Thursday 28 January 2010

Schoolgirl lorry death: ‘Traffic signals out of operation’

Witnesses said Latoya Smith was crushed at the junction of East Dulwich Road and Peckham Rye, just after 8am. Traffic signals there have been out of operation for weeks as roadworks are carried out.

Latoya had been walking with two friends aged eight and 12. She died of her injuries in hospital soon after.

Matthew Page, 42, an estate agent opposite the scene, said: “It was awful.
The way the roadworks are, it was an accident waiting to happen. I heard a bang. She'd been under the wheels of a 60-tonne truck and had no chance. She was lying in the road bleeding, moving but not conscious.”

It seems to be the convention in London that temporary traffic signals are only provided for motor vehicles, not pedestrians or (where cycle phases exist) cyclists. If that was the case here and these roadworks were being done for Transport for London, then Boris Johnson is the person responsible. If these are for the local authority, then the leader of the local Council is the person responsible.

In Waltham Forest, scandalously, the cycle phase lights on Hoe Street at the St Mary Road/Selborne Road interchange are STILL HOODED AFTER FIVE MONTHS.