fault.

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    The tone of the article would suggest that the author is either anti Boris or anti bike or perhaps both. Unbalanced and speculative in the extreme.

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    Awful comments from this reporter showing the starting point for debate is "Whether the experience of the cyclist riding the hire bike is a factor we don't know. We also don't know yet if the painted blue lane of the Cycle Superhighway lulled the cyclist into a false sense of security."

    As opposed to...What did the driver of the vehicle not do correctly?? A bike v. 40 tonnes is an uneven debate

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    Being both driver & cyclist i learned to modify my style of cycling without being a target for a motor vehicles and vice versa... to drive and cycling you require patience, upon an accident such as this to assign blame just shows how ignorant both cyclists and motorists can be...

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    At the risk of sounding callous, one death does not a crisis make. There's been questions involving the cyclist and the blue path but this is one factor all cyclist ( and for that matter bus and cab drivers) face, that is sharing a lane not designed to share. Too many drivers feel that these lanes are there to allow them to avoid queues whilst others wait. if she was in lane, how did she get hit?

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    The complete facts of the situation are yet to become clear, yet the subjective comments are coming thick and fast.

    "We don't know the answers yet but................" appears to be a licence to grind axes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    Funny isn't how most of the countries with very low death/serious injury rates to cyclists have 2 things in common:

    A/. Huge nos of cyclists on a pro rata basis

    B/. An assumption in law than when a vehicle & bike collide the driver is to blame, unless he/she can prove otherwise

    ....drivers take great care and they simply do not have anything like as many accidents as we do in London....

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    Saddest thing is we all know what needs to be done, and yet don't do it. Am dismayed by attitudes to cyclists displayed in some of these posts, as if somehow they are not our fellow Londoners just trying to get around. Investing in road infrastructure for walking & cycling is inexpensive, cost-effective, and would benefit everyone, including car drivers by reducing congestion and air pollution.

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    Tony, did you really think account of the death of a young woman was the best place to air your ignorant prejudice? Do you really believe that cyclists don't pay tax? How can an adult be able to use a computer and not understand how roads are paid for? More cyclists = safer roads, it is a fact that safety increases as cycling rates rise. Boris Bikes have been ridden over 20m miles. Just 1 fatality

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    I was a cyclist until a few years ago when I perceived that the traffic levels had made cycling dangerous on city roads. So, maybe it's the presence of cyclists that's the problem. Why does the 'militant cyclist', who contributes nothing, either by tax or insurance, beleive that they have a 'right' to use roads on which they are a liability? Exclude cyclists from the busiest roads. Problem solved.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    21. I could hear the ipod even though my car window was shut and she passed the front of my car with about two inches to spare. Bit difficult to ignore.

    I cycle regularly but follow the highway code, wear a helmet and appropriate cycle gear and don't block an off an important sense which helps keep me safe

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    I cant stand cyclists and I am one! try driving around Notting Hill in rush hour, they swarm around your vehicle like flies on sh*t. I also see them on dual carriage ways - no wonder some of them come to a grizzly end. The benefit of being a cyclist is that you can 'transfrom' into a pedestrian at will, use the pavements that's what I do. I even rode past police on the sidewalk & they moved lol!

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    Hi I most certainly do not blame the cyclist or the driver at this stage. But this is one of the most dangerous junctions in London and the policy is to encourage cyclists through it with the superhighway. Critics of the mayor say that is "flawed". All I am pointing out he will have answer questions over that reasoning. Thanks for your comments though. Tom

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    This is a tragic end to a young life. Cycle lanes should always be separated from cars/lorries/buses - lots of paved areas are wide enough to be shared with pedestrians. Sometimes its safer or perceivably safer to cycle on a pavement but outdated and unnecessary laws are subject to FPN, that law needs to be relaxed/changed then those that feel vulnerable or on busy sections can still cycle safely

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    This speculation and suggesting the girl was at fault is highly tasteless. We don't know if the lorry driver was drunk and chatting on a mobile, like the lorry driver who killed cyclist Catriona Patel.

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    Shame on you Tom. Your implying the cyclist may be the blame for their death. Whether intentional or not is nothing short of disgraceful. It is perhaps a sign of the attitude that is flawed in people's thinking regarding cyclists. You and your out dated and frankly dangerous attitude are scary.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    Sad to hear but difficult to criticise either the driver or rider without knowing how it happened. As a cyclist though, I do believe helmets should be made compulsory for road riders. I also believe that there should be protective clothing similar to mountain bike riders made widely available for road cyclists if the law is forcing us to use these dangerous roads.

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    Shocking effort from a so-called 'traffic correspondent".My thoughts go out to the young girl who lost her life.


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