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Joan Collins calls on Sadiq Khan to “do something” about dangerous cyclists before London “is ruined”

The 89-year-old actress claimed she was struck by a “masked cyclist with no lights” on the pavement

Dame Joan Collins has called on the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to “do something” about cyclists after one allegedly crashed into her on the pavement earlier this week, almost knocking her over.

The 89-year-old actress, who in 1983 was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was walking along Maiden Lane in Covent Garden at the time of the alleged incident on Thursday, on her way to dining with her husband Percy Gibson, Mamma Mia creator Judy Craymer, actor Christopher Biggins, and Stuart Machin, the chief executive of Marks and Spencer.

In an Instagram post, Collins said she was dropped off by a black cab driver and forced to walk to the restaurant Rules after discovering that Maiden Lane was closed to traffic.

“However, that didn’t stop a masked cyclist with no lights and weaving on the pavement from crashing into me, almost knocking me over,” she wrote.

The actress then turned her attentions to London’s mayor Sadiq Khan – who has faced criticism in recent weeks concerning his plans to expand the city’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) by the end of August – and called on the Labour politician to deal with what she believes to be the danger posed by cyclists, as well as the apparent inability to be dropped off at her destination by motor vehicle.

“How much longer must we live with closed roads and cyclists who consider themselves above the law?” she continued.

“Why don’t you do something, Sadiq Khan, before this beautiful city of London is ruined?”

> “Hostile and aggressive” pedestrian found guilty of killing 77-year-old cyclist in pavement cycling dispute

In response to Collins’ post, a spokesperson for the London mayor said: “The mayor is committed to making London as safe as possible for both cyclists and pedestrians.

“Walking and cycling have boomed in the last couple of years and the mayor has built hundreds of kilometres of new or upgraded cycle routes since the pandemic, and completed work to make some of the capital’s most dangerous and intimidating junctions safer.

“The mayor encourages everyone using London’s roads to do so safely to help make London the best city in the world to walk and cycle.”

> Transport minister: Responsible cyclists CAN ride on the pavement

Between 2016 and 2021, 2,472 pedestrians were injured in collisions involving cyclists in the UK, accounting for just over two percent of the total reported pedestrian casualties (122,961) in that period.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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50 comments

Avatar
EM69 | 11 months ago
0 likes

Maybe she could call on him to tackle knife crime too?

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tootsie323 | 12 months ago
7 likes

If someone on a bike hits a nearly-90-year-old pedestrian I can quite imagine the pedestrian being quite annoyed about it. I've no qualms with Dame Joan having a go.

Extending that to the cycling population in general is a bit of a stretch though - as is claiming that London is being ruined in its efforts to clean up its air a little.

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Steve K | 12 months ago
16 likes

Completely coincidentally, I happened to walk past Maiden Lane yesterday. You can kind of see why a cyclist might have nipped onto the pavement.

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chrisonabike replied to Steve K | 12 months ago
6 likes

Shurely the cyclists should have stopped and waited - that cart has right-of-way!

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hutchdaddy | 12 months ago
11 likes

It's terrible, it's one event, one cyclist and is not representative of cycling or being a pedestrian in London. So Joan should really get this in context.

Also London is not in danger of being ruined by cycling, no by streets being closed.

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AltBren | 12 months ago
14 likes

I was crossing the road once and a woman with a pram ran over my foot.. we should make children illegal! I'm going to ring the mayor...

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 12 months ago
7 likes

4 decades of cycling  in London and only 2 semi serious incidents. 1 was me cycling too close to a van in Holborn and in the driver's blind spot and the other . . .  a pedestrian, on his phone, walking out between parked cars without looking. I swerved and ended up splattered on the road. 'Zomble' pedestrians are a hazard in London. But I also appreciate that pavement cyclists are more so. Though there are less of the latter. 

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Rendel Harris | 12 months ago
16 likes

Is anyone else having difficulty reconciling the idea of a cyclist "crashing into" a petite 89-year-old woman and it "almost" knocking her over? A smallish lady cyclist misjudged a gap on the Thames path some years ago and hit me (pedestrian, 6ft, 13 stone) at probably not more than 15 mph and I went base over apex. One suspects it's a bit more "brushed me in passing" than La Collins is claiming.

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eburtthebike replied to Rendel Harris | 12 months ago
1 like

Were you wearing a helmet?

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Rendel Harris replied to eburtthebike | 12 months ago
1 like
eburtthebike wrote:

Were you wearing a helmet?

No, nor bright clothing either, only myself to blame.

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giff77 | 12 months ago
8 likes

Wonder where our DLF is. Would have thought he would have been over this like a rash. 

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Rendel Harris replied to giff77 | 12 months ago
12 likes
giff77 wrote:

Wonder where our DLF is. Would have thought he would have been over this like a rash. 

Saturday, cello lessons with the best teacher in Kent, innit.

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perce replied to Rendel Harris | 12 months ago
3 likes

And therefore the best in the world.

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giff77 replied to Rendel Harris | 12 months ago
4 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:
giff77 wrote:

Wonder where our DLF is. Would have thought he would have been over this like a rash. 

Saturday, cello lessons with the best teacher in Kent, innit.

Thanks for that... nearly spat out my Châteauneuf when I read that. 

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hawkinspeter | 12 months ago
6 likes

.

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Awavey replied to hawkinspeter | 12 months ago
6 likes

Ive not seen this film, and feel I need to now  1

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hawkinspeter replied to Awavey | 12 months ago
1 like
Awavey wrote:

Ive not seen this film, and feel I need to now  1

Tales That Witness Madness (1973)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnSYoy4RKAU

It's not great, though one of the stories is about a haunted penny farthing. Also, it's Jack Hawkins' last film although he had to be dubbed as his larynx was removed a few years earlier.

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mattw | 12 months ago
15 likes

Hmmm. Delighted that Insta is not letting me in; I'm not downmarket enough.

*If* the claim is accurate, I have some sympathy for La Collins here. It's a walking and cycling street, with a clear distinction between 'street' and 'footway'.

In those circs, I don't see why someone on a bike would be on the footway. And I don't see why anyone should be travelling at a speed to put a pedestrian at risk, as per the highway code.

But OTH Collins may be exaggerating.

And the general stuff about "dangerous cyclists" being an existential problem for London is baloney. 

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Adam Sutton replied to mattw | 12 months ago
7 likes

Most sensible comment here. After all isn't there a hierarchy of road users with pedestrians ABOVE cyclists as more vulnerable.

Likewise I expect this is somewhat an exaggeration, but cycling in London myself I wouldn't be surprised if there is an element of truth on the matter. The standards from many cyclists in London is subpar to say the least.

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Awavey replied to Adam Sutton | 12 months ago
14 likes

why ? Im not going to claim the cyclist was a saint, but theres a whole bundle of stuff that Dame "Alexis" claimed thats nonsense, so why would you believe she was in mortal peril ?

I was once on a shared path and saw a group of mums with kids in pushchairs walking towards me occupying the whole width of the path there was no route past for me,so I stopped and shifted left to let them by, they still criticised me for being in their way & basically being a cyclist moving towards them when they passed even though I wasnt even flipping moving!!!

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chrisonabike replied to Awavey | 12 months ago
5 likes

More reasons why I'm down on "shared space" - have had similar experiences of people getting shouty at me (once also while dismounted...) Sometimes in front of the "shared use" signs. People gonna people of course but there is a better way. Of course that would mean more money (than blue signs) AND taking space from the carriageway / parking. So that's a no for most places because then the local authority would have people shouting at them!

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Rendel Harris replied to chrisonabike | 12 months ago
19 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:

Sometimes in front of the "shared use" signs.

A few years back I had a gammonish chap railing at me for riding on a local "footpath". When I asked him what he was standing on he looked down to see a five-foot-wide stencilling of a bicycle. He was momentarily nonplussed but rallied strongly to claim it meant bicycles forbidden...

Some people are definitely on hair triggers and it's getting worse thanks to the Clarksons et al; just last week I had a rear puncture in Battersea, I slowed to walking pace, pulled over a dropped kerb onto the completely empty pavement and stopped immediately. As I dismounted a passenger in a passing van shouted "Get off the fucking pavement, that's why people hate cyclists!" 

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Adam Sutton replied to Awavey | 12 months ago
1 like

Great whataboutery.

As for the why, read again, it wouldn't be at all surprising seeing the standards of cycling in London. However I even stated it's highly likely exaggerated.

Some of the comments here are pretty shameful. I only hope it's representative of some kind of malaise towards Collins because of her status rather than a disregard of the safety of someone approaching their 90's in general.

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hawkinspeter replied to Adam Sutton | 12 months ago
7 likes
Adam Sutton wrote:

...a disregard of the safety of someone approaching their 90's in general.

I thought that precedent had been set at the beginning of the Covid outbreak when the elderly were discharged into care homes

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/uk-older-people-care-homes-abandoned-die-amid-government-failures-during-coronavirus

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Adam Sutton replied to hawkinspeter | 12 months ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
Adam Sutton wrote:

...a disregard of the safety of someone approaching their 90's in general.

I thought that precedent had been set at the beginning of the Covid outbreak when the elderly were discharged into care homes

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/uk-older-people-care-homes-abandoned-die-amid-government-failures-during-coronavirus

I was looking for a definition of whataboutism for Awavey and found a copy of this post in the Oxford dictionary definition. 

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hawkinspeter replied to Adam Sutton | 12 months ago
3 likes
Adam Sutton wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

I thought that precedent had been set at the beginning of the Covid outbreak when the elderly were discharged into care homes

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/uk-older-people-care-homes-abandoned-die-amid-government-failures-during-coronavirus

I was looking for a definition of whataboutism for Awavey and found a copy of this post in the Oxford dictionary definition. 

I knew I'd get famous for something, one day

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Adam Sutton replied to hawkinspeter | 12 months ago
2 likes

*YAWN*

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hawkinspeter replied to Adam Sutton | 12 months ago
7 likes
Adam Sutton wrote:

*YAWN*

Keeping you up are we? Have a quick nap - they're underrated you know.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 12 months ago
8 likes

Ain't that psychological equivalent - but in reverse - of those drivers who are in such a hurry that when they feel they've been held up for a few seconds are happy to have it out with you for 10 minutes?

Or our revenants complaining that they're being trolled and bullied?

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Awavey replied to Adam Sutton | 12 months ago
4 likes

if you think its whataboutery just to not accept someones account of something at face value, when the central thrust of their issue about it being illegal to cycle on that road, can be demonstrably proved wrong, so be it.

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