Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Death of a Cyclist

Below is the site where a 46 year-old cyclist was knocked down and killed on his way to work a week ago. The fatal collision happened close to the junction with Winns Terrace E17. The photograph below shows the location (Winns Terrace is just beyond the zebra crossing, on the left). The car was apparently driving on this side of the road, heading towards The Bell. It seems clear from the force of the impact that the driver was well over the 30 mph speed limit.

Although unlikely to have been a factor in the crash, note the poor state of the cycle lane. It is noticeable that markings which affect cyclists and pedestrians are allowed to deteriorate in a way which would never be regarded as acceptable for motor traffic.

While I was taking some photographs at the site, a cyclist whizzed past me on the pavement (photo below). Cyclists tend to ride on the footway when they perceive the carriageway as being too dangerous to cycle on.

The dangers at this location are twofold, I think. The main problem is excessive speed. The number of drivers who break the speed limit every day on Forest Road must run into the thousands. A second problem at this location is that large vehicles drift into the cycle lane as their drivers instinctively move to avoid the traffic island in the centre of the road. The photograph below indicates why some cyclists might think it safer to ride on the pavement here.