TfL gives incomplete statement to London Assembly on death of cyclist at Olympic Park

LCC has written to Transport for London Commissioner Peter Hendy asking him to clarify comments made to the London Assembly Transport Committee about the cyclist who was killed in a collision near the Olympic Park.

The road layout and signage in place at the time of the fatality encouraged cycling at the location where Dan Harris died.

Read the letter

In fact, changes were made to the road layout at Lea Interchange (see photos below) shortly before the fatal collision, with markings that should have directed cyclists on to a shared-use pavement area being removed.

Our letter to TfL says: "In the absence of signage or road markings any knowledgeable and responsible cyclist would have assumed cycling on the pavement was illegal at this point, and that the intention was that cyclists should share the nearside Games lane with other traffic."

Additional signage to clarify the situation was only added after the fatal collision.

Daniel Harris died after being hit by a left-turning Games bus on 1 August 2012.

LCC commented in the aftermath of the crash that a lack of safe cycling routes is the most significant factor in most London cyclist fatalities.

How the road markings changed

Before the Games An arrow and bicycle symbol clearly advise cycling on the shared use pavement to the left of the road

During the Games At the time of the fatal crash, the markings had already been removed as part of the changes to create the Olympic Route Network 


  • By otonal at 10:23pm 14 September 2012

What is worse is that a spokesman on Radio 4 claimed that the cyclist was in a designated Olympic Lane and implied that the bus driver therefore had no duty of care to other road users. If in doubt blame the victim, the spirit of Hillsborough lives on.


This post was edited by otonal at 12:03am 15 September 2012.

Talking of coverups, has TFL or London assembley made any comment on the ban on any cyclist travelling North of the River and the 182 cyclist kettled, arrested and possibly assulted by the police on the evening of the Olympic opening ceremony?

  • By whatter at 9:11am 15 September 2012

Reading coverage of the Hillsborough report this week, and remembering 80s as a football supporter, it struck me how similarly I feel as a cyclist now to how I felt as a football supporter then.

We were expected to put up with poor facilities, instituional incompetence and policy thuggery - and be blamed when anything adverse happened. No wonder it feels so similar. And it felt as though the voices we had as fans had little influence which, let's be honest, is also true of cyclists now compared to the road lobby.

It has taken 23 years to get truth about Hillsborough. Is there any chance of getting proper cycling facilities in the same timescale?

  • By gcwf at 8:19am 17 September 2012

I cycle that route every day.  The pavement has always been dual-use, but is very rarely used by cyclists because it is so much slower, and requires negotiating several junctions.  During the Olympics, I didn't see any cyclists on the pavement - everyone, myself included, used the road.  This was accepted by the Olympic volunteers - who were fantastic.  Cyclists were waived through along the short sections that were Olympic Lanes.  It made for a much quicker, and overall safer journey.  I for one really appreciated their pragmatism.  It's dispicable for them now to imply that by taking the reasonable decision to use the roads, you can't complain if you're run down. 

  • By Austen at 6:06am 18 September 2012

Update - Darren Johnson has picked this up, and yesterday (17 September) issued the following press release:

News Release  
Darren Johnson
London Assembly Green Party Member

Press Office: 020 7983 4424, 07967 205 330 Darren: 07887 737 276

17th September 2012

Questions over cyclist death outside Olympic Park

Darren Johnson has expressed his concern about the claim made by the London Cycling Campaign that TfL chief Peter Hendy, gave a misleading statement to the London Assembly’s Transport Committee about the death of a cyclist (Dan Harris) on 1st August outside the Olympic Park.

Darren Johnson said:

"I would be very concerned to find that the head of Transport for London, Peter Hendy did not respond entirely accurately to my question about the death of a cyclist right outside the Olympic Park. Transport for London did a great job with organising the transport system during the Olympics, except for their diversionary routes for cyclists around the Olympic site. There was not enough care and attention given to the problems experienced by cyclists when the canal tow path was closed and Londoners were forced to cycle through a series of dangerous junctions. There are serious questions which the Mayor has to answer about the safety of the temporary measures which were put in place at the time of the Olympics."


The following questions have been submitted to the Mayor for written answer

Cyclist death at Junction of Ruckholt Road and Eastway (1)
Darren Johnson
Can you outline the temporary changes made to the junction of Ruckholt Road and Eastway where a 28 year cyclist died under the wheels of an Olympic coach? Who was responsible for agreeing these changes?

Cyclist death at Junction of Ruckholt Road and Eastway (2)
Darren Johnson
Can you provide a copy of the safety audit which was carried out in advance of these changes to the junction? Did the safety audit or any other Transport for London report comment upon the 'safety' of temporarily removing advanced stop lines at this junction?

Cyclist death at Junction of Ruckholt Road and Eastway (3)
Darren Johnson
Do you feel that the additional signage measures which were put in place at the junction of Ruckholt Road and Eastway after the death of the cyclist there, should have been in place before the collision?

Cyclist death at Junction of Ruckholt Road and Eastway (4)
Darren Johnson
Did you ensure that bus drivers for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, were given the same training in cycle safety as regular drivers on the London bus fleet?

Cyclist death at Junction of Ruckholt Road and Eastway (5)
Darren Johnson
Was this junction on one of the routes which Transport for London advised cyclists to use to get to and from one of the Olympic Park cycle parking sites, due to the canal path closure?

Cyclist death at Junction of Ruckholt Road and Eastway (6)
Darren Johnson
Will you now change the layout of this junction to abandon the motorway-style layout which includes a 40mph speed limit onto a high-speed slip road?

I hope Darren has more luck I sent an email to the Mayors office on the 29th July about cycling measures put in place during the Olymics and got the reply:


    Subject: London Cycling

Thank you for your interest in the work of the Mayor and the Greater London Authority, with the London 2012 Games fast approaching, now is an extremely busy time at City Hall.


Staff at the Greater London Authority will be involved in preparations in the run-up to, and during the period of, the Olympic and Paralympic Games starting in July and running through to September.


Given these constraints, and the large number of contacts we receive please bear with us. We would ask for your support and understanding during this period to help us in delivering a successful Games for London.


We will aim to prioritise and respond to urgent enquiries, complaints and requests for information during this time, but it may not be possible for us to respond within our usual 20 working day service standard.


If you require information on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games then please refer to the following on our website at: : London Olympic and Paralympic Games contacts information


Yours truly


Public Liaison Unit



I have still not had a reply from the Mayors Office!


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