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Incident this am 24/09 Southampton Row / Theobalds Rd

el_presidenteel_presidente Posts: 1,963
edited September 2008 in Commuting chat
Here we go again... Articulated lorry turning left, screens up, emergency services standing around looking grim

Didn't see an actual bike or casualty but it didn't look good.

thoughts with all involved :(

Be careful out there people.
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  • Apparently it was a cyclist, fingers crossed they are OK!!
  • squiredsquired Posts: 1,216
    My mate texted me about that this morning as he went past before the emergency services had arrived. His description was that it was awful and he described the cyclist as being in two parts, with blood everywhere. I really hope he was being over dramatic and it is nowhere near that bad, but my mate was pretty shaken from what he'd seen. I actually ended up coming in on the train as he was desperate for me not to cycle today.
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    Sad news.

    Kings Road this morning saw more than its usual share of lorries. It was scary how many cyclists chose to squeeze down the nearside gap at traffic lights and queues. Madness.
  • anyone heard anymore? ... sounds dreadful - hope all involved are ok
  • Gussio wrote:
    Sad news.

    . It was scary how many cyclists chose to squeeze down the nearside gap at traffic lights and queues.

    I saw 2 policemen doing this last week, I really wanted to pull them up on it. Scary stuff indeed.
  • Not again.

    Not another person cleaned off the road with disenfectant.

    My thoughts are with the person's family and friends.

    But also, get angry and do something about this.

    Chase up those emails we sent to Boris & others last week. If you did not send an email or letter - do so today.

    Set a reminder to chase it up. Don't let it go!

    I am putting a freedom of info request into Dept of Transport to get figures on cycling deaths / serious injuries & vehicles involved for London, in order to back up arguments.

    We need to come up with some serious suggestions as to what can be done.

    As more people start to cycle this problem could get worse. Deaths caused by HGVs are already increasing as a percentage of overall cycling deaths and (I think) two thirds of them are in London.

    What benefit would there be in the cycle to work scheme requiring a safety course to be undertaken - rather like the theory part of the driving test, a hazard awareness test?

    I am not putting the blame on the cyclists - just looking for a holistic approach to addressing this issue.

    Other ideas are:

    To change road layouts
    Change light phases at junctions to account for cycles.
    Restrict heavy vehicles in central london to non-rush hour journeys
  • This might sound stupid but how about training newbie cyclists how to ride in traffic. compared to the cost of putting in a proper cycling infrastructure in London the cost of running a few simple training courses is minimal.The hard part is of course convincing newbie cyclists that it is actually sodding dangerous out there.
    The gear changing, helmet wearing fule.
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  • Not again. Not another person cleaned off the road with disenfectant. My thoughts are with the person's family and friends. But also, get angry and do something about this. Chase up those emails we sent to Boris & others last week. If you did not send an email or letter - do so today. Set a reminder to chase it up. Don't let it go! I am putting a freedom of info request into Dept of Transport to get figures on cycling deaths / serious injuries & vehicles involved for London, in order to back up arguments. We need to come up with some serious suggestions as to what can be done. As more people start to cycle this problem could get worse. Deaths caused by HGVs ar already increasing as a percentage of overall cycling deaths and (I think) two thirds of them are in London. What benefit would there be in the cycle to work scheme requiring a safety course to be undertaken - rather like the theory part of the driving test, a hazard awareness test? I am not putting the blame on the cyclists - just looking for a hoistic approach to addressing this issue. Other ideas are: To change road layouts Change light phases at junctions to account for cycles. Restrict heavy vehicles in central london to non-rush hour journeys

    Could not agree more with all this.

    One of the major problems as I see it is the lack of education - this is twofold:

    1: HGV drivers in London need to be more aware of cyclists. They need to be aware that many commuter cyclists in London are a tad on the numpty side and will do silly things like filtering on the inside (please note I am making no assumptions about today’s accident). IMHO they should be banned from London in rush hour.

    2: Those new to cycling need to be educated about cycling safety. There is far too much emphasis on helmets and high viz and not enough on road craft. I see people clad head to toe in hi-viz, helmeted and lit up like Christmas, RLJ, filtering badly and generally riding dangerously everyday. Case in point – the idiot at Borough last night who jumped straight across me, a bus and a WVM as our lights went green, seemingly unaware of how close he came to being flattened he then proceeded to jump 2 more red lights before we went our separate ways. He was so hi viz you could probably see him from space.

    No amount of high viz or helmet will protect you from a left turning lorry. To my mind it's not "be safe be seen" it's "ride safe be safe.

    So what can be done? Well better advertising from the GLA/TFL.
    Bike shops educating new customers about the availability of free cycle classes etc.
    More consultation between planners and cyclists.
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  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    boybiker wrote:
    This might sound stupid but how about training newbie cyclists how to ride in traffic. compared to the cost of putting in a proper cycling infrastructure in London the cost of running a few simple training courses is minimal.The hard part is of course convincing newbie cyclists that it is actually sodding dangerous out there.

    Doesn't sound stupid to me! The logistics might be tricky, though, and making it obligatory isn't feasible (and making people have to pay for it would put off 99%). Not sure it's hard to convince people it's dangerous - the majority of the people I talk to about my commute think I've either brave or foolhardy for even attempting such a thing. If anything we need to convince them it can be (relatively) safe with good roadcraft.
  • squiredsquired Posts: 1,216
    I'd definitely describe myself as an experienced cyclist these days (cycling into London for over 10 years) and although I'd probably say at first thought that my riding style hasn't changed much I think on reflection that I've certainly become a more defensive cyclist and my anticipation of potential issues is far better. The real problem for many cyclists is that they don't know what defensive cycling is, zipping all over the place and cutting into spaces that really shouldn't even be contemplated as an option. Having said that, if a vehicle overtakes you and immediately turns left (obviously we don't know what happened in this accident), you don't stand a chance.

    While cyclists need to be taught to be more careful when riding on the inside of vehicles, all motorists need to be made aware of the fact that overtaking a cyclist mere metres before a left turn that you intend to make is not just dangerous, but can cost that cyclist his/her life.
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Most lorry drivers are good drivers in my experience, and although I can see why banning them from London during rush hour would be a plus, I'm not entirely sure it's fair. Banning them because cyclists do idiotic things is definitely not fair.

    By far the most important issue we face is the fact that cyclists often ride badly and as Jash says, educating them is the way forward. Making it absolutely clear that they have to obey the rules of the road should be the highest priority. Perhaps an obligatory buyers information leaflet - detailing potential punishments and risks incurrred due to lawbreaking - with every new bike?

    I had an idea the other day - to stand by dangerous junctions and photograph/film RLJers and send the evidence to the council/police. Good/bad idea?
  • I like the ideas ..... maybe a practical way would be to provide information (pamphlet - ok it may end up in the bin unread) on 'safe commuting' whenever someone buys a bike and include information for anyone learning to drive or when experienced drivers renew their licence (does this happen - sorry not long over here!) or MOT (??).

    The key is to make people aware and hopefully this might change behaviours and make the roads safer for everyone.

    I agree that conscripting people into learning isn't going to work, nor is charging them for the privilage of learning some lifesaving advice - shame but reality.
  • I think Biondino and Jashburnham are absolutely correct, classes for people, maybe advertised as available on the bike to work/cyclescheme/whatever programs would help people to learn how to ride defensively.

    When I lived briefly (7 months) in Canberra (australia), there were a LOT of cycle commuters and was barely any infrastructure for them.

    They had a scheme called 'cyclepool' where an experienced commuter would set off early and 'collect' less experienced ones and accompany them into town showing them what to do and sneaky shortcuts etc. until they were comfortable enough to go it alone. All voluntary, but after going through it (I did) you really felt happy to help others on it.

    I thought this was a really good idea.

    Also, there are more and more of those 'think! bike!' signs for motorbikes cropping up in Essex, how about some 'think! cyclist!' type ones in London?
  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    edited September 2008
    boybiker wrote:
    This might sound stupid but how about training newbie cyclists how to ride in traffic. compared to the cost of putting in a proper cycling infrastructure in London the cost of running a few simple training courses is minimal.The hard part is of course convincing newbie cyclists that it is actually sodding dangerous out there.

    A lot of cyclists don't know how to ride in traffic but a much larger of motorists don't know how to drive safely. It's not only cyclists that get killed; if all cyclists were perfect it would save about 40 lives a year out of the 3000 road deaths. Motorists; particularly lorry drivers, need to learn how to use their vehicles without killing pedestrians, cyclists, themselves, eachother and their passengers and the laws that exist to protect us all from dangerous drivers should be enforced.
    As far as cycling infrastructure is concerned that's a complete non-starter, it would serve only to make junctions more complicated and so add to the danger; as indeed it does where it has been put in.
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  • Biodino ..... I like your thinking .... I'm just over here from Australia and my experience back there is that (ok, sweeping stereotypical statement) is that some people will only respond by using the 'stick' approach and not the 'carrot' - ie if they do the wrong thing/break the law, they get a fine and it hits them in the hip pocket. In the place I was from, every month or so the police would do a blitz at certain well known trouble spots and if a cyclist or pedestrian or motorist broke a law - (eg, RLJ, not having lights after dark or not wearing a helmut, driving in a cycle lane) they would be pulled over and warned or booked.

    Ok, it is rather draconian/police state and probably a waste of police resources - and the laws may not be correct ....... but is makes people think and hopefully changes behaviour
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,122
    Without wanting to be wilfully controversial, any classes to genuinely promote cycling safely in London would have to encourage red light jumping where appropriate and therefore aren't likely to be proposed by the government in a hurry. I feel far more exposed when I wait patiently in line behind buses / HGV's, than when I (safely) make my way to the front of the queue, and set off when it is safe to proceed (and not when the traffic lights tell me) which often allows me to beat the traffic and negotiate junctions in relative peace. Likewise mounting pavements, whilst not something I would ever do if it got in the way of pedestrians, is a valuable means of getting out of the way of larger road users.

    I do think a lot of the comments on these forums are a bit on the sanctimonious side when it comes to strict compliance with the road traffic laws - they don't really support safe cycling in my opinion, and any attempt to indoctrinate cyclists with a set of rules designed for cars is a bad idea. Roadcraft specifically for cyclists should be encouraged, but I honestly think a bit of bending of the law is essential in London traffic.
  • MatHammond wrote:
    Without wanting to be wilfully controversial, any classes to genuinely promote cycling safely in London would have to encourage red light jumping where appropriate and therefore aren't likely to be proposed by the government in a hurry. I feel far more exposed when I wait patiently in line behind buses / HGV's, than when I (safely) make my way to the front of the queue, and set off when it is safe to proceed (and not when the traffic lights tell me) which often allows me to beat the traffic and negotiate junctions in relative peace. Likewise mounting pavements, whilst not something I would ever do if it got in the way of pedestrians, is a valuable means of getting out of the way of larger road users.

    I do think a lot of the comments on these forums are a bit on the sanctimonious side when it comes to strict compliance with the road traffic laws - they don't really support safe cycling in my opinion, and any attempt to indoctrinate cyclists with a set of rules designed for cars is a bad idea. Roadcraft specifically for cyclists should be encouraged, but I honestly think a bit of bending of the law is essential in London traffic.

    Uh-oh....

    *covers head and legs it*
  • LittigatorLittigator Posts: 1,262
    MatHammond wrote:
    Without wanting to be wilfully controversial, any classes to genuinely promote cycling safely in London would have to encourage red light jumping where appropriate and therefore aren't likely to be proposed by the government in a hurry. I feel far more exposed when I wait patiently in line behind buses / HGV's, than when I (safely) make my way to the front of the queue, and set off when it is safe to proceed (and not when the traffic lights tell me) which often allows me to beat the traffic and negotiate junctions in relative peace. Likewise mounting pavements, whilst not something I would ever do if it got in the way of pedestrians, is a valuable means of getting out of the way of larger road users.

    I do think a lot of the comments on these forums are a bit on the sanctimonious side when it comes to strict compliance with the road traffic laws - they don't really support safe cycling in my opinion, and any attempt to indoctrinate cyclists with a set of rules designed for cars is a bad idea. Roadcraft specifically for cyclists should be encouraged, but I honestly think a bit of bending of the law is essential in London traffic.

    Uh-oh....

    *covers head and legs it*

    OH FFS! Boy did you pick a bad day to get me started on this one! So your safety is paramount, well yes that makes sense well done have a gold star. Kind of the same attitude most 4WD drivers use to justify why the have one.

    What about the pedestrians safety when you mount the pavement? What about the drivers who get increasingly angry with cyclists breaking the laws they are supposed to obey eh and then go and perform stupid manouvres because they've got wound up?

    The CTC offers a very good cycling proficiency scheme which does not condone the activities you are proposing but it does accept that rigid adherence to rules is not always the approach. Perhaps you should try it MatHammond, it sounds like you need a lesson or two!
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  • MatHammond wrote:
    Without wanting to be wilfully controversial, any classes to genuinely promote cycling safely in London would have to encourage red light jumping where appropriate and therefore aren't likely to be proposed by the government in a hurry. I feel far more exposed when I wait patiently in line behind buses / HGV's, than when I (safely) make my way to the front of the queue, and set off when it is safe to proceed (and not when the traffic lights tell me) which often allows me to beat the traffic and negotiate junctions in relative peace. Likewise mounting pavements, whilst not something I would ever do if it got in the way of pedestrians, is a valuable means of getting out of the way of larger road users.

    I do think a lot of the comments on these forums are a bit on the sanctimonious side when it comes to strict compliance with the road traffic laws - they don't really support safe cycling in my opinion, and any attempt to indoctrinate cyclists with a set of rules designed for cars is a bad idea. Roadcraft specifically for cyclists should be encouraged, but I honestly think a bit of bending of the law is essential in London traffic.

    Sign this man up for the first course!

    Nothing wrong with being sanctimonious when you are right.
  • Having cycled to Paris recently I noticed that HGVs in France give cyclists more space than those in the UK. I also noticed very few cyclists going down the inside at traffic lights to get past stationary queues.

    While cyclists continue to undertake people they will continue to get crushed. Likewise, while traffic does not give bikes room, cyclists will continue to get crushed. You can't control the traffic, but you can control where you position yourself on the road.
  • The problem with a course approach is that a lot of the worst riders will probably be the ones who think they know best, think they ride safely etc. People are also selfish about committing time to things that they think they know how to do already (ride a bike).

    If you make it compulsory, you put a lot of people off cycling and risk numbers declining - I do think that as cyclist numbers increase, they reach a critical mass on the roads which improves safety for all. Some recent research seems to back this up...

    http://www.bikeradar.com/commuting/news/article/-safety-in-numbers-18548

    I like the leaflet idea suggested by someone (biondino?) is a good one - make it short (don't try and make it an entire course, just highlight 2-3 key danger areas, such as undertaking on left turns) and hard-hitting. People distributing these at traffic lights and other flashpoint areas is also important so that those digging out old bikes/ already committing ridiculous traffic crimes aren't missed out from the education process.

    It's madness when even police riders are committing these basic errors.
  • MatHammond wrote:
    Without wanting to be wilfully controversial, any classes to genuinely promote cycling safely in London would have to encourage red light jumping where appropriate and therefore aren't likely to be proposed by the government in a hurry. I feel far more exposed when I wait patiently in line behind buses / HGV's, than when I (safely) make my way to the front of the queue, and set off when it is safe to proceed (and not when the traffic lights tell me) which often allows me to beat the traffic and negotiate junctions in relative peace. Likewise mounting pavements, whilst not something I would ever do if it got in the way of pedestrians, is a valuable means of getting out of the way of larger road users.

    I do think a lot of the comments on these forums are a bit on the sanctimonious side when it comes to strict compliance with the road traffic laws - they don't really support safe cycling in my opinion, and any attempt to indoctrinate cyclists with a set of rules designed for cars is a bad idea. Roadcraft specifically for cyclists should be encouraged, but I honestly think a bit of bending of the law is essential in London traffic.

    Arghhhh. MUST NOT GET SUCKED IN....

    Dammit

    Read this mate: http://www.amazon.co.uk/City-Cycling-Richard-Ballantine/dp/1905005601/ref=pd_sim_b_1

    Or this:


    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cyclecraft-Complete-Enjoyable-Cycling-Children/dp/0117037400/ref=pd_sim_b_1

    Remember - you are traffic and have no need to "get out of the way." Assert your rights and don't pander to ignorance.
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  • mooniomoonio Posts: 802
    Jesus, I work on Grays Inn Road, and have only just got back on my bike after the recent accidents around Blackfriars...

    Why are there so many lorries on the roads!!!
  • CorianderCoriander Posts: 1,326
    I agree totally with the educating cyclists suggestions made by several of you.

    Too many cyclists seem to think they can behave with impunity and that any accident will not be considered their fault. Highlighting the fines and punishments for breaking the law is pointless because unless there is a police officer at each and every junction, roundabout, etc ,then, with no means of identifying cyclists, how are they going to retrospectively dole out these punishments and fines?

    Another problem is that many cyclists are young and feel immortal and this, combined with the perception that their riding endangers only themselves and nobody else (regardless of the resulting trauma to an innocent driver who was driving well and legally) means that again there is on incentive to modify their riding.

    So, the only way would seem to be a cycle craft scheme of some sort. But how?

    I am also increasingly against cycle lanes, unless they are of a decent size and the entry and exits to them are logical and safe. I think a cycle lane subconciously tells drivers they don't need to look out for cyclists and it also perpertuates the idea that many drivers seem to have that we are not a legitmate vehicle and have no right to share road space with them.

    So, I think educating car drivers - maybe incorporating questions about cyclists in the driving test - and giving all drivers of large vehicles a short refresher course on cyclists, blind spots, etc may also be necessary.

    And finally, and I know this is a big ask, if the police could spare the time and resources to have a word with drivers if cyclists report them that woudl at least help us feel someone was on our side and might make drivers think a bit if they knew the details of an incident involving them were noted and retained.

    Having seen the cycling prompted by the cyclist-is-never-at-fault laws in Belgium and the Netherlands, I would not advocate similar legislation here. The point is that cyclists are equal, not special, vehicles.
  • I like the idea of the pamphlets myself - the clear diagrams in the Highway code would quickly and clearly demonstrate what you should and should not do in traffic.

    Clear, simple and quick.
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  • CorianderCoriander Posts: 1,326
    MatHammond wrote:
    Without wanting to be wilfully controversial, any classes to genuinely promote cycling safely in London would have to encourage red light jumping where appropriate and therefore aren't likely to be proposed by the government in a hurry. I feel far more exposed when I wait patiently in line behind buses / HGV's, than when I (safely) make my way to the front of the queue, and set off when it is safe to proceed (and not when the traffic lights tell me) which often allows me to beat the traffic and negotiate junctions in relative peace. Likewise mounting pavements, whilst not something I would ever do if it got in the way of pedestrians, is a valuable means of getting out of the way of larger road users.

    I do think a lot of the comments on these forums are a bit on the sanctimonious side when it comes to strict compliance with the road traffic laws - they don't really support safe cycling in my opinion, and any attempt to indoctrinate cyclists with a set of rules designed for cars is a bad idea. Roadcraft specifically for cyclists should be encouraged, but I honestly think a bit of bending of the law is essential in London traffic.

    You are just wrong.
  • mooniomoonio Posts: 802
    Has anyone received replies from the Mayors office following the incident on Upper Thames Street?
  • snookssnooks Posts: 1,521
    May be getting some sort of sponsorship for a leaflet and getting them out there through cycle shops? Evans, Bikehut must have a pot of cash...how much would 100,000 flyers cost? Naff all

    OR (brain has finally started working today) get onto the Freewheel peeps and see if they can use their mailing list to spread the word as well as wiggle, chain reactions et al....No cost to produce or distribute

    So what should this leaflet say??....actually I'm going to start a new thread.....
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  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    moonio wrote:
    Has anyone received replies from the Mayors office following the incident on Upper Thames Street?

    No.

    However, I did not expect one by now. I think it requires more than emails or letters now though. Greater exposure is needed.

    This question may already have been asked, but does anyone have any friends at the Standard who would be willing to write a feature on road safety?
    FCN 2-4.

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    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Jump red lights - the cyclist maybe aware of what they are doing - the other road users (including pedestrians) can't read minds, so have to react to someone doing something which is against the norms ... ie red means stop. Is it really worth saving that extra 20 - 30 seconds...?
This discussion has been closed.