Three lorry crashes within 24 hours in Greater London: one fatality and two very serious injuries

The cyclist killed on Wednesday in a collision with a Mercedes lorry on the A205 South Circular in West Dulwich has been named as Chiara Giacomini, aged 30. 

The crash took place near the junction of Thurlow Park Road and Gallery Road, on a curved section of main road with narrow non-mandatory cycle lanes offering no protection to cyclists.

According to the Evening Standard, Ms Giacomini had worked for the Tate for eight years.

A Tate spokesperson said, "She was a vibrant presence in so many people’s lives, full of imagination, flair and energy. Stylish, intelligent and colourful, with a deeply held passion for art, Chiara affected everyone she met."

The evening prior to this fatal collision, there were two other serious lorry crashes on main roads.

In the first, a pedestrian on Great Eastern Street suffered serious injuries after being run over by a lorry; while in the second, a cyclist on Tower Bridge Road also suffered possibly life-changing injuries. 

The three crashes took place just hours before Mayor Boris Johnson announced measures to reduce the danger from lorries on London’s streets, including a proposal to introduce a ‘Safer Lorries charge’ zone. 

All the crashes took place on the Transport for London main road network, in locations known to be hostile to cycling and walking.

On Monday, 5000 Londoners on bicycles encircled Parliament during the LCC-organised Space for Cycling protest ride calling for dedicated space to make cycling safe.

Yesterday's cycling fatality was the seventh in Greater London this year, and the fifth involving a lorry.

Replies

  • By SimonS at 8:09am 5 September 2013
RIP to the poor woman and wishing speedy recovery to those injured. Enough HGV carnage. Things have to change and FAST! If HGVs cannot move safely around our city, then we will have to learn to live without them in our city.

And how does the Freight Transport Association respond to this, and Boris Johnson's announcement concerning new HGV safety equipment regulations?

"We need to see cyclists taking responsibility for their actions, obeying traffic regulations, giving space to HGVs making manoeuvres and generally riding responsibly. Unless you also improve the behaviour of cyclists, the problem will not improve in the way that everyone wants."

"FTA now calls on government and cycling groups to work together in order to ensure that current and future cyclists obey the rules and share the road co-operatively and responsibly."

"If London is to be declared a safe cycling zone, then tougher standards for cyclists’ behaviour should be introduced."

I try to avoid quoting trolls, but in this case the words are a damning indictment of haulage industry bosses. Note that I refer to industry bosses, and not HGV drivers as a whole. Also worth noting is that the Freight Transport Association represents half of HGV operators.

Some HGV drivers are cyclists in their spare time, and during working hours drive safely and with due consideration for vulnerable road users, cyclists and pedestrians among them. Such people are not well represented by the Freight Transport Association.

Absolutely shocking but sadly totally predictable.  What is the LCC doing to get it's message out to groups like the FTA and the ABD?  Achieving proper space for cycling will be politically impossible without a major attitude change from these kind of groups.

This is devestating news in a week that started off with such a positive event.

In yesterday's article in the Times, Boris stated that lorries are only 4% of the traffic on London's roads. Is this accurate? It certainly feels like there a lot more - and certainly on 2 of the 3 accident sites (Great Eastern Street & Tower Bridge Road) there seem to be a lot more lorries than 4% of the traffic... 

  • By Noemi at 5:48pm 6 September 2013

Go Dutch should mean an HGV free inner city. The real difference between cycling on the continent and cycling in London is that in cycle and pedestrian friendly places like Holland you would NEVER EVER encounter such HGVs, HGVs which are responsible for most of the cyclist deaths in London. This is the third fatality claimed by an HGV in London within two months.

I lived and cycled (with my kids!) in Berlin during the 90s. We lived in the vicinity of both Potsdamer Platz and Friedrich Strasse the largest construction sites in Europe at the time. Those sites were managed in such a way that it had no impact on our lives, we never encountered HGVs while cycling, and we cycled everywhere. All Construction traffic was managed by rail and water. And this in a city with wider and more easily accessible road infrastructure than London.

It is possible and only needs the political will. 

JUST IMAGINE WHAT CYCLING IN LONDON COULD LOOK LIKE MINUS THE HGVs.

If the LCC is serious about going Dutch this is what you should campaign for. Better logistics, better planning of constructions. Ensuring that planning consent is subject to traffic management which ensures that residents, pedestrians and cyclists are not endangered. 

We live in Hoxton behind Old Street Roundabout and are plighted by construction traffic. Kingsland Road in plastered with white bikes, City Road and Old Street have regularly seen serious accidents. I am aware of at least three fatalities within five minutes from my house. I don't allow my 18 year Old daughter to cycle (having cycled all my life) It is time to manage developments so that the Developers not the community bears the cost!

On an even more infuriating note. How about the police enforcing the law and making sure that drivers especially professional drivers are not using their mobile phones! I regularly witness HGV drivers on their phone driving down City Road, such an offence should result in suspending their license and making them unemployable! Rather than enforcing such laws which could save lives the local Police waste their time by catching and reprimanding local kids cycling on the wide Old Street promenade, it has the width of a four lane road. If you can't cycle there, where can you?

 

  • By Daggers at 6:16pm 6 September 2013

 

Please can I add to the above:  I also nearly got hit by a lorry going over Tower Bridge.  In this case the lorry was not at fault.  A tourist without looking stepped backwards over a chain that links some of metal barriers together to take a photo and for me it was either a case of hitting him or swerving.  The incident really shook me up and I avoided cycling for some days.  I now cycle well in from the barriers when going over Tower Bridge and would encourage others to do so.  From south to north there is an uneven ridge till you get to the midpoint on the bridge and that has also caused me to wobble in the past.  Has this been reported by anyone in any of the discussion forums ?

 

Like Daggers many other cyclists find crossing Tower Bridge intimdating. We have started a forum post to share ideas.  http://lcc.org.uk/discussions/crossing-tower-bridge

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