Sixteenth London cyclist fatality in 2011 at Bermondsey junction identified by locals as dangerous

This morning a cyclist was killed in a collision with an HGV at the junction of Tower Bridge Road and Abbey Street, a location identified as dangerous by local people.

Please support calls for safer junctions in London

In response to worries from residents and councillors in Bermondsey, Mayor Boris Johnson said in March 2011 that he intended commissioning a study into the safety of vulnerable road users at the junction.

Local residents have complained that the lack of pedestrian crossings puts people at serious risk whenever they cross this busy road.

Eight months later, there’s no indication this investigation has reported its results or even taken place.

The sad news of the sixteenth cyclist fatality in Greater London this year comes just a few days before a motion in the London Assembly will ask the Mayor Boris Johnson why safety recommendations for junctions are frequently ignored.

Today’s victim was a female cyclist, believed to be in her twenties, who died just after 10am this morning at a busy junction on a main road that has no cyclist or pedestrian facilities.

LCC’s chief executive Ashok Sinha said, “Whether it’s pedestrian or cyclist safety, the response from the authorities is the same: delay or ignore recommendations for safety improvements if they interrupt traffic flow.

“In the wake of the recent Bow fatalities, and in the face of the London Assembly motion next week, we’re calling on the Mayor to commit to a radical rethink of his road danger reduction policy.

“Streets should be designed in line with continental best-practice for cyclist and pedestrian safety, and with a zero-tolerance attitude to cyclists and pedestrians being killed or seriously injured.”

The motion to be debated in the London Assembly on Wednesday 7 December 2011 was proposed by Green mayoral candidate Jenny Jones and Labour deputy mayoral candidate Val Shawcross.

It asks Boris Johnson to reveal London’s most dangerous junctions and explain whether safety recommendations at those junctions have been ignored.

Please support calls for safer junctions in Greater London


This is really awful. Huge condolences to all who knew her... very very sad news.

I cycle this route every day and it's always been a horrible junction. The road surfaces are appalling, people always run red lights and often don't indicate. 

Boris needs to take action and ALL major junctions independently assessed for safety. He should consider how placemakers such as Jan Gehl (an architect who 'focuses on the relationship between the built environment and people’s quality of life') could help to change our infrastructure and make it safer for vulnerable road users and pedestrians. His work in Times Square and Queens, New York are excellent examples.

I desperately hope there aren't any more avoidable deaths this year...

Someone with the money and power please take action.

  • By adriharp at 11:45pm 2 December 2011

I cycle up Tower Bridge Road most days and was cycling this route this morning at 11.00a.m., so was diverted to London Bridge. I had a horrible feeling at the time it was another cyclist accident.

Both the junction with Abbey Street and with Druid Street are poor for cyclists. Bizarre, as there is a "Boris Bike" stand on Tower Bridge Road between these two junctions. Abbey Street in particular is very poor, its a bottleneck and there should be clear cycle lanes on both sides of the junction on Tower Bridge Road.

Very depressing.

Such bad news especially when TfL could be doing something about this. I have used that junction and know how bad it is. Last time I used it I was driven off the road by an HGV just acting as a bully with other cars and obviously a cyclist gets caught in the crossfire.

  • By Amoeba at 2:06pm 3 December 2011


Dreadfully sad news.

We must press Boris / TfL for an urgent commitment to a timetable. Delay has already meant further deaths and injuries. Additional delay in the light of established proven danger cannot be acceptable. Any further delay must mean TfL and that includes Boris to be prosecuted for Corporate manslaughter

How many more must die before Boris / TfL take aprropriate action?

Perhaps a campaign for action?


This post was edited by Amoeba at 2:11pm 3 December 2011.

Isn't it time that the LCC initiate proceedings for corporate manslaughter against TfL? If the CPS and HSE don't act, surely we need to take the initiative.

  • By d_c at 8:53pm 3 December 2011

I commented about this on another item but it seems equally appropriate to bring it up here.

There was an item in The Guardian newspaper about a week ago (25.11.11) concerning a prosecution that the Office of the Rail regulator are launching against Network Rail with regard to failings in respect of a station footpath crossing at Elsenham.

The prosecutions were being launched under both The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and the reasons given for undertaking the prosecutions were that Network Rail failed to carry out proper assessments of the risks to the safety of people using the crossing or to have in place adequate arrangements to underpin assessments that were carried out.

Surely at least one if not both of the reasons given for a prosecution being launched against Network Rail would also give grounds for prosecutions to be launched against TfL for the deaths at Abbey Street, King's Cross and Bow Roundabout if not many others, to wit that they:

- failed to carry out proper assessments of the risks to the safety of people

- failed to have in place adequate arrangements to underpin assessments that were carried out

Is there an equivalent body for Tfl, of the ORR for Network Rail, who could be pressured to investigate the possibility of launching a similar prosecution?

Danny Williams' Cyclist in the City Blog has a good perspective on these issues.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Transport for London letter last week rejects safer Blackfriars scheme, claims killer roundabout at Bow is not a risk for cycling & walking. Mayor now completely out of step with most other cities?

Yesterday, another woman was killed by an HGV driver while cycling her bike. At another junction identified as dangerous for cycling. The same day another serious injury occurred in the same street. And, as I understand it, a woman journalist who works for The Times is still fighting for her own life, weeks after she was knocked from her bike by an HGV driver. If this goes on, the Mayor will have presided over a doubling of the number of people killed cycling since 2010. Something has got to change.

  • By Cyklops at 3:17am 5 December 2011

My sincere sympathies.

Too much emphasis on BLAME and not enough education about wearing bright colours.

DULL red is not a bright colour. A vest is not enough.

My own statistical analysis reveals FE MALE cyclists not wearing BRIGHT COLOURS.

IRRESPONSIBLE helmet manufacturers should make helmets in either WHITE,

flourescent YELLOW or flourescent ORANGE.

Backpack Manufacturers to make backpacks BRIGHT.

COLOUR is the KEY.

BE SEEN by CAR Drivers that are changing CD's, looking at SAT NAVS, texting,

peering through rainy windscreens,

lighting cigarettes, talking to passengers, tuning the radio, eating.

Irresponsible TFL Cycling Campaign Posters featuring Cyclists wearing DARK colours,

have a look for yourself ?

Irresponsible leadership amongst cycling community !

I commute to work 5 days a week on my bike and I am sometimes dumbfounded by the stupidty of cyclists and the risks they take.  According to the LCC and the Evening Standard cyclists are always blameless when it comes to accidents?  Of the 16 deaths in 2011, I think 10 involved cyclists killed by left turning HGVs.  What were the cyclists in question even doing even putting themselves in this position?  I doubt they were overtaken by slow moving HGVs at the lights.  They chose to put themselves on the inside of the lorry at the lights, and they paid the price.  Unfortunately many a driver only indicates as they start their turning manoeuvre so cyclists should always assume the worst.  The philosphy of defensive driving should still apply to cyclists and we should always assume the worst and be prepared for the unexpected.  If in doubt, take up the whole of the lane as if you were a car.  Why doesn't the LCC start a useful campaign to make wearing headphones while cycling in London illegal?  How many of the cyclists killed last year were wearing headphones?  I cannot believe that so many cyclists choose to take away their second most important sense while travelling through the congested streets of London.  It beggars belief that they can be so stupid.  And while I am at it, a tiny flashing light on the back of your bike doesn't really make you visible to motorised traffic.  How many of the cyclists killed in 2011 actually drive in London as well?  Not many I would hazard a guess!

The LCC and the Evening Standard journalists should spend an hour at any major junction in London during rush hour and witness the risks that cyclists take every day.

I am of the opinion that majority of people who cycle to and from work do so because it is cheap, they get some exercise, but most of all because it is quick and they can beat the bus.  However, sometimes you cannot always get ahead of general traffic and you have just stand there in the traffic jam as if you were on a bus or in a car. Unfortunately the majority of cyclists won't do this.  The LCC and TfL should get together and start a campaign that cyclists sometimes have to be PATIENT. I am guilty of this myself sometimes, having to stop myself needlessly taking risks weaving through traffic just to save 30 seconds here and there.  During the dark winters cycling I have reduced my speeds while cycling home due to the lack of visibility but I still get passed by cyclists going ten to the dozen without it seems any thought for how difficult it is for drivers to see them.

I would like to see a campaign for cyclists similar to that of the one that shows what could have become of a teenager/child's life if they hadn't been run over by a speeding car.  We are not invisible and we are not kings of the road.  Just because you commute on a bike, it doesn't make you superior to everybody else on the road and the sooner cyclists learn this the better.

Here is hoping there are less deaths on London's roads in 2012.

I am a traffic engineer like you, but 24 years older...I cycle in London regularly-on a leisurely base, I have to admit. This gives me good chances to observe the cycling Londoners and the motoring crowds.

No, certainly they are not always blameless when it comes to accidents, but quite clearly the majority of cyclists involved in accidents with motorists are victims. I suppose this also applies to the 16 killed London cyclists, but I do not know, of course. You turn them into presumably guilty persons-without any proof. That is just unfair. "They paid the price" 'cos maybe all 10 left-turning HGV-drivers ignored the "right of Way" of 10 cyclists, riding straight ahead?? The price they paid is certainly much too high! You can't blame the cycling people for this appalling HGV-mirror-misery, right? The crashes probably did not happen while/and because the cyclists "chose to put themselves on the inside of the lorry (waiting) at the lights" -although this can be dangerous, indeed. They probably happened just during the "left-turning phase", if you see what I mean. The mirror-misery...("Sorry, I did not see him/her"...)

Defensive riding is ok, but applies to all road users incl. lorry-drivers, not only the vulnerable ones. Wearing headphones is illegal in my home country Germany - is it allowed in the UK?? Right, cyclists are no saints, few are stupid or reckless, some are thoughtless, some do not know the "Highway Code" well enough, but there are much more stupid motorists on London's roads (and too many motorists in general).

Sir Walter

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  • By Tomm at 9:13pm 17 March 2015

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