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Cyclist killed by tipper lorry in Central London - day after protesters call for improved safety

Fatal incident at Ludgate Circus follows Stop Killing Cyclists urging councils to take action

A cyclist has been killed in Central London this morning after being struck by a left-turning tipper lorry at Ludgate Circus – one day after protest group Stop Killing Cyclists called on London’s boroughs to bring in measures to improve the safety of bike riders. In February, the junction was highlighted by a Green politician as one of a dozen locations in London with a poor safety record for cyclists that is not included in the £300 million Better Junctions programme.

The man, whose name has not yet been revealed, is the third cyclist to have lost their life in the capital this year. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the London Ambulance Service, reports the London Evening Standard.

A photograph on the newspaper’s website suggests that the lorry was turning left from Fleet Street into Farringdon Road. City of London police attended the scene of the incident, which took place at around 10am.

The driver of the lorry has been arrested on a charge of suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, (comments on this news story are now closed).

In late February, Transport for London (TfL) announced that it was spending £300 million to improve safety for cyclists at 33 junctions in London. Ludgate Circus is not among them, although locations nearby such as the northern end of Blackfriars Bridge and the St Paul's Gyratory are.

Nor was it named in a subsequent list of 17 more locations where works will be carried out, some of which are aimed at making them safer for those on bikes.

After the list of junctions that will receive work under the Better Junctions programme was announced in February, Green Party Assembly Member Darren Johnson said: "The 33 include many of the most dangerous junctions, but also 12 junctions which are not on the top 100 junctions targeted for further work by Transport for London in 2011."

He highlighted 12 junctions that were on that list of 100 "which are not being dealt with and have had more than 3 cyclists killed or seriously injured between 2008-12."

One of them was Ludgate Circus, with six incidents.

Yesterday, the campaign group Stop Killing Cyclists staged a "Wall of Death" protest outside Westminster City Hall against what it describes as the "failure" of boroughs in London "to install safe, segregated cycle lanes since the last local elections in 2010."

The protest coincided with the publication by the group of a report, London Boroughs Segregated Cycle Lanes, based on responses by to Freedom of Information requests sent to all 32 boroughs and the City of London. 

From the 28 responses received, Stop Killing Cyclists found that 13 of the local authorities had no segregated cycle lanes at all, and just three - Waltham Forest, Ealing and Camden - had installed any since those elections in 2010, at a total cost of £795,000.

The reports author, Will Nickell, said: “This research exposes for the first time the lethal failure by the vast majority of London’s Boroughs to invest in Go-Dutch standard segregated, safe cycle lanes, for London’s kids and cyclists over the last four years.

“Boroughs must urgently follow Amsterdam into the 21st century and invest a minimum of 10% of their transport budget in Dutch standard cycle lanes and include space for cycling in all new developments and transport infrastructure.”

Donnachadh McCarthy , co-organiser of Stop Killing Cyclists added: “Every one of the 54 cyclists killed on London’s roads over the last four years is a tragedy, and it is also important to note the literally thousands of other deaths from the London boroughs’ failure to provide a safe, unpolluted cycling and walking environment.

“Londoners should ask every candidate in May’s local and European elections if they will support 10% of their transport budget to be spent on segregated cycle lanes.”

London Cycling Campaign (LCC), through its Space for Cycling campaign, is also urging the capital's voters to ensure that measures to improve cycle safety are supported by candidates in the local elections.

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said: "Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of the person who died today.

"It is not acceptable that Londoners making normal everyday journeys by bike must contend with the dangers of major junctions that provide no protected space for cycling.

"We don't know the circumstances of this particular death, but we know our transport authorities can and must take action to redesign our streets in a way that minimises the risk of harm to people who walk and cycle."

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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