A lorry driver has admitted causing the death by careless driving of Dr Marta Krawiec at London’s notorious Holborn Gyratory in August 2021 – but will face trial next year on the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving, which he denies, after the Crown Prosecution Sevice rejected his guilty plea on the lesser charge.
Dr Krawiec, a children’s doctor, was riding to the clinic where she worked in Lavender Hill, Clapham Junction, when she was run over and killed by 68-year-old Kevin Allen at the junction of Southampton Row and Theobalds Road.
Appearing yesterday at the Old Bailey, Allen pleaded guilty to causing the 41-year-old doctor’s death by careless driving, which carries a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, reports BBC News.
However, the prosecution did not accept his plea and instead he will appear at the same venue next year charged with causing death by dangerous driving, which is punishable by a jail term of up to 14 years.
Allen, from Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, has been handed an interim disqualification order by Judge Sarah Munro KC. The driving ban will be reviewed following the conclusion of the trial, which is due to open on 2 January 2024 and last five days.
Following the death of Dr Krawiec, both Stop Killing Cyclists and the London Cycling Campaign held protests at Holborn Gyratory, where despite several cyclists being killed in crashes involving large vehicles in the past decade or so, there is no physical protection from motor traffic for people on bikes.
Safety changes had been announced for the area by Transport for London (TfL) in March 2019 under the Healthy Streets scheme, but were put on hold due to the funding crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic the following year, which left it dependent on bailouts from central government to be able to continue operating.
Works to make some improvements at the junction started after Dr Krawiec’s death, but in March last year, another cyclist, former corporate lawyer Shatha Ali, was killed elsewhere on the gyratory system, outside Holborn Underground station.
Subsequently, the London Borough of Camden has approved a major overhaul of the Holborn Gyratory, including segregated cycle lanes, with work due to start later this year.
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Simon joined road.cc 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.