Man dies cycling through "notorious" Elephant & Castle southern roundabout after lorry collision

A man has died after being in a collision with a lorry while cycling through the southern roundabout at Elephant & Castle roundabout in South London.

He's the fifth person known to die cycling in Greater London omn 2014.

There's no indication at the moment what happened, including the cause or what direction the cyclist or lorry came from in the moments leading up to the collision.

LCC's Charlie Lloyd said, "Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the man who died today. This whole area is notorious for the serious danger it presents to people on bicycles because of the high volumes of lorries and other motor vehicles that pass through here. 

"What's evident to anyone who visits the area or looks at the photos is there is a huge amount of space here, and yet no decision has been taken by transport planners to provide any protected space for cycling where the crash happened.

"Forcing people on bicycles to jockey for position with HGVs and other fast-moving motor traffic massively increases the risk of fatalities and life-changing injuries. This whole area should be redesigned with the safety of cycling made paramount."

Even though the roundabout at the southern end of the Elephant & Castle junction was removed in late 2010 in an attempt to make the area better for cycling and walking, the signalled T-junction that replaced it included no protected lanes or safe passage for cycling.

The entire Elephant & Castle area has the highest collision rates for cycling, including one of the worst fatality records, of any location in Greater London.

The fatal crash took place around 4pm, and witnesses have described an air ambulance attending the scene and medical teams attempting to treat the man, but he died at the scene.

fatality at Elephant and Castle

An hour after the crash what looked like a body covered by a tarpaulin could still be seen lying in the road, with a mangled black bike nearby.

Hundreds of shocked passers-by, including pupils from nearby schools, made their way around the police cordon, which closed the entire southern roundabout.

Inside the cordon, a 26-tonne three-axle rigid lorry was parked in the middle of the street; the lorry carried the insignia of a logistics firm based in Telford, Shropshire.

According to Transport for London figures, 1500 people on bicycles pass through the southern roundabout during the morning peak hour, with that number expected to reach 2000 per hour by 2016 at current rates of increase.

A cycling bypass provides an indirect route around one side of junction, but is too narrow to handle the volume of cycling traffic that regularly uses this route. 

Transport for London recently put plans to improve the cycling provision at the northern Elephant & Castle roundabout out for consultation, but LCC found the proposed cycle tracks were inadequate for the predicted volumes of bicycle traffic.

Furthermore, the TfL plan would not have any effect on the southern junction where today's fatality took place, dealing only with the roads further north.

The Big Ride: Saturday 17 May in central London

This Saturday's Space for Cycling Big Ride (details here) A fun event with a very serious message: that all London's streets should be designed so they're safe and inviting for everyone to cycle.

Please join us at Park Lane from 11am (for midday start) to show all politicians that Londoners demand safe cycling provision across the city.