I think a comment LindaH wrote in another post deserves more publicity. She’s describing a severe crash on Cavendish Road in Lambeth on Sunday, 31 July around 11am. Apparently, this accident has not been reported yet. At least, neither Linda nor me were able to find additional information about the crash. (In the meantime, the Evening Standard published a brief story about the accident.)
Update: Sadly, according to this report, the crash was fatal. A female cyclist – later named as Johannah Bailey, 49 was killed by a van. It raises the number of cyclists killed in Greater London this year to twelve, at least two more died just outside of the M25 (details about all crashes are available here)
The Met Police is still looking for witnesses of the collusion, as Detective Sergeant Philip Hames from the Road Death Investigation Unit at Hampton Traffic Garage stresses in a comment on this blog:
I would encourage anybody who has not yet given a statement to contact myself DS Phil Hames or DC Rob Hill on 020 8247 6985 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
So please, please – if anyone saw something and did not already talk to police, get in touch with them.
Philip Hames also writes that the Traffic Management Unit from Merton Traffic Garage will be examining the junction and making suggestions regarding road safety to the local authority. This really sounds like encouraging news.
Update II: Following a discussion on Cycle Chat, a cyclist (“Origamist“) made two videos of the location where the crash apparently happend. From Nigels’ comment I glean that the cyclist was travelling southbound. Hence, this clip probably shows here way.
After about 10 or 11 seconds, you can spot the collision investigators’ marking in the middle of the road.
Here’s the scene seen from the opposite direction, the markings in the middle of the road can be seen at seconds 14 and 15.
A sad irony is that cycling campaigners identified the street where the accident happened as particularly dangerous three years ago:
An inspection ride that took place in 2008, attended by local London Cycling Campaign members, identified the section of London Cycle Network+ Route 5 (LCN+ 5) between Poynders Road and Abbeville Road as a major problem.
A full review “to determine how the junction should be redesigned” was recommended (CRISP, 24 June 2008).
LCC’s Mike Cavenett lives nearby: “This is a junction I avoid because it includes dangerous right turns in both directions. It’s long needed a major redesign to reduce danger for cyclists.”
This horrendous accident happened about 25 feet in front of my car and unfortunately the woman died instantly, although paramedics continued to work on her for 30 minutes. She was hit by a large white van just after the bend before Englewood Road which threw her up in the air and then ran over her – she didn’t stand a chance. Please please be careful cycling as what I witnessed will never leave me.
Tania, who was behind the white van, wrote:
I just don’t understand what the white van was doing in the middle of the road; well it’s a bit of a blur. I don’t think he was speeding, we weren’t, and he couldn’t have been doing more than 30. It’s very confusing as to why he drove over the island. When we re-visited the scene yesterday I did notice when cars turned the corner they did drive over the white lines in the middle (island).
We were clueless on what to do – in shock, there was this lady and man, they totally took control of the situation before the medics arrived, my husband just ran up and down, at first she had a pulse and was breathing, which was a relief, but then, well…
My thoughts are with the driver, I know he might have been in the wrong, but as a driver, I know how easy it is to be distracted (no excuse though). To look at his face and see the horror of what he had just did will stay with me, his first reaction was to cover her modesty, by taking off his tshirt and putting it over her, I was touched by this. He looked sooo lost, tears come to my eyes just remembering his moments, some kind lady was sitting down with him and talking to him (I had to stay in my van as I have a 10month old baby).
This is what Linda wrote:
Yesterday morning, yet another cyclist was the victim of a horrific accident, this time on Cavendish Road SW4. The accident took place just after 11am on Sunday 31 July. I cycled by minutes later, as passersby were applying emergency chest compressions, and as ambulance and police crews arrived on the scene. I have not been able to find out further details, so do not know whether the woman cyclist survived. I do know, however, that the South Circular was closed off until at least mid-afternoon.
The accident happened on a particularly dangerous section of the South Circular for cyclists in Lambeth. It is just east of Clapham Common, where Cavendish Road curves and then turns into Poynders Road. Traffic moves through here often at ridiculous speed and, because of the turns, drivers are less likely to see cyclists than elsewhere.
I have pointed Ross Lydall, Chief News Correspondent with the Evening Standard and an avid cyclist himself, on Twitter towards this horrific accident. I hope the Standards picks it up (they did, albeit very briefly)
Since I live in North London, I’m not too familiar with the area and the road design.
However, what Linda writes really sounds hair raising:
Incredibly, a blue cycle route directs cyclists onto this very section of road where, coming up Cavendish Road from Tooting Bec Common, they have to maneuver across 2 lanes of fast moving traffic, stop in the road on the bend to wait for oncoming traffic to pass, cross that lane and turn into Abbeyville Road, where frequently there is traffic impatient to pull out into the main road.
This short section of ‘cycle route’ has long been a death scene waiting to happen, and I hope that yesterday’s accident has not already earned it this terrible title. The cyclist involved was on the ground, with her bicycle smashed to bits several yards away, in exactly this spot as I passed by.
This is a heavily used cycle route, and this accident is the most graphic, tragic evidence of the need for urgent change to this spot.
As Linda describes, there would be an easy fix:
The solution is clear: a cyclists’ crossing is needed at this turning, taking them up onto the very wide pavement on the opposite side of the street, with a ramp into Trouville Rd SW4, leading to Elms Crescent rather than Abbeville Rd. From Elms, cyclists can continue on into Narbonne Avenue, which is already on the cycle route. As is clear from today’s events, this small change to the route is needed urgently, and will undoubtedly save many more injuries and lives. I hope today’s tragic accident at least can be the spur to correct this terrible situation.
For me, this raises several questions:
- Does anyone have more information about the crash that happened on Sunday 31 July?
- Why has this not been reported by the media?
- Which authority / press office should know about this? (I’m German and moved to London only 1.5 years ago. Hence, I’m not too familiar with the bureaucracy in the UK. In Germany, I’d just call the police’s press office )
- Are there other cyclists who share Linda’s view about the bad road design in the area?
- Can anyone who lives in that area make some photos of the spot?