London: A Teenage cyclist is killed by a Lorry at Blackspot in Tooting
Update 3 November 2008, BBC Radio London Presenters JoAnne Good & Paul Ross have had a discussion with Southwark cyclists and listeners about lorries and cyclists in their Breakfast Show on 3 November.
In light of many cyclists being killed by HGVs round in London, and elsewhere, the Evening Standard, had this story on 21/10/08:-
"A teenage cyclist was knocked down and killed by a lorry at a busy south London junction labelled a "deathtrap".
The 16-year-old boy was hit by the articulated lorry in Tooting High Street as they pulled away from traffic lights at the crossroads. Paramedics and police rushed to the junction with Blackshaw Road, where the Streatham Vale boy lay dying. He was treated at the scene and taken to nearby St George's Hospital. Doctors worked for a number of hours to save the teenager but he later died of his injuries".
The Evening Standard did not provide the name of the lorry company involved in the article.
Beaulieu, NP contributor, spoke to a Transport Manager of an electrical company this evening, who did not wish to be named, today who said that his fleet of new trucks (not connected with the incident), were now issued with three mirrors. Many vehicles, round the country, still have one mirror which often doesn't provide the full view of the length of the lorry. The lorry driver's windows are much higher now and often it is hard to see cyclists next to them.
He also encouraged members of the public to inform the company immediately of illegal or dangerous driving as he said this was very effective in improving drivers'standards and ensure that the company would take disciplinary action. Some vehicles do have special 0800 numbers and this information can be given to the Transport Manager very quickly, so he or she can take action.
The member of the public must provide registration number, date, time, if possible, a description of the driver and any photo or videos, as added evidence.
The London Cycling Campaign are contacting the Mayor of London, with regards to the problems of lorries and cyclists and a BBC documentary will be made on this subject.
The Mayor of London, who used to be the Motoring Correspondent of GQ (who according to the Editor, Dylan Jones,said in the Sunday Times 19/10.08, he cost them £4,500 in parking tickets) said to the London Cycling Campaign, on their website (www.lcc.org.uk) that he wants to treble the cyclists on London's Roads:-
“I fully intend to ensure that the cycling share of London journeys is massively increased in the coming years. TfL is working towards a target of 5% by 2025, but I will be working with TfL and the boroughs on new ideas that might enable us to be more ambitious. I've already asked TfL to develop plans for a bicycle hire scheme for London, along the lines of the hugely popular Velib scheme in Paris, to make cycling accessible to everyone. We'll work to make cycling safer and more convenient, and we'll work with the boroughs to make cycling a priority"
However, the Cycling Touring Club say, in their press release 14/10/08, in the European Cycling Federation's website (www.ecf.com) that the Government are not providing enough funds for safe cycle paths:-
"CTC - the UK's national cyclists' organisation is disappointed that year on year fewer cycle lanes are being built in England. Last year local authorities painted a pitiful 2.8 millimetres of cycle lanes for each person! That's the length of this dash -. This week (14.10.08) in an answer to a parliamentary question the Department for Transport finally admitted that local authorities are reducing their investment in cycle lanes - from 405 kms in 2001-2 to a mere 140 kms in 2006-7, a 65% fall over the last 5 years. CTC's Policy Co-ordinator Chris Peck said: "This isn't a surprise in a country where we spend 70 times more on roads than on cycling. "
In August 2006 a motorist was fined just £180 for killing 4 cyclists, the price of a cheap bicycle.
Beaulieu, NP contributor, will continue to monitor this situation and report more deaths as they happen.