A cyclist became the first fatality on London’s Cycle Superhighways yesterday. It is the 14th fatality among London’s cyclists this year.
The accident happened at Bow flyover during the Monday morning rush hour when the 50-year-old cyclist collided with an HGV. The driver of the vehicle has since been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving.
The controversial junction marks the end of CS2, as Newham Council would not cooperate with TfL’s plans to extend the blue paint into the Olympic borough, preferring their own scheme of highways improvements. Newham is home, of course, to the now infamously impassable Stratford City cycle lane. The high-speed Bow roundabout is also part of the cycling routes suggested by TfL’s Leon Daniels, Head of Surface Transport, for Olympic visitors.
The tragic accident has parallels with the recent fatality at Kings Cross, as the location had previously been identified as a risk for cyclists. The danger at the junction had even been recognised by British Waterways who are designing a riverside walkway meaning “walkers and cyclists will no longer have to use the dangerous road-crossing at Bow flyover.”
It seems that both TfL and Boris Johnson were aware of the safety issue at the flyover. The Mayor was asked at a meeting on 18 May this year what progress had been made to provide a safe pedestrian crossing at the junction on the A12. Boris answered “TfL have been unable so far to find an immediate solution…that does not push the junction over capacity and introduce significant delays to traffic.”
The fact that TfL chose reducing delays over cyclist safety will be of little consolation to the deceased man’s family.
Diamond Geezer has written an excellent account of the dangers posed by the junction.
By Andy Thornley