Tuesday 17 November 2009

Negligence on Selborne Road results in pedestrian casualty

Grandmother-of-three Valeria Bateson, of West Avenue Road, was walking across Selborne Road in the direction of Walthamstow station when she was struck by a cyclist using the small cycle lane which crosses the busy junction from St Mary Road.

Mrs Bateson, who said the lights for the cycle lane were not working on the day of the accident, said: “I fell like a domino, I was in terrible pain, I did not see the cyclist.”

Mrs Bateson is now planning to launch a campaign to get the layout of the traffic junction changed. Mrs Bateson believes cyclists wishing to cross Hoe Street from its eastern side should be required to follow the route of other traffic around the island – rather than being able to use the lane to cut across the street.

She said: “The cyclist was looking for traffic coming around the roundabout to his left, and not ahead to the pedestrian crossing.

Incredibly, all but one of the cycling lights at this junction remain hooded to this day. The cyclist was in the position of having to watch out for a total of seven lanes of traffic, the last two on his left, with Mrs Bateson cutting across the cyclist’s route from the right. The cyclist was presumably not anticipating that a pedestrian would cross the cycle lane route and Mrs Bateson may not have been anticipating a fast-moving cyclist approaching from her left.

The cyclist and the pedestrian were put on a collision course thanks to the gross negligence of whoever was in charge of the roadworks here, where the contractors failed to supply either temporary cycling lights or temporary pedestrian lights. I suspect this is Transport for London’s responsibility rather than the Council’s, although the Council bears some responsibility for passively putting up with this unacceptable situation.

I am afraid Mrs Bateson’s hopes of getting the road lay-out changed are futile. There was supposed to be a massive re-structuring of this junction two years ago, though the cycling crossover would not have been affected, but for unknown reasons it never happened.

I think Mrs Bateson has good grounds for pursuing compensation from those responsible for failing to supply temporary lights for cyclists or pedestrians, on the grounds of their gross negligence.

I have blogged about the problems for cyclists at this site on two previous occasions.