The truck involved in this week’s fatal collision with a cyclist on Chelsea Bridge is reportedly owned by a family member of two directors who were banned from running a transport firm following a similar incident in 2013.
Shortly before 8am on Wednesday, a 36-year-old female cyclist was hit by a lorry bearing the livery of HCD London Ltd. She died in hospital later that day and the driver was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury through dangerous driving.
HCD London was launched by Hayley Caroline Drummond in 2014 and licenced in March 2015. Many, including road.cc, suspected a family connection to Alan and Colin Drummond, who were barred from running or managing trucks after one of AJ Drummond’s vehicles was involved in a fatal collision with cyclist Alan Neve in July 2013.
The Sun reports that Hayley is Alan’s daughter and Colin’s sister.
Barry Meyer, the driver involved in the 2013 fatal collision, was jailed for three and a half years for causing Neve’s death by careless driving and for driving while uninsured and unlicensed. He had previously been banned from driving five times and had two previous convictions for drunk driving.
AJ Drummond was investigated by the Traffic Commissioner, who is responsible for the licensing and regulation of those who operate heavy goods vehicles, after Meyer was sentenced. Both Alan and Colin Drummond were invited to a preliminary hearing and to a public inquiry, but failed to attend either.
A Traffic Commission inquiry reported that they had “sought to evade their responsibilities” and investigators could not find the company’s listed operating address.
The two were disqualified from holding or obtaining an operator’s licence in 2015 and it was at this time that Cycling UK (then CTC) alerted the Traffic Commissioner to the fact that Hayley Drummond had applied to set up a new operator based at an address near that of AJ Drummond.
Hayley Drummond is sole director, yet is somewhat oddly described in official filings as a “sales manager”.
According to an HCD spokesman, Alan Drummond retired after being stripped of his operator’s licence and Colin Drummond died last year at the age of 49.
The spokesman said: “We are fully co-operating with police and have handed over dashcam footage. We cannot comment any further due to the ongoing police investigation. Our thoughts are with the woman’s family.”
Cycling UK has previously said that Traffic Commissioners lack the resources to effectively monitor operators and suggested that they are poorly supported in the delivery of sanctions. It has called for the introduction of a national body to regulate road use akin to the Rail Accident Investigation Branch.
The organisation points to cases such as that of Frys Logistics, which had its HGV operator’s licence revoked after the death of two charity cyclists who were hit by one of its trucks. It took 28 months for a Traffic Commissioner to rule that in putting profit before the law, Frys had contributed to their deaths – a period during which the firm had continued to operate.
Stop Killing Cyclists will be staging a ‘die-in’ vigil and protest outside Kensington & Chelsea Town Hall, on Thursday October 12 from 5.30pm to 7pm to mark this week’s fatality. For more details, see the campaign group’s Facebook page.