diamond geezer

 Saturday, November 12, 2011

At 10:30 this morning a mass bike ride will head off from St Mark's Church, Kennington, for a tour of London. It's not a celebration, quite the opposite - a ride born out of anger from recent bike-related casualties. The peloton plan to visit all of TfL's Top 10 Most Dangerous Junctions for Cyclists in London, taken from a list sourced in the summer by Assembly member Jenny Jones. They're calling it the Tour Du Danger, and it'll weave across the Thames and through the city before ending at a cafe near the Old Street roundabout. Here's that top 10, starting with the most dangerous road junction for deaths and serious injuries.
1) St George's Rd/London Rd/Elephant & Castle
2) Clapham Rd/Kennington Park Rd/Camberwell Rd
3) Strand/Northumberland Ave/Whitehall
4) Waterloo Road/Stamford St/York Rd
5) Mansion House St/Princes St/Threadneedle St
6) Elephant & Castle/Newington Butts
7) Hyde Park Corner, Westminster
8) Millbank/Lambeth Bridge
9) Clerkenwell Road/Farringdon Rd
10) Albert Embankment/Kennington Lane/Wandsworth Rd
But that list of Top 10 most dangerous junctions is no longer correct. Yesterday evening there was another fatal accident at the Bow Flyover roundabout involving a cyclist and a lorry. A 34-year-old woman was killed, around quarter to five, while moving off at the lights.
Police are appealing for witnesses following a collision in east London in which a cyclist died.
Officers were called at approx 16.45hrs on Friday 11 November to reports of a white DAF tipper truck in collision with a cyclist at the Bow Road Roundabout E3. At this early stage it is believed the collision occurred as the lorry and the cyclist, travelling west on High Street E3, moved off from traffic lights at the roundabout. The ambulance service attended but the cyclist, a woman aged 34, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rush hour traffic was still being diverted and delayed when I arrived home an hour later.
Southbound direction. Accident has closed the southbound onslip to A12
The southbound off slip to the A12 remains closed at the Bow Road Roundabout. Westbound A11 off slip has also been closed on approach to the roundabout, with all traffic diverted over the flyover. The A11 is slow moving eastbound to the junction with Burdett Road and westbound back to the Stratford One Way System. Drivers are advised to expect delays on all approaches to the roundabout, and use an alternative route where possible.
It's only three weeks since father-of-three Brian Dorling met his end on the very same roundabout. That was widely flagged as the first death on a Cycle Superhighway, and yesterday's fatality is the second. A second incident at the far end of CS2, a second death at traffic lights, and a second incident involving a tipper truck. Of the 15 cycling deaths in London this year, that's now two dead at the Bow Flyover roundabout, which is a ghastly record of grief and tragedy.

It's always easy to read too much into statistics. It may be a complete coincidence that these two deaths came so soon after part of the tarmac here was painted blue. But something's not right when my local roundabout is repeatedly taking away the lives of the vulnerable who use it. This is the junction, you may remember, which TfL have been unwilling to remodel because that would "introduce significant delays to traffic." Have priorities now swung too far towards the four-wheeled road user, rather than those on two or on foot? Round about where I live, it would seem so.

[Today's BBC TV news report]
[Debbie Dorling remembers her husband Brian, and demands changes to Bow's Cycle Superhighway]

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