Calls for Transport for London and Lewisham Council to improve cycling safety after father-of-two killed on Loampit Vale

Father-of-two Paul Hutcheson, 41, from Lee in South-East London (pictured above with his family), died during the morning rush hour on Monday 24 June 2013 after being struck by a red Audi while cycling on Loampit Vale near the junction with Thurston Road.

The driver of the car failed to stop at the scene, and the Audi was found abandoned nearby later that morning.

A 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

LCC's Mike Cavenett, who lives near the scene of the crash, said:

“This whole area needs to be improved massively to make cycling safe and inviting for everyone. At peak times, this is an incredibly stressful and cramped junction, with lots of cars impatient to move through. 

“Transport for London and the council would probably prefer cyclists use London Cycling Network route 21, but if you’re coming from Lee, or somewhere between Lewisham and Greenwich/Blackheath, then it’s very difficult to access this route safely.

“Our local campaigners have been complaining to the council about inadequate access and signage on this route for the last two years, as well as trying to get Transport for London to make this area part of its Better Junctions programme.”

London Cycle Network route 21 (also known as the Waterlink Way) is a low-traffic north-south route from Bromley to Greenwich. It crosses Loampit Vale very near the scene of the fatal crash. 

LCN21 is a popular leisure route, and some sections are direct enough for commuting, but the section around Lewisham town centre has always been problematic, with the route using a contraflow around a one-way system and requiring several detours near busy roads.

The roundabout where Loampit Vale meets Lewisham Road is a virtual no-go area for cycling except for the most confident cyclists, with heavy volumes of fast-moving motor traffic especially during rush hour and at weekends. 

Loampit Vale was to form part of Cycle Superhighway 5, from Victoria to Lewisham town centre, but the planned route was shortened last year, and will now terminate at New Cross Gate.

In a tribute message left at the scene of the crash, Mr Hutcheson’s wife Mandie wrote:

“ ‘Morning Treacle’ so wish I could hear you say that to me again. It feels like my lungs have no air and my heart has no beat.”

Transport for London has expressed its regret at the fatality and said it will look at extending Superhighway 5 as originally proposed.

Second hit and run injures Kensington cyclist

In a second hit-and-run incident, which took place on Sunday 30 June, a man cycling along Harrow Road in North Kensington was seriously injured after being hit by a silver car. 

Anyone with information about either crash should call the Crimestoppers phone line on 0800 555 111.

Replies

What a terrible tragedy - sadly it was only a matter of time before it happened. Buses, coaches, lorries, vans and cars dual all the way along the A20 from Kidbrooke to New Cross - on a daily basis I see near misses involving cyclists. The roundabout at Lewisham is dangerous and the bottom of  Loampit Vale in both directions is a nightmare with aggressive driving the order of the day. The Superhighway would have alleviated this - whoever made the decision to not have it all the way to Lewisham has a lot to answer for...

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