Monday, 28 January 2013

Two cyclists killed in Hanham

As has been nationally reported, two cyclists were killed in Hanham on Sunday afternoon. The driver of the car has turned themselves in.

The thoughts and condolences of most Bristolians, whether they cycle or not, will be with the friends and families of the deceased.

Bristol is a much smaller town than London; you end up recognising and becoming acquainted with many people, just because you pass them and meet them more often. For that reason, its possible that one of the regular Bristol Traffic submitters may know of them -or know someone who does. Right now: uncertainty; the only news anyone has are the snippets that come out on the press. On that topic, the Evening Post has shown the decency to turn off comments in their coverage of the tragedy. Having idiots post comments about helmets is not appropriate or welcome.

For those people outside the city who don't know Hanham, well, it's unappealling to cycle through. Kingswood has long had a tradition of being outside Bristol; Hanham similar -and it's not far from St George -one of whose resident's was convicted last year of a "moment of madness" road rage attack on a cyclist. That's not representative of the area; another way to view it is as "a part of the city that is not yet a cycling city".  The A431 may be a more direct route from Bitton to the city centre, but the Railway Path is preferred by cycle. Even there, the Kingswood stretch is the one where you are most likely to encounter a teenager on a motorbike.

There's no reason to speculate on the killing itself, except we will use that term: killing. Someone made some decisions on Sunday that resulted in the death of two people.

Assuming it was the driver who drove off after the crash who made those decisions, the track record of the UK legal system's ability to deliver justice in death-by-car killings is very awful. Sometimes the penalty can be less expensive than a parking ticket.

We've seen the Avon and Somerset police to be supportive of cyclists in the past, what we shall wait to see is if the CPS and judiciary are also supportive. Certainly we don't think that any crime that results in death -even if is "just" a car accident - should be handled by a magistrate alone.

Let's wait and see.

In the meantime, we extend our condolences to those who knew the deceased.

5 comments:

Boo said...

"For those people outside the city who don't know Hanham, well, it's unappealling to cycle through."

What tosh! The towpath and the common are particularly pleasant areas to cycle in Hanham and very popular.

The driver did not drive from the scene. He left the scene on foot.

D. said...

I think the point was that the main road through Hanham is "unappealing to cycle through", not an off-road routes. Personally, I find it high-larious that at 4pm on a sunday afternoon on a main road, nobody saw anything and the police are appealing for witnesses (according to The Post).

Eric D said...

@Boo
We're talking about road cycling, which is still permitted.

thisisbristol.co.uk says "The driver abandoned the car minutes after the incident" - Did he remain at the scene for several minutes ? Seems unlikely, given the police appeal, and him 'turning himself in' later.

Eric D said...

http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/LocalPages/NewsDetails.aspx?nsid=26880&t=1&lid=2

... A police officer's attention was drawn to a Citroen Picasso travelling along Lower Hanham Road at speed. The officer indicated to the car to stop but it made off. The officer began to follow the car but it was lost to sight almost immediately.

Very shortly afterwards the car stuck another vehicle and then collided with two cyclists on a tandem bicycle.

(Victims are named)

Eric D said...

I looked at
http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/DEAD-HIT-RUN/story-17984707-detail/story.html
and
http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/cyclists-killed-hit-run-Hanham-South/story-17978337-detail/story.html
and was ready to blame the 'Pedestrian refuge' pinch-points and the contra-flow cycle lanes, but that is Mount Hill Road - Tabernacle Road.

Lower Hanham Road is at right-angles
http://goo.gl/maps/MyCIp