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

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 87.

    Get off the fence Tom!
    Are the bikes a good idea or a bad one?
    Very disappointing response from the BBC Transport Correspondent.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 86.

    I nearly always cycle (slowly) on the pavements when on busy main roads. I'd be too scared to even attempt cycling in central London. Sorry folks, but if I collide with you, we'll both end up with no more than a bruise and some dented pride; you may be angry at me, shout, even punch me; I'll be very sorry, but that's a lot better than being very dead.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 85.

    Another statistic from RRCGB2011; In 2011 8992 cyclists were admitted to hospital after an accident, 61% of these accidents involved no other vehicle. For the cyclists below to claim "it is all the car drivers fault" just isn't true, in 61% of cases there is no one else to blame.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 84.

    Resonator clearly needs to learn the difference between civil and criminal law. The presumption of liability relates to the duty of care, in civil law, often embraced by prosecutions under HSAW Act for dangers in the workplace, even when the employee of member or the public is the architect of their own misfortune. It is not as yet applied to road crashes

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 83.

    #79 Family Chap. You are talking nonsense. In 2001 1901 people died on the roads. Of these 1196 died in a collision involving a car. That's less than three a day.

    107 people died in bicycle accidents that year compared with 883 car users. Given the small number of cyclists on the roads that is a high number. In fact a cyclist is 8 times more likely to die per mile than a car occupant.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 82.

    To clarify: I don't know what the factors were in this collision. I am not implying (and have not said) where fault lies. I am saying that due scrutiny should be applied to the infrastructure at that junction. I have covered cycling for years in London and to suggest I am anti-cycling is - if you check my record - totally without foundation. Thanks though for your comments, Tom.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 81.

    As a commuting cyclist for the last 20 years, I have seen the lot.

    The danger areas junctions and excessive speed on narrow roads. More 20mph zones required.

    Helmets as a solution are a red herring, Anything that restricts the free movement of a cyclist head, including the crucial look behind is bad for safety. A law requiring a mirror on bicycles would be better use of parliament's time.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 80.

    I always cycle past that junction on my way home. On Friday, I had the worst experience. When I first got there I wondered why the traffic was so slow. Then I saw one ambulance and a Barclay bike with a bent wheel. The paramedics were doing their best to resuscitate her but it did not look very hopeful. It is really sad when something like this happens.
    My best wishes towards her family and R.I.P.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 79.

    The BBC reporter is extremely biased. I say this because he did not mention the experience of the car driver only the cyclist. Also , he ought to have mentioned how many other people had been killed by cars that day (average is 10 every day, 365 days per year by the way) to make the report more balanced. Cycling is still very safe and the health benefits outweigh any accidents.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 78.

    >If you don't know whether the experience of the cyclist was a factor, why >even mention it? This is a subtle but completely unsubstantiated >implication that the cyclist was somehow at fault.

    The BBC are always doing it. Usually along the lines of cyclist hits car.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 77.

    Many things can be done to improve safety, seperate cycle routes from road traffic e.g. disused rail lines, improve mirrors on hgvs, compulsory cycle helmets, lights and reflectors, FILL IN POTHOLES, sweep paths for glass and other debris replace metal service covers (lethal in the wet), copy the Dutch model

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 76.

    63. I remember a study on cycle helmets some years ago. Yes, they protect against blows to the head externally, e.g. hitting your head on a kerb. what they do not protect against is the inpact of the brain on the inside of the skull as a result of impact

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 75.

    I'm not sure why this is a big deal. Obviously it's horrid for the people involved and my sympathies are with them. But I can't see why Boris Bikes have really been brought into this. If it's about road safety then we already know what the issues are and the gov should be addressing the problems that result in fatalities, not worrying about rural broadband... yet.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 74.

    It's worth remembering that more cyclists= safer roads.

    Studies in many countries have shown consistently that the number of motorists colliding with walkers or cyclists doesn't increase equally with the number of people walking or bicycling. For example, a community that doubles its cycling numbers can expect a one-third drop in the per-cyclist frequency of a crash with a motor vehicle.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 73.

    A very sad story and as a regular Boris biker myself one that makes me realise how vulnerable we are on the roads. Banning the lorries and HGV's will not work but perhaps suggesting a redesign of these vehicles so that their cabs are nearer to the road level would vastly improve visibility and ensure that they are engaged with other road users. There are already low entry lorry cabs being made.

  • rate this
    -18

    Comment number 72.

    I'm surprised that scores of these cyclists have not been killed. The Boris Bike initiative, indeed any initiative that encourages cycling in London is flawed and should be withdrawn - not encouraged. The cyclists in general flout the Highway code. Perhaps if a system of number plates was introduced to remove the anonymity of scoundrel cyclists the system might be manageable!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 71.

    "then when someone gives you an actual account you dismiss it."

    I haven't been given an "actual account" other than James Cracknell (paid by a helmet company and endorses helmets, go figure!) and Shane Sutton, who claims a helmet saved him but has no way of knowing. Maybe the helmet caused the accident in the first place? Either way, there is zero evidence that helmets make cycling safer.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 70.

    If you don't know whether the experience of the cyclist was a factor, why even mention it? This is a subtle but completely unsubstantiated implication that the cyclist was somehow at fault.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 69.

    "Yeah, go for it: why not undermine our legal sytem's centuries' old presumption of innocence."

    Presumed Liability has nothing to do with criminal law. In the story you describe liability is clearly on the part of the cyclist. Why are you so angry about something you don't understand? At the moment a driver can kill a cyclist, claim "The sun was in my eyes" and get a £60 fine. This must end.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 68.

    65.Resonator

    Yes just like in Holland and Belgium. It would reverse the current favourable view of motorists shown by police, and tom in the article, in situations where a collision has occurred - As well as protecting vulnerable road users by projecting into the mind of motorists the need to avoid collisions.

 

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