A cyclist has been seriously injured at a New Forest junction where two bike riders have lost their lives in recent years, leading to cycling campaigners to call for it to be made safer, echoing a previous plea from the charity Cycling UK.
Dave Bensley sustained head and leg injuries when he was knocked off his bike when he was struck by a motorist at Ipley Crossroads, near Dibden, at around 1pm on 15 January reports the Daily Echo.
He had been on a group ride with Southampton Cycling and Touring Club, whose chairman, Paul Raysfield, said: “Dave was thrown about 30ft in the air and landed face down in a ditch full of water.
“We got him out and cleared his airway but could tell he had broken bones. When the paramedics arrived they pumped him full of morphine.
“That junction has a history of deaths and serious injuries,” he added.
He called for a staggered junction to be introduced at the location, saying that it would make it safer by making drivers stop.
He explained: “At the moment motorists think they can see everything - but sometimes they don't.”
The two cyclists who lost their lives at the junction in road traffic collisions recent years were Mark Brummell, aged 53, who was killed in 2012, and Kieran Dix, who lost his life at the same spot four years later.
New Forest county and district councillor David Harrison is backing calls to convert the crossroads into a staggered junction.
Liberal Democrat councillor David Harrison, a member of both Hampshire County Council and New Forest District Council, backed calls for a staggered junction to be introduced, saying: “I think the county council has to try everything to avoid the carnage we have seen in recent years.”
Councillor Rob Humby, executive member for transport on the Conservative-controlled Hampshire County Council, which is the relevant highways authority, said: “Part of the problem is the good visibility and open vista, with drivers approaching the crossroads misjudging the speed and distance of oncoming vehicles.
“We continue to work with New Forest District Council and the police to explore what can be done, including longer term proposals to stagger the junction,” he added.
Both of the cyclist fatalities mentioned above, and the need to make the Ipley Cross junction safer, were cited in 2018 by Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, Duncan Dollimore, in response to calls by New Forest East MP Julian Lewis for it to be made compulsory for cyclists to have bells on their bicycles.
He pointed out that Lewis had previously maintained in a Westminster debate that cyclists presented a danger to livestock despite no recorded instances over the past 15 years of an animal being killed or injured in an incident involving a cyclist, but numerous incidents involving motorists.
"This time it's speeding cyclists without bells that concerns him, but not a word about speeding drivers or the evidence about what presents the greatest risk,” he said.
"If Mr Lewis is truly concerned about road safety in the New Forest he could focus his attention on the collision blackspot in his own constituency, the unsafe junction at Ipley Cross, where cyclists Kieran Dix and Mark Brummell have both lost their lives in recent years, with several other collisions reported to the police."
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.