Trying to make sense of the spate of cycling deaths

Police at the scene of the Bow roundabout fatal accident The London of cyclists in London has increased massively

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It is very hard to make sense of what has happened with London and cycling in the past eight days.

Four cyclists have died over that time period which probably makes it one of the worst periods for cycling deaths in the capital.

Even the most ardent of campaigners are showing slight signs of helplessness.

Today's death at Bow roundabout is at a collision black spot.

'Death trap'

One local, who was visibly angry, apprehended me and described it as a "death trap". He's banned his children from using it.

As I've reported previously, two cyclists have died there and concerns have been raised on a number of occasions by campaigners.

The coroner at the inquest into those deaths said the cycle superhighway 2 at the roundabout was "confusing".

Again there are calls for London Mayor Boris Johnson to sort out this junction.

Huge blind spots

The latest addition of early start lights - that give cyclists a few seconds head start - have also been criticised.

Changes are coming but progress is taking time.

In these four deaths the constant is that they all involved large vehicles, either buses, coaches or HGVs.

What that means is the vehicles have huge blind spots and can't see cyclists down the kerb side.

Bow Roundabout The four deaths all involve large vehicles

We do not know the details of these cases but that is always a problem if a large vehicle turns left.

The solution, say campaigners and City Hall, is to build segregated junctions but that will take time.

And the number of cyclists has increased massively, the infrastructure is lagging behind the need and these deaths will only increase the clamour for amore rapid change.

Transport for London and City Hall have also tried to clamp down on dodgy HGVs with some success but I'm sure there will be more calls now to ban large vehicles in rush hour.

The reality is it will probably take a lot of different measures to have an impact.

New infrastructure, more cycling training, more driver training and perhaps restrictions on HGV times are all needed.

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

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  • rate this

    Comment number 206.

    I commute by bike in Manchester. I mostly feel safe, but had a recent near miss when a lorry turned right out of a side road into my path. How could the driver not see me, with my bright flashing light and fluorescent jacket? Luckily I had room to evade.

    I offer three rules for all road users:
    1. Always be courteous
    2. Give way to the more vulnerable
    3. Assume everyone else is an idiot

  • rate this

    Comment number 205.

    Perhaps it would be cheaper to fit lorries and coaches with electronic devices to detect cyclists alongside them, which would alert the driver.

  • rate this

    Comment number 204.

    #203 - You only have to look at the statistics for deaths and injuries to pedestrians by cyclists against the statistics for deaths and injuries to pedestrians by motorists to realise you've got the relative danger of these two modes of transports to yourself completely wrong.

  • rate this

    Comment number 203.

    Walking from Charing Cross to Cambridge Circus saw three cases of cyclists crossing on red. In two instances pedestrians , one with a child, crossing on the green man had to move quickly out of the way to avoid them. Im not a driver , have never been threatened by a driver jumping red lights , but with this morons on two wheels , well thats a different matter

  • rate this

    Comment number 202.

    the average price for a cycle is about 800-900 for a good one out of halfords for that price i can get a 2nd hand car for that price yer its no ferrari or lambo but it is safer with buses on the up stop worrying over pollution we have a world for our kids of the future its what we have now its not going to explode is it our world


Comments 5 of 206



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