15 November 2013
Cycling Accident Solicitor discusses recent London cyclist fatalities
The shocking news that 2 London cyclists lost their lives on Wednesday, bringing the death toll of cyclists in the capital to 5 in November and 13 year to date provides clear evidence of the inadequacies of the blue cycle superhighways explains Cycling Accident Solicitor Paul Kitson.........
Blue paint on a cycle lane does not make it safe for cyclists. 3 of the cyclists killed this month were involved in collisions on Superhighway 2 – Aldgate to Bow. Cycle campaigners, including the London Cycling Campaign, have repeatedly warned the Mayor that this Superhighway is unsafe and in particular the Bow roundabout.
The design of the Superhighway at Bow was recently criticised by at the inquest into the death of experienced cyclist, Brian Dorling, who was hit by a truck turning left. Coroner Mary Hassell said “It just seems to me that it’s an accident waiting to happen, if cyclists are guided into the space where blue paint is on the left and they are in the very place where the lorry is going to hit them. It seems like they are guided into the place where they are most vulnerable”.
Whilst it is true that the number of cyclist fatalities in London have fallen despite the huge increase of cycle journeys, 13 deaths in just 10 and half months is hardly evidence that we are a cycling city to rival Copenhagen, Amsterdam or Berlin.
In my experience as a Personal Injury Solicitor specialising in Cycling Accident Injury Claims the darker winter months, especially in wet weather are more hazardous than the summer months. Cyclists must be aware of the hazard of left turning lorries but more importantly commercial drivers need to be alert to cyclists.
The Mayor needs to conduct an urgent review of cycle safety in London in particular of accident hotspots such as the Bow roundabout. Safety measure should include the construction of more segregated cycle lanes, enforcement of advanced stop lines (the cycle box positioned in front of the queue of stationary traffic) and phasing of traffic lights to enable cyclists to move away from traffic lights ahead of traffic.