Monday 26 April 2010

Another London woman cyclist is run down and killed today

As far as I can tell, the number of cyclists killed so far this year in London has now reached a total of seven.

Which makes it a very bad year. If things go on like this it would mean a death total of 21 by the end of 2010. Of course, fatalities don’t happen with that kind of logic. It’s just a question of the cyclist being in the wrong place at the wrong time. London’s roads are crammed with drivers who are potential killers, but nobody is very interested in restraining them – certainly not the Mayor, nor the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, who, like the rest of the sleazy command structure of the Met, is every inch a complacent car supremacist, who enjoys personal protection in the shape of a large chauffeur-driven limo from the danger his prejudice makes him happy to inflict on London’s cyclists and pedestrians.

But the rot spreads everywhere. The Cyclists Touring Club –a major obstacle to the development of safe mass cycling in Britain – remains in the hands of ideologues who continue to peddle crap like this:

London has seen a 91% increase in cycling since 2000 and a 33% fall in cycle casualties since 1994-98. This means that cycling in the city is 2.9 times safer than it was previously.

Complete pseudo-scientific garbage, of course. The casualty statistics are cherrypicked and the first statistic, as I never tire of pointing out, is blatantly untrue. London is a city more dangerous for cycling in than it has ever been, because its roads are filled with drivers (including numerous lorry drivers) who are using mobile phones, or who are staring at their SatNavs or who are in vehicles with tinted windows. Speeding, red light jumping and hit and runs are at epidemic levels, traffic policing continues to be reduced, and a cyclist’s exposure to risk has never been greater, and continues to get worse, not least in the London Borough of Waltham Forest where transport planners are planning to increase the speed limit on a major cycle route from 30 mph to 40 mph, and make cycling more dangerous by forcing cyclists to use a cycle lane between parking bays and overtaking heavy goods vehicles. Naturally the supine local branch of the so-called London Cycling Campaign accepts this unacceptable situation.

All the fatalities in London this year are victims of vehicular cycling (i.e. cyclists sharing the roads with motorists), which is precisely what the Netherlands, the most successful cycling nation in Europe, has rejected. Vehicular cycling in Britain has failed, is dangerous and is a major deterrent to mass cycling, but neither of Britain's two main cycling organisations want to face up to this reality.

That said, here’s the latest bad news. Details so far are sketchy:

Edgware Way has been closed since around 7.30am after a woman was knocked off her bike on the northbound carriageway. She was pronounced dead at the scene and an investigation has been ongoing all morning into the cause of the crash.

A MAN has been arrested following the death of a woman on the A41 in Edgware this morning. The 49-year-old was arrested at the scene and is being questioned at Colindale Police Station. A woman cyclist died when her bike collided with a black Audi on the northbound stretch of the Edgware Way close to the M1 junction 4 just after 7.30am. She was pronounced dead at the scene.