Simon MacMichael October 24 2017
The Daily Mail claims that a Cycle Superhighway on a road in London “has been blamed for several deaths” after a pedestrian lost their life there after being struck by a van driver last week.
However, road.cc’s research finds it is the first fatality in the vicinity since the separated infrastructure opened last year.
Even before the Cycle Superhighway was built, the City of London Corporation highlighted that the location, at the junction of Ludgate Circus, was one where “many pedestrians ignore the pedestrian crossings.”
James Poyner, who sent road.cc a link to the Daily Mail’s article, told us of Friday’s death: “Really sad story but the idea that the segregated cycle lane is to blame is nonsense.
“The lights work, if people are willing to wait 45-60 seconds.”
The fatal crash happened yards from Ludgate Circus on New Bridge Street, which is on the route of the North-South Cycle Superhighway, which then continues along Farringdon Road.
The Daily Mail’s article, published on Friday, said in the headline that the victim was a woman – in fact, it was a man – and opens with the sentence: “A pedestrian has been killed after being hit by a van on a busy London street where a segregated cycle path has been blamed for several deaths.”
It continued: “The area is notorious for deaths because of its large junctions and lack of pedestrian crossings.
“Bystanders who saw the aftermath of the collisions raised concerns over the kerb of the so-called ‘cycle superhighway’ which pedestrians see as a convenient place to cross the road.”
The newspaper has vociferously opposed segregated infrastructure for cyclists in the capital, but in this case its claim that pedestrians were killed there prior to last week’s fatality is not true, with none on record in the area since the Cycle Superhighway was opened nor in the previous decade.
Sam Jones, Cycling UK campaigner, told road.cc: “It’s quite a leap of logic to blame a static piece of infrastructure designed to keep people cycling safe for the tragic death of a pedestrian caused by a motor vehicle.
“Rather than seeking to further its clear anti-cycling agenda under the pretence of concerns about road safety, perhaps the Daily Mail might like to ask why the government isn’t doing more to address the 10 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities on our roads last year?”