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Old Street crash: woman cyclist critically ill

13:41 24 February 2011

Police survey the scene at Old Street roundabout where a cyclist was hit by a lorry.

Police survey the scene at Old Street roundabout where a cyclist was hit by a lorry.

Archant

A female cyclist has been seriously injured after being involved in a collision with a lorry at the Old Street roundabout in Shoreditch during rush hour this morning (February 24).

Police survey the scene at Old Street roundabout where a cyclist was hit by a lorry.

Paramedics treated the woman after the crash, which happened shortly before 7.45am.

She was taken to the Royal London Hospital suffering injuries to her head, chest and pelvis.

Two bicycles can be seen leaning on railings at the side of the road and two cycling helmets along with clothes and shoes are scattered on the tarmac on the east side of the roundabout.

A large ‘for hire’ construction truck is parked nearby.

Police officers have cordonned off surrounding roads as they investigate.

Old Street is closed and traffic is queuing westbound between the Great Eastern Street junction and Old Street roundabout. Congestion is also affecting City Road and the A11 from Braham Street to the Commercial Road.

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14 comments

  • I both drive and cycle commute in to the Old Street area on a daily basis and it was a sad sight this morning to see yet another cycle related incident. It would be so easy to assume that the lorry driver was to blame but being a cyclistdriver I see so many people putting themselves at risk through inexperience or lack of awareness that it cannot always be that way round. Yesterday, whilst stoped at the red light, I counted 27 bikes in the cycle box at the eastern entry to the roundabout and when the lights changed they moved off in all sorts of directions and different speeds. Even being a bike aware person, I found trying to drive within that a difficult proposition. Licensing and mandatory training for cyclists is a completely unworkable proposition so unless the big drive to get more cyclists onto the road is matched with a coherent and cost regardless road segregation scheme, incidents such as this will unfortunately keep on happening. Wishing a speedy recovery to the lady involved in this mornings accident. Let's hope something is now done about the need for safer cycle ways and that she is the last cyclist injured at this dangerous location.

    Report this comment

    Leffebelly

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

  • Guy - I got an email from the DTI recently, in response to one I penned to the Transport Minister, and they said that the side skirts, whilst handy in a lot of instances, had little effect for incidents such as this one seems to be, where lorries turn across the path of cyclists. Scott - I don't think jumping red lights is involved in man (any?) of these lorry incidents. In a lot of instances getting away before the traffic probably helps avoid them as so many of the deaths (over half I believe, so around 7 a year) are people getting caught up in lorries wheels at lunctions, either due to being in the front or side blind spots of them.

    Report this comment

    Josh

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

  • Josh you're probably correct but it infuriates me to see it, and I have seen incidents caused by running red lights. She looked to be traveling E to W and at that spot you can see what is coming from the N, but get the timing wrong when a large vehicle is coming and this happens. I also know a guy who was knocked off in exactly the same place, and it was a lorry swinging across from the wrong lane and not seeing the cyclist. I'm just calling for a people to be a little more sensible and not take risks for what will only be a matter of minutes.

    Report this comment

    Scott_911

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

  • I don't know why my comment has appeared so many times - I only posted it once. Honest!

    Report this comment

    Major Clement Gribble-Royds

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

  • London is actually one of the safest places in Britain to cycle. That's not to deny there are dangers, but you can mitigate these by understanding the risks properly. I strongly recommend reading Cyclecraft by John Franklin, which teaches sound principles of awareness and safety. The Old Street Roundabout is particularly challenging right now, and there are other places perhaps best avoided, but in the main London is a delightful place to ride, as the legions of Boris bikers show. Don't be scared away, understand, learn and carry on riding.

    Report this comment

    Guy Chapman

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

  • I don't know why my comment has appeared so many times - I only posted it once. Honest!

    Report this comment

    Major Clement Gribble-Royds

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

  • Potential cyclists shouldn't be put off cycling altogether, get a good cycle route map, and you can avoid these dangerous spots. There are cycle routes on roads all around Old Street that are much safer than using the roundabout. It's just a case of taking responsbility for your own safety and being well informed.

    Report this comment

    carefulwhereyoustand

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

  • It would be great if we could persuade everyone on the road not to take risks for the sake of extra seconds spent in the next traffic jam. It's not going to happen. In the incidents where cyclists are hit by lorries, it looks very much as if the cyclist is usually an innocent party. There's a proposal to the EU to fit cameras to lorries, but even that's probably not going to help where the lorry is turning across lanes in moving traffic. The victims seem very often to be women. I don't know why this is but suspect it is due to the fact that female cyclists are less assertive. Being see is often a matter of being where they are looking, which means far enough out to enter the main field of vision.

    Report this comment

    Guy Chapman

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

  • A lot of it is down to experience. On a bike yo are much more aware of what's going on around you, there are no A pillars to get in the way of your vision, and you get a lot of information from your ears as well. My cycle commute takes me from Paddington to Canary Wharf, there are a couple of points that require extra vigilance (Blackfriars underpass, the junction at Tower Hill) but most of it is just fine because in London you're generally moving at about the same speed as the motor traffic. Lorries are an especial problem. Being crushed by left-turning lorries is the leading single cause of cyclist death in London (a year's death toll is still only around a single day's death toll for road traffic collisions in general, but these things are relative). There are specific techniques one can learn, and also one very clear and unambiguous message: keep well clear of skip lorries and cement mixers, because they are usually on time incentives. They may not intend to drive worse as a result but these effects can be subconscious. Lorry drivers are the most highly trained drivers on the roads. They also have issues with visibility and manoeuvrability. The savvy cyclist knows about this and never places themselves alongside a moving good vehicle at any form of junction. Especially so-called "exempt" vehicles with no side skirts. If there's one thing Boris could do to hep here it would be to persuade the operators of exempt vehicles to fit side skirts anyway. I am sure this would reduce the numbers of severe crushing injuries such as were reportedly suffered by this poor cyclist. Most of the really bad incidents involve the cyclist being run over by the rear wheels of the truck, and I do think that may be preventable or at least reduced by that simple technical measure.

    Report this comment

    Guy Chapman

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

  • Fair comment, Guy. But, as you have said yourself, some places ARE best avoided. I get nervous DRIVING round some of London's roundabouts. The Elephant and Castle is a nightmare on four wheels, so I dread to think how cyclists must feel. As I said in my previous comment, if people are to be encouraged to cycle in London we MUST have proper cycle lanes, and not ones that suddenly come to a stop so that one finds oneself mixing it with the traffic once more. It's all very well for Boris to tell people to cycle on London roads but frankly, many are too scared. And quite rightly so, in my opinion.

    Report this comment

    Major Clement Gribble-Royds

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

  • Potential cyclists shouldn't be put off cycling altogether, get a good cycle route map, and you can avoid these dangerous spots. There are cycle routes on roads all around Old Street that are much safer than using the roundabout. It's just a case of taking responsbility for your own safety and being well informed.

    Report this comment

    carefulwhereyoustand

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

  • I cycle through London everyday, but there are many cyclists who have no idea how to ride. They run lights, jump curbs, weave traffic cut each other up and that's before you throw pedestrians and cars into the mix. There needs to be tougher penalties for all the above. Everyone seems to be in a mad rush to save themselves a couple of minutes!

    Report this comment

    Scott_911

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

  • Fair comment, Guy. But, as you have said yourself, some places ARE best avoided. I get nervous DRIVING round some of London's roundabouts. The Elephant and Castle is a nightmare on four wheels, so I dread to think how cyclists must feel. As I said in my previous comment, if people are to be encouraged to cycle in London we MUST have proper cycle lanes, and not ones that suddenly come to a stop so that one finds oneself mixing it with the traffic once more. It's all very well for Boris to tell people to cycle on London roads but frankly, many are too scared. And quite rightly so, in my opinion.

    Report this comment

    Major Clement Gribble-Royds

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

  • Fair comment, Guy. But, as you have said yourself, some places ARE best avoided. I get nervous DRIVING round some of London's roundabouts. The Elephant and Castle is a nightmare on four wheels, so I dread to think how cyclists must feel. As I said in my previous comment, if people are to be encouraged to cycle in London we MUST have proper cycle lanes, and not ones that suddenly come to a stop so that one finds oneself mixing it with the traffic once more. It's all very well for Boris to tell people to cycle on London roads but frankly, many are too scared. And quite rightly so, in my opinion.

    Report this comment

    Major Clement Gribble-Royds

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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