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Man killed as City Hall delegates look at notorious Whitechapel crossing

17:37 11 February 2014

London Assembly delegation led by Val Shawcross (far left) at the notorious Whitechapel crossing

London Assembly delegation led by Val Shawcross (far left) at the notorious Whitechapel crossing

Val Shawcross

A man was killed at a notorious junction in Whitechapel minutes after a visit to the spot by a City Hall delegation to investigate one of London’s most dangerous pedestrian crossings.

The London Assembly’s delegation had been examining the crossing outside the Whitechapel Gallery which has no red light facing westbound traffic during the ‘Green Man’ phase while pedestrians cross.

Moments later, a pedestrian was in an accident with a lorry 300 yards along Whitechapel High Street at the junction with Mansell Street, where he died.

“Police cordoned off Mansell Street As we walked towards City Hall–we saw body in the road,” the Assemby’s transport chair Val Shawcross told the East London Advertiser.

“It was really tragic and incredibly shocking. The man had been alive just minutes before.

“It brought it home how dangerous Whitechapel is for pedestrians.”

Ms Shawcross was on a fact-finding visit last Thursday morning with east London’s representative at City Hall, John Biggs, when the incident happened.

A passing police patrol car found the man with serious injuries, but he died at the scene despite attempts by paramedics from the Royal London Hospital to save his life.

A 58-year-old man was later arrested on suspicion of failing to stop at the scene of an accident, Scotland Yard confirmed.

Police investigations have been continuing this week to establish how it happened.

Formal identification was being carried out at Poplar Mortuary. The man is believed to be from the Whitechapel area.

The City Hall delegation was studying one of the pedestrian casualty ‘hotspots’ on London’s “most dangerous” list—the two crossings outside the Whitechapel Gallery and at the traffic lights with Osborn Street, close to each other, where 11 people have been killed or seriously injured in the past two years.

“We found no warning lights telling drivers that pedestrians were crossing,” Val Shawcross added. “Drivers heading to Aldgate were going over the crossing during its ‘Green Man’ phase without realizing—because there was no red light.

“How is it possible that TfL didn’t notice? This crossing is dysfunctional and has to be sorted out. The whole place is a mess and unsafe for pedestrians, added to the problems cyclists face along the A11.”

The notoriously-busy A11 between Whitechapel and Bow claimed the lives of four cyclists last year alone, two at the Gardner’s Corner junction in Whitechapel, one further along Mile End Road and another at the Bow Roundabout where two more cyclists have died in the past three years.

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