Lorry illegally in Advanced Stop Box blamed for London cyclist fatality

photo Danny McL-Flickr A lorry encroaching into a 'bike box' increases the risk of harm to a cyclist.

A cyclist killed in central London would still be alive if the lorry that hit her hadn't driven illegally into an advanced stop box, her partner told an inquest.

Maria Fernandez, 24, died in a collision with a left-turning bin lorry at Holborn Circus in June 2009.

Riccardo Rispoli, who was cycling with her at the time of the collision said, "The law needs to get tougher, so this doesn't happen again. Maria's death could have been prevented.

"The driver was in the cycle box so we couldn't get in front. Also with better mirrors and if lorries were not so loud these kind of deaths could be stopped."

The law only allows a motor vehicle to occupy an advanced stop box if it is forced to stop suddenly in the zone when traffic lights change.

An inquest at St Pancras coroner's court recorded a verdict of accidental death on the Argentinian student, who lived in Stepney Green.

The lorry driver was questioned by police but released without charge.

Previous cyclist fatalities involving lorries have been attributed to defective or missing mirrors.