11 October 2010
Cyclist: Yet Another Tragic Accident
I read with great sadness in the press this week that yet another cyclist had been killed on the streets of London. A young woman, Ms Jayne Helliwell was killed when she was hit by a bus at a bus stop near Tottenham Court Road. The cycling accident appears to have occurred within extensive road works that had been carried out along the stretch of New Oxford Street. I have cycled along this stretch of the road works on numerous occasions over the last few months. The road works have been going on for some time. This is a one-way stretch of road and is vital for cyclists who are travelling from East to West London as the alternative would be to carry out long detours. There is nothing inherently unsafe, in cycling along this stretch of road apart from its twists and turns.It goes without saying that this is a tragic accident. Our thoughts are with the family of Ms Helliwell and as a fellow cyclist, I have great sympathy for their loss. It shows how careful cyclists have to be in London. It show that the risks are very real. I do not know the circumstances of the death of Ms Helliwell. It would not therefore be proper for me to comment more. I will say however, that whoever is at fault, the danger that we all face in not abiding by the rules of the road can be tragic.The culture now on the streets of London, for cyclist and car drivers alike is that risks are being taken. The rules of the road are being stretched. They are there for a purpose. A red light is meant to stop traffic from passing where other traffic has right of way. This is obvious. If these rules are pushed any further accidents will merely increase. The sad consequence of a road traffic accident involving a cyclist or pedestrian is that the cyclist/pedestrian will come off the worst and more deaths will occur.Tristan Hallam is a partner in Personal Injury in the London office of Russell Jones & Walker. If you or a member of your family has suffered an accident or injury call our expert personal injury solicitors on 0800 916 9046, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our specialist personal injury team will review your compensation claim for free.