August 15 2017
Transport for London (TfL) and Southwark Council have been accused of ignoring a coroner’s call for safety improvements at the junction where cyclist Esther Hartsilver was killed in May 2015.
Hartsilver was in a bus lane when truck driver Philip Beadle turned left off Denmark Hill into Orpheus Street and suffered multiple injuries when she went under the wheels of his lorry.
Beadle was found not guilty of causing her death by careless driving and told an inquest that the junction was “an accident waiting to happen.”
Reporting on the design of the junction of Denmark Hill with Orpheus Street in February of this year, Sarah Ormond-Walshe, the assistant coroner for the coroner area of Inner South London, wrote: “Traffic wishing to turn left may, at the moment, turn left from Lane 2. This means that they cross a lane of traffic that may well be travelling straight ahead. Miss Hartsilver was an experienced London cyclist and the HGV driver an experienced driver also. It is the junction that is unusual.”
She went on to point out that the junction comes under the shared care of both TfL and the London Borough of Southwark. “They both have different functions and duties but it would take both working together to agree a change to the design.”
Ormond-Walshe finished by asking Southwark and TfL to consider interim modifications to the junction and to make the safety of cyclists a major consideration when final decisions are made as part of larger planned improvement of Camberwell.
The London Evening Standard has now reported that TfL’s plans for Camberwell Green do not include “protected space” for cyclists – only bike logos painted on the road, not segregated lanes – while traffic will continue to make left turns across their path at the junction where Hartsilver was killed.
A TfL consultation on the plans runs until September 3.