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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