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Two cyclists lose their lives this morning in incidents involving refuse lorries

Fatal accidents in Edinburgh and London take place within half an hour of each other

The danger posed to cyclists by lorries has been starkly illustrated by news of two fatalities this morning, both reportedly involving refuse trucks. The incidents took place within half an hour or so at opposite ends of the country, the first in the Scottish capital Edinburgh, the second in Hammersmith, West London.

According to STV, a 32-year-old cyclist was killed outside a school in Edinburgh’s Broughton Road after being hit by a refuse truck that appears to have been turning left.

A 13-year-old girl used her mobile phone to alert emergency services, but despite the arrival of three ambulances, the cyclist died at the scene.

Inspector Stephen Boyle of Lothian & Borders Police said: "There was a very serious collision between a vehicle and a cyclist.

"We received a number of phone calls alerting us. One was from a young female who is now in the care of her parents. There were young witnesses who may have been traumatised. Resources will be put in place.

“We are appealing to any road users who were in the area at the time who may be able to help us establish the movements of vehicles and the cyclist. The truck turned left, was the cyclist intending to as well?

"We are currently working to establish exactly what happened, so would appeal for anyone who was in the area at the time to come forward.

"It would have been busy at the time, with families dropping children off at school and people heading to work, so it’s vital anyone with any information comes forward.”

Witnesses are requested to call Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The second fatal accident, involving a female cyclist believed to be aged in her 20s, occurred on Queen Caroline Street in Hammersmith at 8.24am.

The Fulham Chronicle reports that the victim was already dead when police and ambulance crews arrived. Although the full cicrcumstances are not known, a police tent was erected at the scene and a refuse truck cordoned off.

A local resident told the newspaper: “"We were told it was a young woman who has hit.

"It is really sad because she is probably a local girl and just cycling to work and going about her business.

"This road can be dangerous at times because it can get very congested and our hearts just go out to her family and friends."

A police spokesman added: "We were called at 8.24am to a fatal collision between a cyclist and a lorry. Investigations into the cause of the accident are continuing."

News of the two fatal accidents comes at a time when the safety of cyclists sharing the road with large vehicles such as lorries is coming increasingly under the spotlight, with European Union transport ministers due to vote later this year on legisation governing safety features to be fitted to lorries.


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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skippy | 12 years ago

THis subject is too complicated for an answer here so blogged an item

Be interested in any feedback from the manchester area !

Tony Farrelly | 12 years ago

Hi Konamama, glad you found us.

Konamama | 12 years ago

I saw the dead cyclist in Hammersmith last week. The accident could have only happened a number of seconds, maybe a minute before I got there. I had never seen anything like it before and have thought about her every day since. I really feel for her family and friends. One second she was there and then suddenly she just wasn't. I still can't quite work out what might've happened, given the scene. I have been playing it my head but still can't piece it together.
It was so quiet - the emergency services had only just been called. The handful of people there were all rooted to the spot.
All me and another rider could do was stop, and then carry on. She was gone. We warned a mother who was walking her children in the direction to take another route.
We briefly spoke and went our separate ways. I cycled to my destination very shakily... I hope the other rider was ok.
It hit me about 2 hours later. I was in shock. It made me start to worry about everyone on the road. One second we are there... I was a right mess all day and wobbly all weekend.
I feel grateful that the story has been covered so I know all the appropriate things were done for her. Rest in peace, Naoko. If there was a part of you still around somewhere when I passed, know that I was there too and have been thinking of you ever since.
Gosh this is a long post. I only found this site after the accident and it feels better to be connected with other two/wheelers. Cycling is quite a solo thing for me.

Willie B | 12 years ago

Rokapotamus writes: "I can't comment on these particular incidents, but I have on several occasions on the approach to a two lane roundabout had HGV's overtake on the right lane, placing me in the blind spot. Although this is legal, it is rather silly as when the vehicle eventually takes the exit, they can't be sure that the cycle is safely behind them."

Perhaps this is an action point for the next version of the Highway Code.

rokapotamus | 12 years ago

Again, tragic and uneccesary loss of life.

Having worked as a mechanic on bin wagons, the cameras are usually only fitted to the rear of the wagon to check for the 'blind spot' directly behind the wagon on reversing.

They won't be fitted with any form of recording device, nor will anything from the sides of the vehicle will be visible.

Having driven the wagons in and out of the workshop, it is surprising how large the blind spots are on an HGV. Unless you can see the driver in the mirror, they won't have any idea anyone is there.

I can't comment on these particular incidents, but I have on several occasions on the approach to a two lane roundabout had HGV's overtake on the right lane, placing me in the blind spot. Although this is legal, it is rather silly as when the vehicle eventually takes the exit, they can't be sure that the cycle is safely behind them.

Celeste08 | 12 years ago

Really sad to hear. IMO it feels like us cyclists are reminded & informed of dangerous road situations on an almost daily basis. (Through websites, forums, clubs, etc.) This constant reminding is sure to save some lives. Does anyone know if lorry drivers have the same constant reminders via websites, etc. to help reduce sad news like the above?

londonplayer | 12 years ago

I know this may sound bias but I'm going to say it in any case. Many of these rubbish trucks are driven by complete nutter drivers.

I live on a small estate in South London. Last week, the moron driving the dustcart drove into two brick walls on our estate. One was a fairly low level one, which was understandable but the other one was over 5ft tall. Bricks were strewn all across the pavement. His reaction? He just drove off. I wasn't around when it happened but it must have made a noise like a bomb going off.

If they drive into brick walls because they can't see them, what hope have us cyclists got? This is not a one off event on our estate either. They've previously knocked over numerous concrete bollards.

fat buddha | 12 years ago

very sad but without the full facts of what happened nobody can draw conclusions as to who was at fault.

my wife and I had a very understanding articulated truck driver on Sunday who clearly saw us as we were approaching some T lights. after he'd overtaken us some distance from the lights, rather than pull straight into the left lane, stayed wide and indicated left immediately and then angled himself across the 2 lanes as he stopped at the lights. it was clear to use what his intentions were and he was looking at us in his wing mirror - we hung back behind the rear knowing he wanted to turn. we need more understanding drivers like that.

the good news was - it was a beer truck; the bad news - John Smith nitrokeg. well I guess he couldn't get everything right!  4

37monkey | 12 years ago

Very sad news, condolences to the family's and friends involved. Please advise people that until lorries (or any other limited vision vehicle) are safer, the nearside of one is not a good place to be.
@ A V Lowe, I wouldn't hope for too much from the camera's I'm fairly sure they just send live images without recording them, I think the unions would make it like that so that bosses can't "spy" (read safety monitor - for non union members) on thier workers. That is only unfounded speculation though, I hope I'm wrong.

Matt_S | 12 years ago

Madness. So sad.

This very morning I saw a Boris trying to undercut a refuse truck while it was working. He got about half way up the near side when the lorry started moving again and he had to bail out between 2 parked cars.

Karbon Kev | 12 years ago

The carnage continues ..... utterly needless

A V Lowe | 12 years ago

Many refuse trucks have CCTV fitted to ensure the safety of the loaders - so it may well be that some clear CCTV recording of the movements of the trucks and the cyclists can be recovered, providing some robust independent evidence for a change.

The Edinburgh crash occurred barely 100m from the City's waste processing plant at Powderhall, a focal destination for refuse trucks, and a very busy road at this time of day.

sc129806 | 12 years ago

So sad.... how many times does this have to happen?

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