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This is a guest post by Andrea Casalotti, who attended the inquest on the death of cyclist Deep Lee, who was killed by a lorry at King’s Cross in Oktober 2011.  For a full report of the Inquest, read Paul Foot’s article. These are Andrea’s personal points on some aspects of the Inquest.

The Coroner’s conclusion was “Death caused by road traffic collision”. She considered but decided not to issue a “Prevention of Future Death” (PFD) Report.

The Coroner (who also heard the Inquests of Brian Dorling and Philippine de Gerin-Ricard) conducted the inquest fairly, asking the right type of questions and at one point castigating TfL for waiting for corpses before implementing change. She also concluded that if the Transport Authorities continue to plan roads that put cyclists and HGVs sharing the same space, tragedies like the death of Deep Lee are inevitable.

The Coroner said she is very keen to use PFDs whenever she sees road conditions being a potential cause of future deaths, but she explained that she was not going to issue one in this case because TfL had presented new plans for the junction, which are now under consultation.

(more…)

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London’s so-called Cycle Superhighways, once a flagship project of mayor Boris Johnson, have been criticized right from the beginning in 2010. Most of the flak  is focussing  on the particularly dreadful Cycle Superhighway 2, where five cyclists died within two years.

But Cycle Superhighway 3, which runs from Barking to Tower Gateway, has flawed bits as well. Yesterday, I gained some first hand experience on how  bad design puts cyclists at risk and annoys motorists who don’t understand the odd layout of the cycle lane.

The flawed spot is on Horseferry Road in Tower Hamlets, which is a one way street. It has a contra-flow cycle lane for eastbound cyclists riding towards the City. The snag is that that cycle lane runs on the right hand side of the road, rather than the left one. The lane is not physically separated from the street and entails a blind turn.

Car drivers who don’t know the layout assume that riders not only go in the wrong way of a one-way street but also think those bloody lycra louts are doing this on the wrong side of the road. A real life example of such a situation can be watched in the video. Unnecessary and potentially dangerous conflicts are imbued in that layout.

A second, related problem is that the cycle lane is too narrow so you can’t safely overtake a slower cyclist, as you can see in seconds 6 to 9 of the video.

This has been an issue for years, as this 2011 comment on Londonist’s website shows:

 “I live in a flat overlooking the CS3 that flows past the T-junction at Branch Road & Horseferry Road in Limehouse. At least once per day, a cyclist runs into a car turning right off of Branch Road onto Horseferry Road one way system (the cycle route runs opposite in the opposite direction to the one-way system).

IT IS A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE SOMEONE IS KILLED OR SERIOUSLY INJURED AT THIS INTERSECTION.”

I guess the reason for this odd layout is that there are parking spaces on the left hand side of the road; and I fully understand that it is of course utterly unacceptable to sacrifice parking space for the safety of cyclists.

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The campaign “Cities fit for Cycling”, launched by “The Times” a fortnight ago, and the “Love London, Go Dutch” campaign by LCC are the big topics in the cycling blogosphere:

Inverted snobbery, “dangerising”, and change at the CTC – Vole O’Speed supports the “Times” campaign.

The Times’ Eight Point Manifesto – David Hembrow (“A view from the cycle path”) is rather critical.

Cycle safety campaigns: do they do more harm than good? - Andrew Gilligan (Daily Telegraph) is critical as well, albeit for different reasons.

Drivers who kill ‘should face prospect of life in prison’ says police expert – The Times

Better driving will make roads safer for cyclists, say motorists – The Times

Traffic flow in a new Parliament Square  and Going Dutch in Parliament Square- Pedestianise London

 Death of Henry Warwick

Memorial ride for cyclist killed in accident – Photos from the ride remembering Henry Warwick, the cycling courier who was killed in the City.

Moving Target  documents the speech a fellow courier gave in memorial of Henry.

Family’s anger over courier’s death – The Evening Standard

Other cycling links

Monday 20 February announcement (and more!) – Bikes Alive plan the next protest ride at King’s Cross on 20 February

From early adopters to everyday and ordinary… – Mark Ames discusses how cycling becomes normal in Hackney.

My Labour MP tells me it’s my responsibility to keep away from danger when I’m on my bike. How am I supposed to do that when the Mayor is re-designing London roads to make it even harder to stay safe? – Cyclists in the City

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Cycling safety: Riding the ‘Tour de Chance’ – and living to tell the tale – The Independent

Cyclists may get headstart on cars at busy junctions – The Guardian

The government is watching cyclists die – Cycalogic Blog

Cyclists are law-breakers - Stratagem XXXVIII blog

Lost on the road – The Times

Telegraph journalist rightly criticises Mayor’s cycle super highways but slightly misses the point when he declares cycle safety campaign is about ‘dissing’ Boris Johnson. It’s not. It’s about making the Mayor accountable for safe cycling. – Cyclists in the City

Cycling campaign relaunched on anniversary - Kensington and Chelsea Chronicle

Cyclists: sign up for training, London Councils urges – Press release

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Gosh, the number of articles about cycling in London and road safety in particular is booming at the moment. See yourself:

Champions call for safer cycling on roads  - The Times

Mother who turned her tragedy into a fight for safer lorries – The Times

From the driver’s cab, cyclists are all but invisible - The Times

The politics of cycling safety – Dave Hill’s London (The Guardian)

Safety comes first if we want a cycling revolution - Jenny Jones on “Comment is Free” (The Guardian)

New City of London road layout proves Transport for London has got cycle safety completely wrong at junctions – Cyclists in the City

London’s cycle infrastructure, and reallocation of road space - As Easy as Riding a bike

Monday 6 February action at King’s Cross : reminder – and news - Bikes Alive

Dan Cox – Marking the Death of Another London Cyclist – Huffington Post

Road accident statistics: how safe are our roads? – Data Blog (The Guardian)

The best way to reduce the number of cyclist deaths is to get more people cycling   – The Daily Telegraph

‘Next London Mayor must do more for cyclists,’ says father of designer hit by bus - Camden New Journal

Driver charged with manslaughter after open car door leads to death of cyclist – Road.cc

Family of cyclist Eilidh Cairns to relaunch safety campaign – Journal Live

And last but not least, here’s my latest article about “The Times” and its cycling campaign:

Is this our “Stop de Kindermord” moment?

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Today marks a launch of an excellent campaign by “The Times” to “Save our cyclists”. Here are some links to their coverage about cycling safety:

Cities fit for Cycling – the landing page of the campaign.

Vicious Cycle Riding a bicycle in Britain is far too dangerous. Today, The Times launches a manifesto for those who pedal on our roads

A New Covenant for Cycling

On the road to more agony and regret . . . if we don’t act now

Kaya Burgess on his friend and colleague, whose journey to work ended in critical injury

Readers comments on the campain

Danny Williams, the most prolific cycling blogger who deserves a lot of credit for getting the public debate about cycling safety going, comments on the campaign and on cycling safety in general: Boris Johnson – you promised a ‘cycling revolution’ and you’ve completely failed to deliver. Even The Times suggests your thinking on cycling is way out of touch. Each of us can do something about this

Apart from the excellent campaign by “The Times”, I came across these stories:

London politicians give “qualified support” to TfL’s Bow Roundabout proposals (+ video) – Road.cc

Father sets up travel charity after son’s death – The father of Sam Harding, who was killed while cycling on Holloway Road in 2011, wants to support young people -  Travel Weekly

Boris Bike Accident In Clerkenwell - Londonist

Shared space is the future for London’s roads – Evening Standard

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Boris Bike crushed by a lorry on Old Street Roundabout – Twitter

Boris, Ken, Brian or Jenny? Giving Londoners on bikes the “Yes We Can” factor – I bike London blog

Southwark Labour council sets out a strategy to shrink current growth in cycling, that also runs counter to Ken Livingstone’s cycling policy. – Cyclists in the City blog

‘My ward has been the scene of too much tragedy. Four cyclists have died in the last two years within a two-minute walk of my home’. The response to this situation in Southwark by its Labour council is utterly irresponsible- Cyclists in the City blog

I remember screaming ‘stop, stop’, says cyclist dragged under left-turning tanker – The Evening Standard

Mary Dejevsky: Why we should all fear for friends who insist on cycling in the city -The Independent

Transport minister Theresa Villiers involved in cycling accident – The Guardian

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‘You ride too rough!’ – London Cycling Campaign (LCC) refuse to back safety protests – Camden New Journal

Next Kings Cross action: Monday 6 February – Bikes Alive

Hop onboard an HGV and see what they can’t see – Guardian Bike Blog

JAYNE’S DAD: ‘END CYCLE OF DEATHS’ – Call from father of designer killed in 2010 Oxford Street crash - West End Extra

It’s not the cyclists cutting out motor traffic lanes at Tottenham Court Road. It’s Boris’s plan. But he’s not offering you any alternatives either. Want to cycle down from Camden instead of driving? Forget it. - Cyclists in the City

Friday Facility no.10 – Ampton Street, Camden – As Easy as riding a bike

Cyclist deaths in Southwark: “carnage has to end” says councillor – London SE1

Motorist fined over cyclist death threat – BBC

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Bikes Alive announces another demonstration on January 23 at King’s Cross (6pm)

Frustrated’ police officer confronts lawyer cyclist (on Edgware Road, London) – The  Telegraph

City of London starts to take Cyclists seriously, TfL’s proposals for a redesign of Bow roundabout are disappointing and cyclists should raise their voice in the mayoral election- Cyclists in the City blog

Cycling in Holland (as in Holland Road, that is – in London W14) – and inexperience as an excuse for drivers who hit cyclists – As Easy as Riding a Bike blog

Help solve mystery of the New Year’s Day cyclist found unconscious but unmarked – The Evening Standard

How even the most expensive Brompton pays for itself - my lastest blog post

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Good news about the cyclist who was run over by a lorry on Victoria Street on Tuesday: According to a post on the London Fixed Gear Forum, he “has had an operation and is hopefully going to be ok though his leg is in a bad way”.

Good news about Bow Roundabout as well: Finally,  Transport for London plans to make the roundabout saf(er) for cyclists, as they explain here.  London Cycling Campaign celebrates TfL’s move. Danny, who runs the brilliant “Cyclists in the City” blog,  asks: “Is this the start of something new or a one-off?” Mark, who does “I bike London” blog, gives a cautious welcome to change at Bow roundabout .

‘Scooting down’ Euston underpass – “As Easy as Riding a bike” discusses another example  of bad and dangerous cycling infrastructure in London

Mystery of accident victim in fight for life – Alpha Kabeja discovered comatose in street – Camden New Journal

Cyclists bring junction to standstill with rush hour protest – Camden New Journal

Cycling at King’s Cross – A new docking station for Boris bikes gives me shivers – my lastest blog post on the terrible situation around King’s Cross

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