Thursday, 13 August 2009

For Immediate Release

A press release from the cycling campaign reaches our inbox.

The Bristol Cycling Campaign wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the cyclist who died following a collision with a lorry on Winterstoke Road on Tuesday August 11.

This tragedy is part of a series of bicycle/lorry collisions in the city over the past week.

  1. Thursday August 6th, A collision at the junction of Perry Road and St Michael's Hill, left the cyclist in a serious condition in the Bristol Royal Infirmary.
  2. Tuesday August 11th The junction of Winterstoke Road and Brunel Way. The cyclist, struck by a Mercedes Sprinter van, died.
  3. Tuesday August 11th Old Market. A DAF lorry cab turning left collided with a bicycle outside the Evening Post. Again, serious injury -this time pelvic, leg and head injuries, and again, another customer for the Bristol Royal Infirmary.
  4. Wednesday August 12th Stokes Croft/Ashley Road - a female cyclist left with a suspected broken leg.

This week of tragedy comes exactly three months after two teenage children were killed walking in the city by hit and run drivers in separate incidents.

The Bristol Cycling Campaign calls for Bristol Council to come up with a design for the city's roads that ensures that pedestrians and cyclists can get to their home, work or school without having to travel in fear for their lives.

It is impossible for Bristol Council's targets of doubling cycling to be achieved without increasing the numbers of collisions, unless there is a step change in the way that all of us in the city treat the most vulnerable road users.

Here of some examples of ways that we could improve road safety in the city:

  1. Bristol must follow Portsmouth's lead of slowing down the speed limits on the approaches to the city, to stop drivers coming straight off 70mph roads and into the narrow streets of the city - and to stop them speeding up as they get closer to the motorway.
  2. Roads, and especially junctions, need to be designed to reduce the risk of collisions. As a specific example, the Stokes Croft/Ashley Road collision involved a bike lane which is on the left side of a left-turn only lane. The collision here is not "an accident", it is the inevitable consequence of the design of the road.
  3. As lorries appear to be disproportionately involved in the recent incidents, Bristol Council needs a plan to make their movements less hazardous to other road users. In London, for example, Transport for London is running a special cycle/lorry share-the-road training and publicity campaign.
  4. Everyone needs to be encouraged to attend the Council-supported cycle training courses. As well as teaching cyclists how to cope with dangerous road designs, they will give drivers better understanding of the dangers that cyclists face.

Martin McDonnell, secretary of the Bristol Cycling Campaign said: "With rising obesity levels, congestion and road pollution, encouraging cycling is more important than ever. We call on the Council to fulfil the Cycling City vision by making the city safe to cycle around."

We wish a speedy and full recovery to all the Bristolians who are currently in hospital because they chose to cycle around a cycling city. We also wish to express our appreciation to the emergency services, who have responded excellently in all these incidents.

1 comment:

Downfader said...

Very sad. I think we've all been clipped at one point or another whilst on a bike and its pretty damn scary. Some of us have been hit and put in an ambulance but some of the accidents I'm hearing of locally, from your neck of the woods and from London are really shocking and really shouldnt be happening.

Condolences and get-wells to those affected.