Sunday 13 June 2010

The lethal world of vehicular cycling (1)

When I first read about this case I assumed it was a crazy cyclist going recklessly fast down a hill and losing control. It now transpires that the matter was rather more complicated. This cyclist seems to have been killed by the infrastructure, which, in the failed world of British vehicular cycling, expects cyclists to share a narrow road with drivers permitted to travel at a speed of 60 mph.

Police said no other vehicles were involved in the accident. Paul Gallifant, who lives on Mill Hill, was at home when the accident happened. “Apparently a chap in a car was coming the opposite way,” he said.

“I suspect she came up on the bike, saw him coming the other way and skidded. “He is apparently the only witness and he was obviously very shaken up.”

Currently vehicles can legally travel up to 60 mph down Mill Hill, which residents have claimed is too fast for the narrow space. Merriel Gallifant, also of Mill Hill, said she has been campaigning for Essex County Council to change the speed limit. “This road is just so dangerous,” she said.

“It’s a rat run.

“Three years ago a cyclist was seriously injured not more than a foot away from where this latest accident happened.

“And you only need to walk down the road to see wing mirrors and glass lying everywhere from previous crashes.

“I had Essex County Council take a survey of the road some years ago to see how fast the cars were going.”

She added:“After assessing 642 cars the average speed was more than 50 mph which is ridiculous.