Fourth cyclist of 2015 killed in crash with lorry at Victoria

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Photo: Evening Standard

A woman in her 30s has died following a collision with a lorry on Victoria Street next to Victoria Palace Theatre. She is the fourth cyclist to have been killed in London this year.

From the information available we understand that the crash happened as the lorry turned left out of Bressenden Place, part of inner ring road gyratory, onto Victoria Street.

 

Local cyclists know this as an incredibly busy and dangerous section of narrow road, enclosed by building works on both sides. Dr Katharine Giles was killed approximately 100 yards away by a tipper truck on 8 April 2013.

Tipper trucks have been involved in three out of the four cycling fatalities in London in 2015 so far. On 20 January 2015, 29-year-old Stephanie Turner was killed by a 32 ton tipper lorry at the junction of Amhurst Park and Seven Sisters Rd in Stamford Hill. On 2 February, Akis Kollaros was killed by a tipper lorry on Homerton High Street. On 6 February, Federica Baldassa was killed by a Greggs delivery truck at the junction of Vernon Place and Bloomsbury Square. 

Some of these lorries would have to be upgraded when the Safer Lorry Scheme is introduced in September, though some already have the safety mirrors and side guards that the scheme will require. In the case of those which do not, we do not yet know if these additional features would have made a difference. That detail will most likely not become public until there is a court case or coroner's inquest into the deaths.

The combination of poorly designed lorries, which restrict driver vision, and unprotected junctions which encourage rapid turns, create unacceptable danger for London's cyclists and pedestrians. At the site of the latest fatality, the narrowed lane and closed off pavement as a result of the building works exacerbates danger to cyclists. LCC has consistently called for better cab design suitable for use in urban areas, with a driver in a low cab with direct vision all around. In 2013 we issued a challenge to the construction industry to adopt our Safer Urban Lorry concept design. We are also calling for the urgent redesign of our streets and junctions to provide safe and direct passage for cyclists and pedestrians. Well over 70% of serious injury or fatal collisions happen at major road junctions in the capital each year, often as a result of motor traffic turning left turning across a cyclist’s path. These junctions can and must be improved to minimise the danger from turning vehicles and provide safe space for cycling.

The tipper truck involved in today's fatality is believed to be a Gordon Plant Hire tipper truck working on the £15 billion Crossrail project. The Gordon Group fleet have supplied lorries for Exchanging Places events. A Gordon Group lorry was also involved in the collision which killed Brian Holt at Bow roundabout on 5 November 2013. That case will be heard in Snaresbrook Crown Court today and on Monday.

Stop Killing Cyclists will be holding a vigil for the young woman killed today on Monday 2 March at Victoria Street in Westminster: http://stopkillingcyclists.org/direct-actions/vigil-and-die-in-victoria-street-westminster/