Cyclist Dies In Collision With HGV At Ludgate Circus


A cyclist died at Ludgate Circus this morning following a collision with a lorry. The driver stopped but has not been arrested.

HGVs present a significant danger to cyclists on London’s roads; of the 57 cyclists to die since 2010, 31 were involved in collisions with HGVs, yet HGVs make up only around 4% of traffic. Boris Johnson has got Transport for London and the boroughs to join forces and ban all unsafe vehicles from within the M25, a move that should come into force later this year.

This cyclist is the third to die in London in 2014. Kevin Lane died in February after a collision with car in South Woodford, and Michael Mason died three weeks after a crash in Regent Street.

Update #1: Assembly Member Darren Johnson points out that Ludgate Circus is one of the junctions dropped from TfL’s safety review list; it originally featured on the list of 100 but not on the reduced list of 33. He said:

“This absolutely tragic news is made all the more poignant by the fact that TfL recently decided to cancel the major safety overhaul it had deemed necessary at this blackspot. Six cyclists were killed or seriously injured here in the space of five years yet despite this dreadful toll TfL aren’t going to get this junction sorted out. We are seeing this pattern of inaction all across the road network in London and it is unacceptable.”

Update #2: TfL has pointed out that Ludgate Circus is part of the planned North-South cycle superhighway and so is due to be fully segregated.

Photo by World of Tim from the Londonist Flickr pool

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  • Guest

    Spot on quote. Boris Johnsons cuts and inaction, and his deceptive talk on this tragic issue over over his past six years has simply been a disgrace.

  • Dave Pearce

    Its hardly surprising that this happened. As sad as it is, this junction is an infestation of cyclists all trying to get through any small gap, ahead of everyone else.
    sometimes i think Cyclists forget drivers only have two eyes and cant be looking 360 degrees all the time.

    “Ban all unsafe vehicles” should include all unsafe road users IMO, and this of course includes unsafe cyclists

    • Bradley Thompson

      Excellent and well made point, Dave. It was probably his/her fault. They probably jumped a light or didn’t pay their road tax or something. Do you do similar when digging through road traffic death reports online? Post an inane, ill-thought out and unsympathetic judgement call without actually knowing any of the facts?
      You should be proud of yourself.

    • TomG

      A man died here. Dave Pearce, keep your petty one-sided whining to yourself.

    • Alex Smith

      quite right stop cycling just to save money or keep fit it don’t work and many cyclists i see don’t wear helmets yet a motor bike person does and rarely do they have accidents

    • Smilersos .

      ban unsafe drivers not vehicles! Unsafe cyclists or not; its still the driver of the motor vehicle that’s causes the potential murder/manslaughter not the cyclist and as such has the responsibility. Lets get this misconception correct.

      • Alex Smith

        but many cyclists i see cycle with there phone in the hand or stuff its illegal for cars and stuff so it should also be them being barred too but what i don’t understand is what makes cycling better then public transport that i use

  • Brian

    Dave Pearce, I don’t think you know that Ludgate Circus was ‘infested with cyclists’ this morning. I was there. I didn’t see it happen, but I heard a loud crunch, followed by the crying and keening of witnesses. I turned round instantly. I don’t think there were many if any other cyclists, though obviously I can’t know exactly what happened. The police were on the scene instantly; ambulances followed shortly after. Very efficiently handled. Sad that this was still too late for the unfortunate victim.

    • Dave Pearce

      I walk across Blackfiars bridge, Ludgate circus up to Hatton Garden Monday to Friday, so please don’t tell me today was any different to any other Thursday.

      I have sympathy for both the cyclist and the driver, it’s socking that this has happened, but I expect all we will get here is anti car/lorry etc posts
      Have some sympathy for the driver, who will have to live with this for the rest of his life.

      @Brian. Please tell me what facts I’ve stated about this case? Please explain what you mean about cyclists paying raoad tax. Maybe my post was not as one sided as you would hope, but I’ve not pointed any fingers pertaining to this particular case.

      • Alex Smith

        quite rite dave i remember when i saw the crash round croydon between a 410 and bike the poor driver is still unable to work so spare a thought for not just the bikes but those who will never be able to work again

  • Jorden

    Quite simply I have read about a system called Cycle Alert, and from what I can see of this terrible accident that bike would have been picked up before it got near the front wheel of that lorry and probably saved the life of the cyclist.

  • Alex Smith

    i use trains tubes buses and trams often for about the same price you lot pay for a bike and i live in a zone 5 area most cyclists live closer to london the i do so isn’t it time to think hang on yes bikes keep you fit but trains and tubes are safer and quicker and i am sure just for a bit more money you would pay it or if you intend to stay cycling stop weaving in and out of traffic and wait at a red light and don’t go near HGV’s and big vehicles like buses

  • Alex Smith

    where do all you cyclists live yes season travel cards are expensive at 1472 quid for zones 1-3 and more the further you live but is saving money worth it by getting a bike to cycle to work to avoid crowded tubes and trains your life is worth loads london is unable to cope with loads of cyclists its a city and i wonder how many of you keen cyclists will sell your bike now coz i am sure you don’t want to die early no one does so when you step on to your bike remember can i do my journey on other ways like trains etc they may be expensive and crowded but i have got use to them and its warmer during winter times

  • JOHN

    I have spent in excess of 3k on each truck I own to make them cycle friendly ie. safety bars under run bars side scan side chat to alert that we are turning left, cameras all the way round the trucks and also sent drivers on safe urban driving courses , these courses send them out on bikes to see from a cyclists view of the dangers that there are. We do not want deaths on our roads or in our lives, we want safety first. Sadly cyclists think they are untouchable, what training do they have, there is no legislation for bike riders no insurance no laws to ensure they have lights or helmets. One on my drivers was turni9ng left at a junction, a cyclist was leaning on his nearside step, driver turned on his left turn indicator ” warning vehicle turning left blasted out” cyclist raised two fingers and drove of through the red light. Education is needed both ways, its not just the HGV at fault. This is not a rant its a worry, my drivers worry about cyclists we see them day in day out riding through lights etc. EDUCATION is needed, cyclists need to attend courses to sit in a truck and see what we see please. EDUCATION

    • TAMS


      You have hit the nail right on the head. It is about time that cyclist had proper road safety education. I personally think that all cyclist 14 years of age upwards should sit some form of training, and that they have to pass a test to gain a license to cycle. They should also be made to have so form of insurance as well.

      I am a professional delivery driver, be it I only drive 3.5 ton van in London. So many times I have been indicating left in good time, and yet cyclist will still try and come by you on the inside, but what is even worse, is the fact that a lot of the time, they are not even turning left themselves, but actually going straight ahead. They take a big risk in trying to beat you by zooming up on the left hand side hoping to zigzag around the front of the vehicle.

      I did notice that when the police were manning several junctions and roundabouts in London during the peak’s at the end of last year, cyclist became more observant about the rules of the road.

      Having said the above about cyclist, there are some drivers of vehicles that just have no idea about road safety. I often encounter them opening car doors without even checking to see if it is safe. I have to be honest though, there have been times when a door has been opened on me, where I have felt very tempted to take the door off. Only thing that stops me, is the thought of the time filling in an accident report.

    • Internet Pawn

      The point of the audible warning you have paid good money for is to stop traffic (and if your vehicle has a long wheelbase this could easily include cars as well as bicycles) coming up the nearside when you are turning left. If your driver isn’t going to use it until he is stationary and already has traffic all around him, what is the point? Does he expect any traffic on his nearside to reverse out of his way (or in this case, to blow the red light to get out of the way)? It looks to me like you need to send your drivers on another course. We expect our cyclists to ride under the assumption that every other road user doesn’t look where they are going and doesn’t indicate before they turn and this is good advice, but it doesn’t excuse those drivers who don’t look where they are going and who don’t indicate in good time.

  • Dave H

    There is a statutory duty for TfL and all other roads authorities to investigate RTC’s and from the findings to act in ways that either remove the hazard entirely (in this case that might be a left turns ban for large vehicles, of designing the road geometry to avoid a truck being over on the right side of the lane(s) and turning left across cycle and car traffic – yes it happens to cars as well) alternatively there may be a measure to manage the risk robustly (quite frankly the facile assumption at Bow that relying on drivers and cyclists to comply very precisely with a complex arrangement of traffic signals to avoid being in the same place at the same time, sums up much of the signage and other measures implemented on the name of safety).

    Now obviously at a location with several crashes one might expect to have a series of ‘Section 39′ reports. Where are they? A crashed aircraft or train will generate a report with recommendations WHICH IS PUBLISHED. We would cut out a pile of this speculation, and sniping if crashes generated objective and impartial reports by a credible agency, that clearly spelled out the complete picture of causal factors (without placing blame on any party), and made clear recommendations about preventing any future crash of the same type.

    It would appear that there is a legal requirement for such reports to be produced. I’ve been trying since the end of last year to find any roads authority which is delivering them – save for very general reviews, which, for London, can be found on TfL’s website.

    Construction sites, the Rail Industry &c. have turned around the annual toll in deaths and serious injuries because they have done such investigations, and acted on measures called for by those reports AND those reports are publicly available.

    Now TfL and others how about delivering what the law demands?

    • Andrea Casalotti

      This is #NastyBritain for you. I have asked the HSE to be involved when professional drivers kill innocent people, and they refuse.

      TfL has a management structure that rewards efficiency and speed to the detriment of safety.

      TfL has a victim-blaming culture that starts at top management; just look at the videos of their board meetings.

      TfL claims that “Ludgate Circus is part of the planned North-South cycle superhighway and so is due to be fully segregated.” That is a lie: the victim was cycling from Fleet Street which will not be segregated.

      The truth is that such a huge lorry WITH NO SIDE-SKIRTS should not be driving on Fleet Street. If it requires access to such a narrow street, then it should be escorted.

      See more coverage here:

  • Ken Pork

    Intersting to see all the rants on here. Amazing that a lot of you are quite inert to the fact that a lfe was iost.
    One thing no one is taking into account is we don’t know whose fault it was.
    Andrea I can see you’re on your soapboax again about nastybritain (I won’t deign to support your pathetic campaign with a hashtag) bleating on about drivers murdering cyclists.
    None of you know what happened. None of you know who’s fault it is. I’m both a cyclist, pedestrian and public transport user in London and I think I have a fairly balanced view of what it’s like on the roads. The fact is that whilst road users HAVE to be educated to use the roads in this country cyclists DO NOT. Sure there are voluntary schemes but there is no equivalent of a driving test or MOT for cyclists. I have seen some extraodinarily dangerous behaviour from all sorts of traffic users but the fact is that cyclists are the most vunerable. However they get away with jumping red lights (I saw 8 people do this at the same junction in the City on Tueday), wearing headphones and using mobile phones. You can’t expect other vehicle drivers to take responsiblity for that.
    There has been a massive surge in the last 2-3 years of cyclists on the roads in London; the majority of whom I’m sure are prefectly capable of keeping themselves safe. But I bet that for every 5 of them there will be one person who has jumped on the cycling bandwagon because they’ve seen everyone else do it but has no clue about road safety and off they go blithely weaving in and out of the traffic without a care in the world.
    Its an utter tragedy that this person died. Some family has lost a very special person in their lives. Whoever the driver was they’ll never be the same either.
    It brings me back to my original point. You don’t know what happened. You don’t know whether it was the driver’s fault or the cyclist’s fault.
    Don’t point the finger of blame. Education is the key. Force ALL road users to take road safety training.

    • Alex Smith

      that is so right more education is needed for cyclists motor vehicle drivers have to have a test and license why not cycles and we cant have police at every single junction in London to stop cyclists being stupid and running a red light or cutting close to big HGV’s and no a HGV ban is not the way forward

    • andybrice

      I know it can seem callous to speculate that someone may be to blame for their own death so soon after it has happened. But sometimes it’s also important to do so. If we avoid speaking ill of the dead at all costs, we risk unfairly branding other people involved in the incident as killers.

      I’m very much a proponent of cycling safety and infrastructure. But I’ve noticed news coverage of cycling accidents is often reluctant to hold cyclists responsible for fatal accidents, even when they are (which is about half of cases according to DfT estimates). This is neither fair, nor helpful to the issue.

      • Rachel Holdsworth

        What you’re probably seeing there is media outlets (us included) not wanting to say anything that could breach contempt of court law – if a collision later comes to trial, any speculation or assertion in the media about blame or ‘guilt’ can be seen as an attempt to influence the result.