cycle safety under the spotlight

The Transport Committee is to hold a follow-up inquiry next month into cycle safety, after the sixth cycling death in London within the past fortnight.

Yesterday’s (18 November) incident saw 60-year old man killed after a collision with an LGV on Camberwell Road in south-east London.

The committee, which considered cycling safety as part of its road safety inquiry in 2012 and made the case for greater adoption of sensors and mirrors by LGV, will hold an oral evidence session on cycling safety on Monday 2 December.

The chairman of the committee, Louise Ellman MP, said:  “Six cyclists have been killed in London in the last two weeks: 14 have been killed so far this year, equaling the number killed in the whole of 2012.

“Many of these casualties involve large vehicles, especially LGVs, and there is now debate about whether they should be banned from city centres at peak times. This will have consequences for businesses which need to be assessed.”

Ellman said the committee also wanted to debate the behaviour of drivers an cyclists and whether more can be done to promote compliance with the law.

“Concerns have also been expressed about whether vehicle and road infrastructure could be changed to protect cyclists and whether new developments, such as London’s cycle superhighways, are safe. We would like to stimulate debate on all of these matters,” she said.

The deaths come despite road transport industry efforts to avoid cycling injuries and fatalities.

•    This week the Metropolitan Police Service targeted cars, cyclists and lorries on Vauxhall Bridge Road, Whitechapel Road and Albert Embankment, as part of a road safety operation.

The action saw 70 lorries stopped and checked and around 100 cyclists given road safety advice.  15 fixed penalty notices totaling £2,300 were issued to lorry drivers for 15 offences, including driving more hours than they are legally permitted to without a break, and having vehicles that are not fit for the roads.

In an interview with LBC last week, London mayor Boris Johnson called on all road users to obey the rules of the road, criticising some cyclists that take “these hasty, rash decisions” that endanger their lives.