An inquest has heard that Cambridge cyclist Steve Moir died in a head-on crash with a bus when he clipped the kerb separating him from a guided busway while overtaking pedestrians. Ruling the death accidental, coroner Simon Milburn heard the driver "could not avoid" him.
The Cambridgeshire Guided Busway connects Cambridge, Huntingdon and St Ives. There is an asphalt cycle track/bridleway alongside some sections of the route.
Once the specially adapted buses are on the busway, the driver does not need to steer. Guidewheels perform the steering function by engaging with the concrete kerb.
Cambridge News reports that Moir was riding home to Sawston from Cambridge on a section between Long Road and Cambridge's railway station on September 13.
Senior collision investigator PC Peter Bimson told the court that as Moir attempted to pass a group of pedestrians he steered left and his front wheel clipped the kerb between the path and the busway.
The bus driver said he saw "unusual activity" on the pathway and Moir then fell directly into the vehicle’s path, at which point the driver said he "braked as hard as I could".
After hitting Moir, it took a further four seconds for the bus to come to a halt. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The standard speed on the busway is 90kph (56mph), reducing to 50kph (30mph) where it crosses the public highway.
In the wake of Moir’s death, a petition was launched calling on bus companies to instruct their drivers to reduce their speed. In December Cambridgeshire County Council announced that the limit would be reduced to 30mph on the stretch of track from the Hills Road bridge, for a distance of around 875 metres, towards Long Road Bridge.
Speaking after the inquest, Moir's brother Rob said the family welcomed the fact that speeds had been reduced and white lines painted alongside the kerb.
"However, in our view without physical separation the likelihood of this happening again is quite high, especially with the number of people that use that stretch."
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive is ongoing.
A father has appealed for further safety improvements on the busway this week after 12-year-old daughter Lilou Brock was knocked off her bike on the crossing between Kings Hedges Road and the guided busway.
Stagecoach has reviewed CCTV footage of the collision, and claims the schoolgirl 'pulled out onto the road without looking'.
Fletcher Brock told Cambridgeshire Live: "From what I understand, she was cycling with friends back from school. One girl crossed and Lilou went to follow when she was hit by the bus.
"The driver is very distressed. The guided busway is just bad by design. It happened right next to the pedestrian traffic lights. She was hit by the bus going towards the lights, probably thinking the path was safe.
"There are no traffic lights on the busway, no warning signs, no barriers to suggest that the path to and from the pedestrian crossing for the main road is unsafe.
"Yes she should've stopped and looked. But it's not that obvious if you have never been on a guided busway before."